I got to the park and found an isolated, but sunny spot. It was off the beaten path and far from the usual cruisers and cruising areas. All settled in, I scouted a nearby clump of trees to see if it would offer sufficient privacy – just in case. Not that the place I’d put my blanket wasn’t private, but I know some dudes are skittish about being out in the open and don’t trust tall grass to provide enough coverage. He told me he’d be biking over because he was training for a triathlon.
An hour and twenty minutes later, he arrived and we located each other. As he was riding his bike toward me, my heart sank. He was handsome. And he had a full head of thick, dark hair. I felt his distance almost immediately and I assumed it was because he didn’t think I was very attractive. I had on a pair of long, black shorts and white tennies and that was it. My bod is currently in really good shape, and I’ve trimmed most of my body hair. Except for my back. So, it must be the face? The ears? My age? My back hair?
He followed me back to my spot and we laid down on the blanket. He stuck to the outer edge of one side and I could tell he was uncomfortable – or was I imagining it? Our conversation felt stilted. He just didn’t seem to have much to offer. I would ask a question and he would give a succinct, complete answer and offer nothing more. He would ask me questions and I would tell him whatever was related. We had discussed religion on-line. In-person we discussed theatre, writing, music, teaching, rehabbing houses, and travel
During our conversation, I stripped off my shorts. We were in a private enough spot that nude sunbathing was not an issue. He did the same. Pet peeve – he had on a pair of designer sunglasses and wouldn’t take them off, so I never saw his eyes. I did see everything else. He was in okay shape. His calves were magnificent. His ass pristine (the whitest, cutest I have seen for awhile). But his upper body was just so-so, in fact, I thought mine was actually in better shape. I am a few years older than he is – and maybe that was part of the issue.
We spent an hour together. At one point I noticed a bead of sweat running down his back, so I took my towel and wiped it. Then he announced that he had to go. I walked him back to the bike path. He said it was nice to meet me, I said the same and we went our separate ways.
It was awful.
I felt like Miranda in “Sex in the City”.
He made me feel insecure about my body, my face, my looks, my age, my sweat, my body odor (did I stink?), my back hair, my sense-of-self, my life choices, my ego, my inability to carry on a conversation that is not about me… on and on. And he did this all by not talking much or saying anything. Or ever looking me in the eye.
Which got me to thinking, and yes, I realize I may be just trying to rationalize things to make myself feel better, but maybe it’s him and not me.
There was no chemistry, because he had none. The conversation was god-awful boring because he brought so little to the table. He wouldn’t take off those sunglasses so I have no idea who he is really or what he thought or was thinking – since the eyes are the portal to the soul. He was handsome – but in a bland way. I suspect he hasn’t lived much, and by that, I mean gotten outside of his comfort level and gotten dirty, messy, and complicated. I suspect pretty people don’t have to. He seemed shallow. He seemed waspish and emotionally removed, not just from me, but from himself. I also suspect he doesn’t have much of an inner dialogue and doesn’t spend much time examining his life.
Or maybe he’s just not a neurotic ball of issues and baggage? Maybe he’s so comfortable with who he is that he doesn’t bother putting out much of an effort.
So, Miranda would have just confronted the guy – she would have laid her cards on the table and said – “Hey, you don’t have to do this. If you’re disappointed, just get back on your bike and keep riding. It’s okay. You’re not into me. I get it. I’ll live.” But I didn’t, because that could’ve blown up in my face. I was being polite. And probably, so was he. And maybe he is just a bad conversationalist. And not in touch with his sexual self. Maybe he’s a very handsome man who is also a very boring man and he can’t help it.
So, of course my feelings are hurt. And I feel more insecure. But – reality check - I am doing everything I know how to make myself the best I can be. I can’t do anything about my face. I work on my body as much as I can. I’m not a model, but I look damn good. And the age thing? What? Gravity wins. I get that.
You can’t force a flower to open in a natural manner. You also can’t create chemistry where none exists. So, I spent an hour outdoors, naked, sunning and having stilted conversation with a man with whom there was no spark to be found. I’ve been through much worse. I don’t understand why the universe wastes my time with people like this dude, but then, to be fair, the universe also wasted his time with a dude like me.
My immediate reaction is to just go out and get fucked as hard as possible. I mean really pounded so that I feel like a piece of worthless meat. That’s the self-destructive part of me talking. The part of me that wants to injure or eradicate that part of me I cannot change. Acting out in such a manner is not very therapeutic. (Actually, it would be therapeutic, because it would replace the emotional pain I’m experiencing with something tangible, but we’re told that is not a healthy way to deal with such issues. Though the sex would go a long way in validating that I am not the ugliest duckling in the world.
“Dreams are all they gave for free, to ugly duckling (boys), like me…” – Janis Ian
These situations make me feel like Barbra Streisand - not in a drag queen way, but in the same way that all less-than-runway-ready gay boys/men are able to relate to Babs. You know, as the ugly duckling who through sure pluck, whimsy, charm, and with an unshakeable belief that romantic love is a God-given thing that we’re all entitled to, can and will conquer the world. But the Robert Redfords of the world could never truly be interested in someone like me. I do the best I can with what I have and on occasion one of them will drop into my universe and get naked, but they know they can do better. And I know they’re never going to stay for long. It’s like a tier of human being - a club, that I cannot ever belong to. And it’s easy to stand outside the door and tell myself that I wouldn’t want to belong, but isn’t that just a case of the fox calling the grapes sour because he cannot reach them?
Maybe it’s a boring club? I don’t know, because I’ve never belonged. I will never know, because I can never belong. And that’s what’s killing me.
Because I’ll never know.
And that’s what bugs me about this guy – and will always bug me about this guy. Because, now, I will never know: what I did wrong, what it was about me that he didn’t like, blah-blah-blah.
Maybe I’m not meant to know. Maybe there are things we are better off not knowing.
Or maybe this is just one of those things the universe gives us so we can drag it out at 2:00 am on a sleepless night and beat ourselves up with. Really?
Eh… I’ll never know.