Since the host was a friend of Polly's and she had a date earlier in the evening we made plans to meet at a bar in the neighborhood first.
Maybe it was the perfect weather that put me in such a great mood, or the 90-minute walk I had around the park, or the yummy new sushi place I discovered in my neighborhood, or the upswing of my potentially undiagnosed manic depression. Whatever the case, I was feeling great, radiating charisma, and completely convinced it was going to be an excellent night.
I arrived a few minutes early to the bar Polly had selected, a cozy Irish place that had at least three men for every woman. Ah, I understood why she chose this venue.
Polly's date was clearly going well, because she showed up with him in tow (let's call him Web Walter). The three of us started chatting and I was pleased to find I liked this guy. In fact, he might just be the first Potential of hers who I believed was worthy of our dear Polly. My friend often goes for guys that I think are a bit on the bland side (like the Tall Guy she was out with last week), but Web Walter was dynamic and witty and he and I quickly bonded over the lameness of online dating and music we loved. In fact, we launched into a conversation about what cool music to get Polly into (for anyone wondering, we decided we'd have to ease her gradually into Kraftwerk, probably wouldn't be able to get her into The Smiths, but could definitely turn her into a Pulp fan). I think for a moment Polly might have been worried that Walter and I were getting along a little too well, but she had no cause for concern. While talking about what friends of his he could set me up with, he asked if I go for Asian guys and I told him that was more Polly's territory and that I often end up with Aryan-looking guys (minus Nazi tendencies, thankssomuch).
The three of us ended up having such a great time that Web Walter not only agreed to come to Polly's friend's party, but bring along a couple of his friends, too. The least Polly could do since she was bringing five guests to a small party is make sure we all brought lots of alcohol.
On our way to the liquor store, Polly and I ran into some friends of friends. Seems like everyone was out tonight. After making our purchases, we waited for Walter's friends to meet us.
Outside the liquor store, a young woman stopped in front of me and asked,
"Is your name Dolly?"
"Yes..." I tried to place her face.
"You were at Bar K with Willow a couple of weeks ago, right?"
"Yeah... I'm sorry, I don't remember meeting you."
"It's okay, I think you might have been a little drunk."
I don't doubt it.
Not two minutes into our conversation, she shrieks as an old friend of hers walks by (meanwhile, this girl is from out of town). All of a sudden, Hell's Kitchen had become some kind of bizarre Six Degrees of Separation vortex. There was a great energy in the air.
Polly and I were both a tiny bit tipsy (she from several glasses of wine, me from a pint-sized margarita-- it's okay, I had a big dinner this time!). We stumbled into the party giggling and I grinned at two attractive guys. I grabbed a bright blue drink in a small glass bottle marked "Exhibit A" and started mingling.
Polly knew one of the attractive guys, Drama David, and introduced me to him right away. The other guy started talking to a cute girl wearing too much mascara (well, she was!), but I wasn't even looking to hook up, so that was fine with me. Besides, David and I hit it off right away.
Don't get me wrong, I had no intentions with Drama David beyond friendly chatter. The main reason was that Polly had a history with him. Everything is fine between them now, but I felt like I knew a little too much about him, so I was able to speak freely, because I wasn't trying to lure him in. I didn't give him the link, but I told him about having an anonymous blog, about some of the escapades I chronicled therein, and about how I tired of my floozy phase. Drama David commiserated, mentioned his own slutty phases, etc.
I have always had enormous (I mean Mount Rushmore-sized) reservations about getting involved with an actor, which was another reason why I found David to be "safe." I even told him about my trouble with men named David and he told me how a fortune teller predicted he would have multiple wives. We were Doomed-with-a-capital-D, right? Yet, we got on the topic of creative pursuits and bonded quite a bit.
Polly and I had a quick pow-wow mid-party and she gave me her blessing. What?
"Go for it," she said. "He's a great guy. It won't bother me at all."
What was she talking about? I was just enjoying some party banter, I wasn't, like starting anything with this guy. Silly Polly.
I talked to one or two other party guests, but it wasn't long before Drama David and I were sitting on the floor, caught up in another in-depth chat.
At one point, someone walked by and said,
"This must be the make-out room."
Excuse me? Was there any making out going on? I don't think so. Can't a girl and a guy sit on the floor and discuss Hitchcock without people making a thing of it? Jeez.
I was having a great time and kept exclaiming over the terrific music (I have never heard so much Nick Cave at a party in my life! It was wonderful). Yeah, well, and I was enjoying Drama David's company quite a bit, too. I could tell he was interested in me. I hadn't made up my mind about him, but it seemed like no matter how much I tried to resist it, we had a connection. I was able to be completely myself around him. Also, I made him laugh so hard, he actually fell over at one point. And he made some observations about me that were so astute, it was hard to believe this man only met me a few hours ago.
We were the last guests. Still sitting on the floor of a small side room, facing each other, talking and laughing. At one point, after a funny moment, I put my head on his shoulder and lingered. I tilted my head up, noses a few inches away, closer... we kissed.
It wasn't the drunken kisses I've become such a pro at these last few months. We both sobered up by then, so it was a clear-headed, hey-we're-having-a-moment-here kind of kiss.
Drama David was a great kisser! Soft, passionate, just the right amount of intensity.
"I could get used to this," he murmured when we came up for air.
What was going on here? I did not expect to kiss this man. But I was really enjoying it, so there was no reason to stop.
At around 4:00am we left the party. Like a proper gentleman, Drama David made sure I was safely in a taxi before heading home, but not before getting my phone number.
I am not going to detail all my reservations or what happened between David and Polly. There's no telling if he will even call, though I would see him again, despite the cacophony of warning bells going off. I'm moving away from my Film Felix fixation, though.
Kissing an attractive man in a small, candle-lit room, with moody Nick Cave music in the background will do that.