Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bar Z

"Do you think those two are straight?" I asked Willow.

"I don't know, I think they could be. They don't look like they're together that way."

Willow and I were in Bar Z, where she was flirting with one of the regulars who guest bartends on the weekends (let's call him Guest B). I was concerned my presence might verge into third wheel or cockblock territory, but Willow insisted I stay and hang out. After all, it was a three-day weekend for us, so drinking on a Sunday night felt a little more indulgent than usual.

"Guest B, how's your gaydar?" I asked.

"I have very good gaydar."

"Those two," I pointed to the end of the bar. One had strawberry blond hair and was drinking a martini; the other was wearing a striped shirt and drinking a beer. "What do you think?"

"I think they're straight. But I can find out for sure," he made a move like he was going to walk over there.

"Oh no you don't! I'll find out myself," I said, eyeing the stack of board games placed conveniently near the two attractive men whose sexual orientation we were trying to determine. "Let's play a board game."

"I'd be up for that," said Willow.

I went over and examined the boxes, chose VH1's I Love the 80s game.

"It can't just be the two of us; we need teams."

"We have to find a way to play this game," Willow was insistent, being a fan of both pop culture trivia and the decade in question.

"I think I'll be able to find us teams." I went back over to the other end of the bar and, nervous but bold as anything, asked the two guys if they'd be interested in playing the board game with us.


Introductions were made. Martini guy was Lawyer Luke and stripes and beer was Programmer Paul (friends, roommates, and very much straight). Neither was much of an expert on the 80s, so I decided to make the teams boy-girl. This meant I had to make a command decision about which guy I was more interested in. Programmer Paul and I seemed to have more of an instant flirtation happening, so I chose him for my teammate. Meanwhile, Willow left the game from time to time to smooch Guest B outside, which made me feel bad for Lawyer Luke.

The game was pretty close, but Paul and I pulled ahead. Guest B would come by once in a while to check our progress, put his paws on Willow, and show us just how much drunker than the rest of us he was.

Paul and I were up. Willow asked our question:

"Who posed as a high school student while writing the screenplay for Fast Times at Ridgemont High?"

Paul shook his head. "No idea."

I thought about it, "It's someone like John Hughes, but not John Hughes."

Willow shook her head.

"I feel like I know this one." I wracked the part of my brain that forgets birthdays to store trivia like this.

"You don't know. I'll give you... two hundred bucks if you get this right," Guest B chimed in.

"It's definitely not John Hughes, maybe Cameron Crowe."

Willow kept shaking her head.

"I know it's someone I'm familiar with. I'm going to guess Cameron Crow."

Willow smiled. "You're right. It's Cameron Crowe."

I high-fived Paul and turned to Guest B. "Looks like you owe me two hundred bucks."

Everyone agreed, and Willow showed him the card to verify I got the question right. He didn't say anything and went behind the bar for a bit.

We laughed it off and kept playing.

A few minutes later, Guest B returned and handed me a handful of twenties. I counted out a hundred dollars.

"This is what I could get."

I laughed in astonishment. "I think a hundred bucks is fair. Call it even." We shook hands.

The next round was on me.

Programmer Paul and I ended up winning the game. Willow and Guest B went off, and I left with the two guys, hoping they'd stick around long enough to make sure I got a taxi (it was around 3:30am at this point). Luke walked on ahead, but Paul stayed with me. The streets were totally empty and Paul recommended that I walk a few blocks over, where there were more cabs.

As we walked, we continued to chat, and put our arms around each others' waists. I was lightly buzzed, but far from drunk. A bit about Paul: he's my age, from the Midwest, hates sports (yay!) and gives good banter. Easygoing, friendly, flirty, but mildly so. Turns out he doesn't like the 80s much at all, so bonus points that he endured hours of the game (I suppose my sparkling company made it all worthwhile).

A few blocks later, still no taxis.

"Maybe I should call a car."

"You could do that. Or you could come over for a quick drink."


"I live just down the street."

How convenient that he led me in the direction of his apartment. He didn't press the issue, though. Left it up to me.

"One drink."

Luke was in his room when we got there, so we had the living room to ourselves.

I just need to pause the action to point out what a lovely apartment these guys had ("yes, we are straight," Paul confirmed, when I complimented their taste in decor).

"I feel like I'm in an actual grown-ups apartment. I'm so impressed," I said, as I glanced around: minimalist design, autumnal color scheme, soft lighting, and cleaner than my place is on its cleanest days.

Paul poured us some wine, and we settled on the plush (suede?) sofa. Between the delicious wine, the comfy seating, and Paul's laid back demeanor, I felt instantly at ease and happy that I came over.

He sat about a foot away from me and we talked. And talked. For hours. About our families, our experiences growing up, our thoughts on New York. He did not make a move and I knew I wouldn't mind it if things did not go beyond conversation, because I was enjoyed his company quite a bit.

Paul did sit a bit closer, though, and put an arm around me. He kissed me. Soft, then more intense. It was nice, then it was better than nice. We had the best kissing chemistry I've had since TV Tyler (and that was a year ago).

He invited me to stay over. I wasn't going to do it, hated the idea of doing the walk of shame in my miniskirt and boots, but it was nearly 6:00am and I was extremely sleepy. And I knew I didn't have to worry about Paul. I felt safe. He didn't run any stupid routines on me or act cocky or confident in a phony way; he was genuine, playful, nice--but in a good way, not a boring way.

I stayed for a bit, but left in the early afternoon. There was a point where I vaguely felt like I wanted to be in my own bed, but my need for escape wasn't as acute as it was on my birthday. This time, I was sober, very much aware of my decision, and very glad I stayed.

Naturally, considering the circumstances, I don't expect him to call. Still, it was a fun and surprising evening, and the perfect antidote for my recent dry spell.

Plus, I made $100! (um, I could see how that could be misconstrued...)


deb said...

Aww, yay! I seem to recall you having some serious electric vibes with TV Tyler, so that tells me you *really* enjoyed kissing Paul. :) Awesome.

(Long live children of the 80s!)

Anonymous said...

I knew it! "Up till 8am? Tell you later?" I wish I could do things like that. *sobs*

The best part is that you could have gone "wherever you wanted" with the evening but decided just to talk. That's serious power and control of your life! Why is life so good for Miss Dolly? Maybe I'll never know...

So is your depression gone now?

Anonymous said...

Oh wait, I must have skipped over the "bed" and "dry spell" part. (I'm used to you going into more detail.) Nevermind. Still, good for you.

CoatMan said...

That is very sweet. It'd be sad if he didn't call, really - there was something refreshingly genuine about that encounter.

And good for you liking men who aren't into sports! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wooohooo! I am always so shy about approaching strangers, but it looks like it totally paid off!

Doc Love said...

You don't expect him to call? Why not?

coasta said...

Loved this line:

"...and gives good banter."

I'm stealing it.

Dolly said...

Wow, you have a good memory!

My depression was gone before Sunday, but thank you for asking.

It won't be sad if he doesn't call, it'll be...unsurprising. I'm guessing you're not much of a fan of sports, either? If only you didn't live across the pond...

Sandra Dee,
I still get shy around strangers, but it's nights like these that make it worthwhile (much as I still prefer the guy to make the first move).

Doc Love,
I don't expect him to call because we met in a bar and things got physical very quickly, which has the ring of a one night stand. Of course, I've been in situations where the guy did call after, but it's safer not to expect it.

Steal away. Soon all the crazy kids will be saying it.

CoatMan said...

Dolly: Why unsurprising if he didn't call? If I'd have got on with somebody as attractive as you probably are as well as he got on with you, then I'd definitely have called. Is there some special New York protocol that forbids calling in the circumstances that you outlined? That whole thing seemed like the sweetest first date-ette that I've heard about for a long time.

And I definitely don't like sports - I really don't see the point in them. Sports, I find, tend to be a load of old balls (and groups of ostensibly sane grown men chasing around fields after said balls).

Anonymous said...


"...depression was gone before Sunday..."?

If your depression was just "gone" by Sunday, you probably weren't really depressed. Bad things happen all the time to many people, even you, evidently. But that's not depression. It's something you have to fight with your entire life. And I find it mildly irritating that you think it just goes away with diet, exercise, or whatever.

I have to fight it tooth and nail (and far more aggressively recently) every day. I'm finally getting some help now. But even when treatment, I know that it never really goes away, ever.

Anonymous said...

Coatman, I dunno if it's a New York thing, but for every "I married my hookup!" story you hear, there are about 85 other people who made out with (or yadda yaddaed) a guy on a first date or date-ette and never heard from him again. Is it a tweaky cat thing? A madonna-whore thing? I dunno.

smoothlatinkid said...

"for every "I married my hookup!" story you hear, there are about 85 other people who made out with (or yadda yaddaed) a guy on a first date or date-ette and never heard from him again. Is it a tweaky cat thing? A madonna-whore thing? I dunno."

Sadly, this is the result of faulty, antiquated thinking.

Certain circles of us call sleeping with a woman too quickly FOOL'S MATE. The man gets it quick, and the woman either regrets it or goes into it knowing its one night only.

Doesn't have to be that way.

If I dig a woman, it matters little to me when we sleep together---first night, third date, whenever. I will still call.

Now if I only wanted to sleep with her, it doesn't matter how long she made me wait, I'm not necessarily going to like her more now because we've waited.

A great female friend debated this one time. I said, in the words of Andre 3000, a girl that goes for it the first night just tells me that she knows what she wants out of life.

HER: But don't you think, if she sleeps with you on the first night, that she's a slut?

ME: I attribute her sleeping with me quickly more to my skill and her maturity than to her being a slut.


Any man that disqualifies a woman based on when she decides to sleep with him is oper

Anonymous said...

programmers are a++++++
though i think i am a geek groupie at heart...

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