Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Blues for Brother— hm ...

Dahlings, the good news is blogs like this only happen once every month or two. The bad news is, this is some blue blogging for sure. Fiona Apple on the stereo, and I haven’t dug out this CD since the oft-depressed days of grad school, wherein I was still getting over the desolation of liking the Married Man. In fact, I might just run by you the short story I wrote during recovery.

What brought this funk on, I’m not quite sure; perhaps twas the bad news ’bout that unofficial first love in my life, this here laptop. Apparently it is well nigh sick and abused, a veritable dinosaur on the blogging scene. Shouldn’t even have this OS, I’m told — a diagnosis we take as akin to learning we were given a degree not properly earned (hey, truth or not, it still stings, sniff, sniff). What’s more, that business of program multi-tasking I frequently subject my little white workhorse to is not the stuff it’s up to. Allegedly. Straining “virtual memory,” I’m told. But ... virtual things ... isn’t that like virtual reality? Everybody knows that’s fake. How can my computer’s fake memory be so taxed? Why would that make a difference?!! (shakes hands in air tremulously)

wherefore, these blues?
Anyway, it’s all too depressing for me to contemplate — especially the price tag for patching up my baby — so instead I’ll move on to other possible causes for my blues.* One could be that I finally deleted the Winner’s contact details from my Yahoo address book today. But that wasn’t really a cause for depression; it was more a sign of victory that prayers earlier this summer — asking God to help me get over him — were answered promptly and in a rather unexpected fashion.

Another could be that Geriatric Gent still hasn’t rung me up, though Saturday night he did and — when I returned his call — promised in dotty British accent, “Sweetie, I’ll give you a ring on Monday.” But I don’t really care about that. I even put the “Groovey Geezer” CD back in its case, on the shelf. (Whew! This whiskey-laden toddy is warming me up .... but where was I? Oh yes. The blues.)

Perhaps, then, it’s tonight’s unexpected run-in with the Hapless Hesitator. You see, instead of meeting to talk about the Bible as we usually do, tonight my Brooklyn home fellowship group (HFG) took in a smoothish jazz concert** offered by one of our church’s worship bands. I had thought perhaps this would draw the presence of a certain shortish-but-very-intriguing bass player who’s a Jazz Musician for Jesus, With a Past. He’s probably a wee bit shorter than Wedding Date, but much recovered in fitness from his pre-Jesus, drug-addiction days (or so he indicated in the testimony*** I once heard him give homeless men at a Salvation Army shelter). And since, like many city musicians, he constantly shleps his instrument up and down the subway stairs, he’s buff in this hot, compact way that could inspire a lass to give up heels for good.

He dresses well, too. Sunday night he had this almost-auburn jacket on with quasi-hipster lines but which was better than such threads since it seemed like something he wore thoughtlessly and not as a concerted effort to project specific taste and style. Finally, he has glasses that give him this quasi-Superman hotness — but not like I actually find (or found) Superman hot; more in the sense of hotness that cloaks those nerdy guys who also stay in shape. (Anna fans self dramatically.)

The mood improves
Hmmmm. I’m feeling a little better. But not because I saw the hot Jazz Bassist for Jesus. I didn’t. Because he didn’t show. But H.H. did. And once he spotted me in the small crowd afterward, he was determined to have a chat. Came right up and greeted me, while I was talking with my friends. Turns out he’s finally been made permanent at his job, so I reckon he’s feeling a bit more confident in himself.**** Sad news for him then, no doubt, when I mentioned (while replying re: my job sitch) that I was waiting to hear on a job out in California. Although — to his benefit — things could just as easily fall through, leaving me to cry myself to snuffles on the shoulders of men like him or Jazz Bassist for Jesus (considerably less likely in the latter case; we never seem to know what to talk about, and when I raved to him about Oscar Brown Jr.’s “Brother, Where Are You?” — attempting to speak his own language — he drew a decided blank).

Some perspective
People surrounding this blog sometimes tell me I’m too hard on the men who figure here. Indeed Blogfather even confesses to “having philosophical issues” with Sexless (though he’s big enough to promote me nonetheless). But I try to be decent, I do. And I was not the one who ruled Hapless Hesitator out on the basis of looks. I managed to focus on the blondness rather than the, er, thinness of his hair; it was up to Sis to declare him getting-on-to-middle-age, poor chap. You see, this was yet another instance of trying. And more concertedly than with Whipster, even.

But the real death knell, I fear, was dealt on a most unfortunate double date, oddly timed for Sept. 11, 2003. Guy Friend #1 and a certain redhead dynamo were our pair, on an evening when we boldly ventured out to swing dance. Hapless Hesitator had asserted his knowledge thereof and willingness to dance. So I most eagerly took him up on this offer. Unfortunately, when the night arrived, he proved less capable than he’d boasted and soon resorted to trying to pick the guys best suited to dance with me, even voicing the thought he might go up and ask them for me (Anna covers face with hands). But maybe this had something to do with a general case of nerves. Which he had bad.

In fact, I’ve never really seen this before — either because I’m always the one who’s being rejected (or likely to be), or because the men who ask me out have a certain confidence driven by their unabashed search for sex (Christian men being more reticent in this are also therefore much more tentative). But nerves Hapless Hesitator had. He must have asked me certain questions (like how my day was) three or four times alone. I, being the candid sort I am, probably didn’t handle all subsequent askings with the gracious amnesia tact required.

As for the real nail ...
And then there was the breath. It wasn’t terrible — and I don’t even have that keen a beak on me — but it was definitely not conducive, shall we say, to the encouragement of romantic feelings. So at one point when we took a break from dancing, I cleverly reached into my purse and drew out a pack of gum. Ostensibly it was for myself, of course, but what polite and considerate friend would fail to offer some to her companion? Here was the most-tactful, most-subtle way I could imagine to resolve the situation and save him face. Indeed, I was silently congratulating myself on the genius of the maneuver.

“Hey, you want a piece of gum?” I offered, pulling out a stick for myself with great ceremony.

“Oh, that’s OK, thanks. I don’t need it.” Oh, yes you do! I thought. It was all I could do not to bury my face in my hands at that point.

I must have communicated disappointment of some sort, because the evening never improved from there. In fact, another hot-but-shortish number I’d previously met — and danced with there — managed to make an appearance and whisk me away for more than one rather-intimate and very flirtatious dance, pulling me tighter as we were hidden from view by columns. Poor Hapless probably didn’t even notice, while the prospect of competition only fueled Dashing Dancer’s wayward ardor.

At least we were not alone in our plight. Guy Friend #1 was also bumbling his way across the dance floor, trying to muster the bedroom eyes Best Friend and I mercilessly tease him for not having ... in attempts to woo and wow the dynamo. No luck. I’m sure the fact that one Sunday later, Best Friend, Sis and I crashed a date of his with the dynamo, looking our best cleavage-flaunting, hoochified selves (Frasier and Wedding Date have seen the photos, and can vouch for this) ... had nothing to do with the short-lived status of Guy Friend’s wooing of the redhead.

And that's all, folks ...
Well, I’ve probably done a terrible thing just now and somehow cheered myself up with thoughts of others whose plight is none the envy of me ... but I seem to be somewhat closer to my usual chipper self. Nothing finishing off this toddy won’t hasten to assist ...

Ta for the night, dahlings. More on Macy and the lock-in in the morning. Well, you know — the mid-morning. Perhaps the West Coast morning. But the morning somewhere. I promise.

*A genre not, ironically, present in my stereo at all just now. back
**In that it featured songs by David Sanborn, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and some others — J.C. and M.D. accounting for the "ish" part of smoothish. Sanborn, at least on the one CD I have, verges slightly more to the Kenny G/Pat Methany spectrum of things. Enh. back
***As used in Christian terms, the (often-dramatic) story of how Jesus brought you to your knees before him, rejecting pride and self-dependence in trade for salvation. back
****At the time when we were still sorting out ambiguous boy-girl feelings, he once said something about not feeling very settled in his life since he was transitioning from grad school and performance to full-time work (he hoped) in management. back