We had dinner together two nights ago. It was the first time meeting you in person, after knowing you for a year. We coped with the 2020 election by constantly sexting BDSM fantasies to each other.
No one’s words have ever revved me up into such a constant state. You made me remember a dark and gorgeous part of myself that I had been pushing down out of fear. You made me start to feel proud of that part.
I still reread those sexts. But we don’t do that anymore. I was afraid you would disappear. But now we have known each other for far longer than we did all that.
For months I’ve been picking up all the wild feelings that were stirred up. One of which was wondering if I was in love with you. But anyway you don’t really know any of this. We’re just friends. This was a friend dinner.
You wrote a theater piece, and last week I went to it. It wasn’t actually in a theater – it was in a giant indoor space. I wore headphones and wandered around, listening to monologues from characters in an empty living room. Or a very well-lit kitchen. Or a perfectly staged New York City apartment. There was an inevitable “March 2020 in New York” scene that gave me PTSD. There was a first date scene you wrote where both people were going through the motions like robots. You’re not that way at all but they were your words.
Dinner was your way of thanking me for going to the show. I suggested a very basic coffeeshop and you countered with a really cute Mediterranean restaurant that had *delicious* food and outdoor tables.
I’ve had an image of you in my head for a year (built on videos and images and audio notes) and you turned out to fit that image perfectly. I couldn’t believe you were just sitting there. You were nervous and I was pretending not to be.
I have to admit. At dinner, there weren’t any heavy heart-poundy dramatic moments. Mostly we were just keeping a conversation going. About theater and writing and other nerdy things. You are brilliant (I already knew that) and you talked really fast. You have a kind smile and you are just magical.
That night was a full moon and something insane happened. A man with slick hair and a trench coat teleported out of the 1980’s and approached our table. He said there was a man nearby who wanted directions to a place but was afraid to ask because he was Black. There was indeed a Black man standing nearby and he looked mortified.
Trench coat man was white. And drunk. And extremely angry when we didn’t know where that place was. He slurred something about calling the cops. He said a bunch of other things to try and scare us. I looked at the other man and said, again, we don’t know where that place is. He rushed up to the drunk trench coat man, “come *on* man leave them alone!” And then both of them parted ways and completely disappeared.
“Welcome to Manhattan,” I told you.
So that is a thing that happened. On a full moon I finally meet you and crazy shit happens. Sounds about right.
The next day you texted about a weird dream where you were breathing with your mouth open and Taylor Swift was turned off by it. Somehow in my head, I made that about me.
I don’t know what the hell any of this means or what I’m doing. But I care about you and love that you are in my life.