green eyes

On Saturday night, I went with some friends to a bar just down the street from where I live. There was nothing remarkable about the evening, except for this: I met a guy.

Note that I said "guy", not "boy", because I suffer from a case of arrested development, and I still think it's cute to refer to potential romantic interests as "boys" rather than "guys" or even "men." Maybe subconsciously I believe that this infantilizing language choice will somehow keep me from growing up, too. A woman girl can dream.

So know that I've already slipped you a clue as to how this encounter panned out, in saying "guy". Because, to me anyway, a guy is just a guy is just a guy.

A guy I know is having a party...

Some guy at the store cut in line...

I met a guy on Saturday... 

I met a guy on Saturday. I wasn't planning on it. I didn't even want to. I was happy just to be out with my friends, enjoying a salty dog, people watching, and roasting my back sitting much too close to a rooftop fireplace. But one of those friends was needling me a little bit about the lack of OMGmenz in my life of late, and pushing me out of the proverbial bar nest. Like, Wait, wut? It's been how long since you've had sex? Ok, you need to put that drink down right now and go have some fun. 

Actually, he didn't tell me to put the drink down, because hello. No friend of mine would encourage such drastically unnecessary measures. But he did prod me with some kind and encouraging and hilariously locker-roomesque things like, Come on! Look at you. You could pull down anything here that you wanted. 

Pull down, he said. LOL. Is that how guys talk to one another? Good grief.

Well, whether it was Coach's whistle in my ear or the two doubles I'd had - or the fact that I required the fingers of both hands to do the math in order to answer his question - I decided to do as advised, and to go have some fun.

I touched up my lipgloss, adjusted mes bretelles, and toasted my wingman before setting off on my quest.

Actually, I don't remember if I did any of that. I was pretty drunk. There's a very good chance I didn't even think of the lipgloss or of straightening my clothes, and just wordlessly stumbled off in search man-meat with my shirt blousing sloppily out of my skirt. But let's give me the benefit of the doubt and assume I was more on the hot side of hot mess. Can we do that?

Here's what I do remember: making a lap around the bar that culminated in some pretty hot eye contact with a guy on the dance floor. Naturally you'll want to know what he looked like. Well, you're in luck!  Because I remember that, as well. At first glance, I put him at 6'2", but that's only because I was wearing my 4.5 inch Dianne Von Thirstybird wedge heels, and he seemed taller than me in those. I'd find out later he's only about 6'.

His height is not important.

What is important was his suit, which was well cut and fit his athletic build beautifully, his startling green eyes, and his spectacles, all of which, taken in sum, combined to give him an air of...oh, fuck it: he looked like he was in the industry (by which, for any non-Angeleno readers, I mean the film industry).

Ok well now I've just gone and bullied my memory again, because the fact is that I wouldn't know his eyes were green until the next morning.

OH NO SHE DI'INT.

Oh yes, she did.

But back to the scene. Green Eyes was standing with some impossibly massive, jovial-looking man, also in a suit, who looked like a cross between John Goodman and Harvey Fierstein. I walked close by them, tall highball in hand, and the three of us sort of took one another in, in the way that happens in drinking establishments populated by spiffed-up persons holding cocktails, looking to attract other spiffed-up cocktail holders for conversation and whatever else unfolds.

I should disclose that I didn't walk close by out of any desire to be seen as "bold" or whatever, but because I am fucking blind and have to, in order to make out someone's features.

This drive-by complete, I returned to the table where my friend sat anxiously awaiting my report, the enthusiasm of which would suggest I'd forgotten my earlier counting exercise: "Ummm, I dunno. There's a kinda cute guy over there, I guess. I think he was checking me out, too. Whatever. Let's get some shots." My ambivalence notwithstanding, I nevertheless glanced over to the dance floor to see whether my trajectory had been tracked by a certain pair of green eyes. It had. And they were on me still.

Cut to five minutes later, when those same eyes (and their friend) have strategically placed themselves behind the sofa where my coach/wingman sits, in clear and obviously intentional view of moi truly. It having been quite some time since a man in a bar anywhere had looked so directly at your blogmistress, she continued to sip her drink demurely for all of five seconds before deciding to take the bait. My friend, having missed this exchange of body language, looked up in surprise as I bounded off the chaise where I sat, mumbled something about being right back, and went to join the strange men standing behind him.

We introduced ourselves to one another, and he, his friend to me. (I immediately forgot both of their names.) His friend discreetly stepped away in pursuit of beverages, allowing us to talk. So we talked, getting each other's vitals, flirting, one-upping one another as the conversation allowed. He was very smart, sharp-witted, and intense. I really, really liked the way he looked at me, and rarely away.

After a little while, he made to leave. Something about a driver and needing to get back to the beach where he and John Fierstein room together. He asked for my number. I took his phone and texted myself: OMG you are sooooooo sexy. Love the suspenders! We said goodbye and I returned to my friends, confident enough in the chemistry I'd just felt to believe I'd hear from him again. And forty minutes later, I did.

- Great meeting you tonight.

- Likewise. And I'll just get this embarrassment out of the way right now...I forgot your name. (I'm Ellie.)

- Aaron.

- A most excellent name. Don't take my forgetfulness as anything other than just that.

- I won't. So when do I get to do this again?

- I'd venture a guess that my schedule is more flexible than yours, so you tell me.

- Now.

(!!)

- You left for the coast, no? Your "driver", etc?

- We're downstairs. We got stuck in the ping pong area.

- You mean Spin? On the mezzanine?

- Yes.

I glanced at my friends. One of them was deep in conversation with a girl. The other one was staring at the fire in a daze, clearly hammered.

- I'm coming. 

- Lobby. 1st floor.

- I'll be right there.

I bid my friends goodbye, grabbed my bag, and rode an elevator and then an escalator down to the lobby, where Aaron and his roommate were sitting on a low couch. They stood when they saw me.

Aaron smiled invitingly. "Wanna come out to the beach?" he asked.

I blinked. "Now?"

"Right now," he said. "We can bring your dog."

"My dog?" I echoed dumbly, pointlessly. I'd already made up my mind. His offer to include Chaucer in the evening had sealed the deal.

"Yeah, he can ride in the back. We've got a big place with plenty of room for him. He'd be ok there, right?"

I considered my words - and composed my face - carefully. "You mean, like...overnight?"

He held my gaze, refusing to flinch at the directness of the unspoken. "Do you need to be somewhere in the morning?"

I laughed and turned to his roommate, whose name I would shortly re-learn as Avi. "It's your house, too. Are you ok with a 140 lb dog crashing the party?" Avi was ok with it.

"Ok then," I said, shrugging. "Why not."

Fast-forward through me deciding Chaucer would do better staying home alone, than pacing around, all stressed out, in a strange place. FF>> through me obtaining a promise I'd be back by noon. FF>> through Aaron returning briefly to my building with me, to walk Chaucer. FF>> through the three of us riding to their house in Hermosa Beach, driven by an Eastern European man named Jack, or possibly Jacques. FF>> to us not getting to a liquor store in time to get wine to accompany the from-scratch pizza Avi wanted to make.

The next hour consisted of, among other things, the following: Avi preparing the aforementioned pizza (spinach, hot peppers, four cheeses) while Aaron and I sat on the couch and I read a copy of an article he'd written, which had been published in the Wall Street Journal. Avi bringing us the finished pizza (on a pizza board) and the three of us talking about music, festivals (Aaron is going to Coachella as well), and local politics. Me asking permission to take one of Avi's boxer turtles out of the tank to play with it. Me being granted permission and then accidentally dropping said turtle (whose name was Samantha) from standing height, onto the carpet, on her back, because her little nails scratched me and it startled me. Me apologizing profusely to Avi (and to Samantha), and then crawling around on the carpet for ten minutes behind her, excited as a kid, while she explored/fled my clutches.

Eventually, Aaron and I retired to his room, where we passed the next few hours getting to know one another more, and in a different way. The promise of his athletic body was kept, and when I said as much, he explained simply, truthfully, and with no small touch of ego: "Crossfit."

One more moment I'll share, before drawing the curtain: Him murmuring in the dark, after our first kiss, as he pulled me closer: "Did you think the chemistry would be this good?" and me not answering, because it wasn't necessary to.

And though I enjoyed myself, and though it felt good to be touched again after so long, I did not fall for this Green Eyed Guy, this writer of scholarly articles, this man with the pizza-making, turtle-having roommate, who lives heartbreakingly close to the beach, and who drove me home, back to my tiny apartment, at seven the next morning, where an oversized and slobbery-sweet dog-child greeted me with sniffs and wags, and more excitement and enthusiasm than my arrival anywhere merits.

Because it was clear after a few more hours of talking that he and I don't have as much in common as we first thought, and we may in fact have mildly clashing personalities.

So I did not fall for them - nor will I, I expect - but I may see those green eyes again, anyway.