"Hi!" he sort of shouted, "I don't know if you're seeing anyone, and I know this is kind of weird, but -"
I walked closer to him so that Ophelia would not call the cops.
"I live down the street and we leave for work at the same time every morning. I always see you and...I just wondered if you'd like to go for coffee some time. Nice Pixies poster."
I turned and looked at my poster through the wide open windows and all the blazing lights I doll the house up in to counteract Ophelia's constantly inky black half. I asked him his name (Chris) and where he worked (Redbox) and told him I'd shake his hand if mine weren't all wet from the hose. He said that was okay, and that his were wet too from being so nervous. I smiled widely despite myself and walked back into the house to tear a piece of paper from a journal for us to exchange numbers on. We planned to meet at a coffee shop around the corner the next evening and said our goodbyes. I shut off the hose and wound it back onto its wheel, still smiling.
He'd offered to pick me up, but in the interest of not having local joggers find my skeletonized remains along the American River this winter, I said I'd meet him there. As I waited in the coffee shop amongst all the hipsters with their laptops, I wished I had a Quaalude to chew on. Something to make me not want to puke the mashed potatoes I'd eaten earlier up through my nose. But when he walked in and grinned at me, I began to feel at ease. Even more than I felt at ease, I felt excited. I felt happy. He was cute. He was funny. He was smart and he was cute. I can't tell you the last time I wasn't physically repulsed by my date. We sat outside for two hours with the coffee he bought and talked about how all our friends were getting married, getting pregnant, and buying houses, and how we weren't. We had both worked at record stores in the past, and had similar tastes in movies and music.
As we stood outside our cars in the parking lot towards the end, he said we'd have to get together soon and watch the only cheesy 80's movie it seemed we both hadn't seen. But "soon" has turned into the opposite of that. As the days trail by, I can't help but wonder what the fuck. I wasn't even performing any outreach here, and I'm still hurt. Near as I can figure, it was an off-the-cuff remark I made about Tom Waits being irritating when he brought him up. I saw a subtle look of horror cross his face at the time, but didn't realize I'd dug my own grave.
Oh well. No hope, no harm. Just another false alarm.