Last night, I went out on a date with a boy I met at the bike shop. He picked me up and took me to a fancy Nepali restaurant and as we began to eat, he informed me that he is eight years older than me, that he is working in the bike shop as community service after being arrested for a DWI and that his friends went out to buy crack in Chicago last night. Yes, really. He also informed me of his deep, passionate love for barbequed meat, SUV’s, and illicit drugs.
He is very nice.
After dinner, he invited me back to his place to watch I Heart Huckabees and because he’d just paid for dinner, I felt obliged to say yes.
Here is some advice for life: Never, ever feel obliged to go back to a boy’s house with him just because he paid for dinner. Ever.
It’s funny that the advice I give my friends is not the advice that I take myself and it is also funny that whenever I do stupid things, I always think to myself later “Well at least I’ve learned a lesson now.” Except that I never learn a lesson and I always make the same mistakes.
We went to a little independent video rental store where he was very rude to the employees because he had a twelve dollar late fee and informed them repeatedly how much he prefers shopping at Blockbuster. Um, wow. First of all: gross. Second of all: awkward.
So now he’s paid a late fee that he wasn’t intending to pay and he’s rented a movie on my behalf and paid for dinner and picked me up in his
car (pickup truck???) and now doesn’t seem like a good time to suggest that I head home.
So we go back to his place and it’s very nice and he owns a very nice pit bull and a very nice Miller Lite neon sign and we watch this movie except only sort of because, even after all of that, I still make out with him for some inexplicable reason. He is a lot older than me and a lot bigger than me and I have never had to put my foot down quite that aggressively before and I still didn’t put it down quite soon enough but that’s alright.
So he left empty-handed and I left with a queasy stomach and a half-guilty conscience and at one point I escaped to the bathroom and said “I’ll be right back” and he said “I sure hope so” in this borderline creepy way and then he slapped my ass. It was a playful slap and it wasn’t hard but it turned my stomach. I locked the door and splashed cold water on my face and stared in the mirror for a long time and thought to myself you are so naive, you are so naive.
I really, really am.
So he dropped me off at home but didn’t let me sneak out without a kiss like Adam always does and he asked if he could see me the next night and I told him that I had plans to take my pet rock for a walk. Actually, I didn’t say that; I said “maybe” but I meant “no.”
When I got home, my apartment was dark and silent except for the heavy ticking of the kitchen clock and I didn’t turn on the lights but I gathered up all of the flowers and took them to my room because I thought I needed something beautiful close to me.
Today I woke up early and rode my bike to the co-op and I walked to the library. There was a long line waiting for the library to open.
We were all crowded and cramped in the lobby and a homeless woman told me that she liked my Chinatown slippers. An old man said “At least you won’t get ingrown toenails with those shoes,” and I agreed that this was probably true. “When I was a farmer up in Saskatchewan, I got them all the time,” he went on and proceeded to describe this to me, in detail. A little Spanish boy was making choo-choo train sounds and walking in little circles around me and I wasn’t sure how to handle this so I just smiled at him.
I now have a library card.
Now I’m sitting in a coffee shop on State Street and this boy next to me is reading a book called How Proust Can Change Your Life and oh, you know.