I slid into the metal patio chair in front of one of Houston’s hipster coffee shops, and paused. My eyes met a pair of steely blue ones behind wire-rimmed glasses. He took off his glasses and regarded me carefully for a moment. In a low voice he said:
“You’re… much hotter than your photos.”
I gazed back at him. “You too.” I answered, unable to keep from smirking.
He raised an eyebrow. “I thought my photos were pretty good.”
“They are.” I grinned.
Our eyes met again, and I felt a rare kind of electricity in the air, as well as a raw animal desire to push him up against the nearest tree immediately. He was muscled, chiseled, a real Texas guy with wavy blonde hair and a slight twang. His t-shirt hugged his body closely and an intricate black tattoo wrapped around one forearm and bicep. I imagined him in the AIr Force uniform he’d worn until recently. I imagined him with his twin brother. He writes erotica with his brother now. Our date was last night. (I’ll call this guy A)
But I’d been to that coffee shop the night before with a different guy (I’ll call him B). The electricity wasn’t there, but the first guy, a published author and professional writer, had the personality and the life elements that work better for me. A is a loose cannon- I’m an academic, and A dropped out of college because he feels like academia is the highest form of bullshit in the world. His rants sound like the rants of my worst former students, who blamed their lack of discipline on my assignments. I am an academic snob even among academics. I value credentials, intellectual capital, critical theory name dropping, and I don’t think I even want to get over it. A and I (probably) have no future. And B and I? We don’t necessarily have the right chemistry, but I’m giving that one time.
Meanwhile there’s C, for whom I am a booty call. He’s also really, really hot. Objectively speaking, he’s a pretty phenomenal guy to have a friends with benefits situation with. But he’s passive, quiet, calm. He doesn’t like to talk much, about anything of substance. Our conversations are light, fluffy, and boring. I like sexing him up, and he’s endlessly kind. But the first thing he said to me when we met was that he didn’t want a commitment. And the tenth or so was a daring proposition for attachment-free sex whenever either of us wanted it. I said yes. From the moment I saw him I had wanted to see him with his shirt off, to slowly take in those muscular arms with their full tattoo sleeves. He’s half-Japanese and half French-Canadian, always dressed impeccably and with a beautiful apartment. He has no interest in spending time with me outside of our (admittedly hot) sexual escapades… and yet he surprised me with flowers, cake, and presents on my birthday. He’s hard to hang out with though, as he has to be up early for his job and has been known to go to bed as early as 8pm.
There’s still T, in Japan as well. And E, another guy who comes and goes from my life. I feel as though my life has become about scheduling men around one another, keeping them all happy, and losing myself in the process. I think in writing this I just had to concede that while I think losing one of them would be bad (I am still trying to feel them all out, to see if there’s potential there that I’m missing), the only one I really want to let play out is B. And even then just a little bit. Even though I know A and C are just kinda “my hoes”, it takes effort to juggle booty-calls. It does. My introverted self doesn’t like having so many plans all the time either.
As I was typing this, A just texted me “You’re hot, true, but what turned my head was how smart you are, and how easily and comfortably our conversation flowed. I wasn’t expecting that.”
He’s also a professional masseuse.
He’s coming over on Saturday. He just sent me one of his erotica pieces and…well, I’ve read a lot of erotica. I even interned at an erotica publishing house in college. The way this guy writes to me makes my arms go limp and my head get all foggy. Have you ever tried flirting with someone who writes erotica professionally? It’s… intense.
I don’t know when I turned back into my 19 year old self. I’m even down to that weight (and income level- thanks, grad school). My attention flicks between people like sun through the trees. I am basking in the erotic tension. But I also hope that I can find someone who gives me the brain-sparkles AND matches my yuppie intellectual lifestyle.
In the meantime, I’ve given myself something new to stress over. And I’ve got to stop letting this interfere with my work. Less texting the harem, more reading for my dissertation.
(Good lord, I won’t tell you what A just texted me. I may fall down now.)