8. fish: pessimism & parking lots.

So here we were, fish had bailed on our “morning after” breakfast which had scooted my foot a little more out of the proverbial door. I’ve wondered since if fish suggested the follow-up more casual (and decidedly sober) park walk as a sort of olive branch, but I can’t be certain. At any rate – we we’re sort of flopping around our intentions and I wasn’t convinced he took me seriously, and after three months of doing whatever it was that we we’re doing – I’d lost emotional steam, so to speak, it just felt like it was falling flat with fish. And with one foot out the door, my effort and interest was taking a nosedive.

A quote about my dating life from my middle sister:

Honestly, a guy has to work so hard before you even give them a chance. You never believe anyone is interested in you. What do they have to do? – Labella

She’s not wrong. Because of the relationship with my ex, and my penchant for being most attracted to men who show the bare minimum interest in me, I take precautions to the extreme, too extreme; I pull the rip cord, hit the emergency eject button or I run away at the first sniff of apathy. I’ve concluded in these past few months that I’m still just not ready to really be dating. It’s not just meeting the wrong guys, which I think I have; but I’m also convinced I’d probably screw it up with the right one too.

Shortly after our park date, during a text conversation, the tone I was picking up was just “smh” from fish. And I get it, I feel it too from time to time, and I started to overthink it, and thus you’ll see me reaching around blindly for that aforementioned rip cord:

Me: Sometimes your aloofness reads as disinterest.
Fish: Dunno where you get that from
Me: Me neither just a vibe
Fish: Shove ur vibe up your @$$
Me: Will do! You want me to leave you alone?
Fish: No all is fine and good
Me: Dude I honestly can’t tell.
Fish: Gee what do u want me to do
Me: I got nothing
Fish: U can be worried if I stop talking to you, dunno what ur worried about now
Me: I’m not worried. I just don’t know you well enough to know your humour.
Fish: Well if i didnt like u i wouldn’t have went on a walk.

The next day he texted me again after playing volleyball, complaining of an injury and tensor bandage. As he texted me, I was busy gossiping over tea with my mother, who you may remember has known fish since he was a tween. I read these messages out to her as I sent and received them and she was beside herself in the absurdity of reality and more importantly, she was totally goading me that I had to go:

Fish: … im holding down the parents fort while theyre away tn. so if u wanna check it out come on by haha. im just eating a box of kraft dinner watching bucket list.
Me: lol are you asking me to come to your parents house?
Fish: Could haha. Just me atm but [baby brother] should be back in a hour or something.
Me: Tempting. Leave before he gets back?
Fish: U wouldnt hafta no. I was just stating hes gone.
Me: Hm. You’ve peaked my interest.
Fish: Just wondering what shell do.
Me: [Baby brother] tells [Dad] that Fish had Mimi over here while he was gone? Funny. I’d do it if you wanted me to.
Fish: I do! Could possible be weird though. I dunno. I wanna see u soon again. Maybe hafta waiter out.

Fish soon thereafter left town for a concert/festival not far out of town – it’s a big binge drinking affair so I wasn’t surprised I got a few drunk texts calling me babe. I ended up golfing over the weekend and then heading to take in the sights and a few concerts at the CNE in Toronto with my daughter and friends. But we set our next date, going to the movies to see Happytime Murders, for the week I returned from the cottage. I went out and picked up some happy sativa weed called Strawberry Cough for us and rolled a joint.

What comes to mind as I look back on this time frame is that this is when eight begins to watch my social media, and in short order, reached out to me after our “hiatus” of sorts. Sad isn’t it? That after all this time – and in the midst of reflecting on fish – there’s eight – clouding the issue. Here’s a snippet from the eight blogs from this time-frame:

[Eight] asks me what I’m up to and I tell him I’m getting ready to go to the movies. The truth was I was going to the movies with … fish that night. – from Eight #3

So after a week at the cottage, sometimes spent exchanging long emails with another guy I call the professor, I returned home a little freckled and in summer spirits just in time for our marijuana movie night. We left the specifics to the last minute as usual – which resulted in me ordering the tickets on my phone as I drove to meet him at the theater – my treat I guess huh fish? We parked near the back row, and smoked a joint I had rolled while sitting on the sidewalk/curb. He coughed his guts out, which I found surprising given the amount of cigarettes he smokes, then headed inside to grab our seats. Before the movie started I watched as he became agitated and visibly paranoid. He rubbed his hands together in a bewildered state, unable to sit still in his seat. The movie is perverse and hilarious – I highly recommend it (punny) and afterwards we got back to our cars and fish still looked sort of off. I didn’t want him to drive but he wouldn’t accept a ride so I told him to sit and chat with me. We sat on the curb but he didn’t have much to say – I sort of felt like I was recapping the movie unnecessarily and interviewing him. We looked at each other silently a while before he chimed in with “Do you want to make-out in the car?” Spoiler alert: I did not really want to make out, and yet it seemed as good as any way to pass the time while I made sure he was clear to drive. We climbed in the backseat of my hatchback, but make out we did not. We had sex, pretty much immediately. It was, despite not really being that thrilled by it, really fun in retrospect, and at the very least, juicy fodder for the blog. While we romped in my tinted back seat, other couples came and went to their parked vehicles nearby which caused us to laugh several times. When we were finished I climbed back out of the car, he seemed himself again. As the date came to an obvious end, I pulled one of my more awkward stunts:

I high-fived him, said “thanks for the sex”, got in my car, and then drove away.

Over the next few days fish checks in, lazily. He’s either sore from a sport, or work accident, or hungover, or doing laundry. Timeline wise for these stories/blogs were in the last week of August now – which you’ll remember means a guy I called eight and I are a few nights away from a blackout birthday boink. Let’s end on how fish, a guy I’d been talking to for three months at this point, wished me well on my 32nd year: he texted me “happy bday” a day late because he’d been so drunk on the day of.

Bless this fish – he tries – sort of.

In the next blog I’ll tell you a quick little tale that takes place in at the end of September that I call the “tuck-in” and about another faux-pas the morning after I found a fish at a beer festival downtown. Until next time dear readers – stay floppy.

charter

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7. fish: a puppy & a park.

On a Saturday night in early August, I made a choice. I guy I call Gosling texted me “I need you” at the same time Fish was asking me to pick him up from a party. Sunday morning I woke up in Gosling’s bed, but that’s another story for another series for another time. But let’s rewind back to making that choice – the truth is, I was already at Goslings condo before I even bothered to reply to fish in the following exchange:

Fish: Id let u just pick me up! Its fun but I have mimi fever.
Me: Gah! I want to but I’m birthday-ing uptown. Are you having a good time?
Fish: Yup msg me after birthday then. Its early but starting to clear so Im down whenever, if not I can just sleep here. Or I can cab home.
Me: Do it and I’ll try and be by later.

*2 hours later*

Fish:
Ok. Ill go home now.
Fish: En route.
Fish: Im here! Whats your thought?
Me: Im uptown sober. But still in a line.
Fish: Ok well Im back now just to let you know. Come or not I just want you to have fun. Doors open anyways.

I didn’t reply.

9am Sunday morning came around and I was still sort of processing the night that Gosling’s friends, aka the bros, gave me the name “Drunk Fairy”. My phone dinged and it sounded like maybe a mild amount damage control was needed:

Fish: Ok
Me: Oh boy got super hammered. How was the party you were at?
Fish: Good
Me: Sorry I didn’t make it over. I was in zero condition. Just picking up my car from uptown. (Solid lie because I hadn’t actually gone home from Gosling’s uptown high-rise condo yet.)
Fish: Ya Id have to say Im pretty hung too.

I picked up my daughter Sunday afternoon and hit the road towards a rural town a few hours outside the city to pick up our new puppy. Fish told me a story about his sisters dog – I sent him a photo – and we talked throughout the day on and off.  The next night he asked me if we should have “any chills this week?” I told him my schedule and we settled on Wednesday. He told me “I like thinking of our Friday night. Naked the 1, 2, 3, or 4th time. It was fun.” Romance? When date night finally rolled around we didn’t have a firm plan – which wasn’t surprising. After work he let me know that “we didn’t really talk about it” he had “ate some leftovers for dinner” and was “hopping into the shower”. I offered up the suggestion of a movie or a park as I began to stuff my face at the fridge; he chose the park, we decided to meet there, and I packed up my puppy.

The park and puppy date was a little strange. If you remember, in the eight blogs I talked about how I like when I get to flex socially in front of guys, strangers talk to me all the time, and I like to see how guys react, and more importantly join in and keep up.

I like meeting new people – I like having little conversations with strangers – its happening semi-frequently on my dates lately – some guys jump right in, others sit back and watch me do my thing. I like that the other people I end up talking to don’t realize I’m on a first date – can you imagine if they did? – from Eight #5

Well. Fish doesn’t, can’t or won’t. The corgi puppy I’m carrying around the park only adds to the number of random people stopping to say hello on our walk, and fish says nothing … every time. He doesn’t look annoyed but he doesn’t know what to do. He’s quiet and aloof and visibly shy. We walked the entire perimeter of the park, mainly focused on the animals the mini petting zoo and talking about the carp in the small man-made lake. He told me you can bait them with corn – we see a can on the ground nearby an abandoned fishing rod. As we walked he took photos of the animals that he posted to social media. When we had finished walking and talking, rather awkwardly, we went back to the car and said goodbye rather awkwardly too. He didn’t ask to extend the date – and he didn’t try to hug or kiss me – we just stood at my trunk in a parking lot, said we’d talk later, and then he turned on his heel and got in his car. I was dumbfounded. I sat in the driver seat – mouth agape. And that weird little habit of mine, not comfortable with misunderstanding, decided to clear the air. I got out of my car and strode over to his driver window, he was sitting there looking just as bewildered as I felt, and said “Um, so do like each other or …” I KNOW – I’M THE WORST. Ha. Fish sputtered out a “Well, yeah, I -” as I wagged my finger at him in a “come here” motion. He hopped out of the car – I kissed him – said “Ok then, bye” and got back in my car and left. Fish texted later asking if he should’ve invited me over? I said no but “I’m going to say goodbye properly knowing we have tricky schedules.” We knew we were facing another span of time out of touch from our park walk and talk. I suggested to fish that “If you’re shy by nature and I’m more submissive we’re both going to have to push ourselves.” He agreed and said he was up to the challenge and gushed about how cute my dog was. He put a few photos from the park on social media, including my puppy, and made sure to mention than neither he nor I “made the cut”. (I didn’t break it to him that my reaction to my @username being posted on his social media would not have been a good one. I’m very very private about my dating life. Ironic considering the blog, I know, but anonymity is a hell of a drug.)

llama
A local alpaca photographed by a local fish.

It didn’t take long for his guy friends to start roasting him in the comments of the photo: “Tinder date?” leading me to believe that Fish catches a lot of flack for being single and on apps to the degree he is, which probably should have provided some level of foreshadowing for me. But it didn’t.

Fish is forgivable – nothing he does is malicious – and I think what I gleaned from this little awkward and quiet date is that when pressed, he generally tells the truth. Will he hide behind non-specifics? Yes. Can that be considered a lie? In the way I did it – absolutely. But him posting on social media a photo of the animals we looked at, and especially my dog is maybe an olive branch I just didn’t recognize at the time. As private as I am with my dating – fish is as well – I’ve only seen him reference me and one other girl, what he refers to as his “fling before me”.  Him inviting me to spend time with his friends – maybe also was an olive branch. It could be me missing the point, or his intent, all along, but in writing these blogs I think some of those come to view: at the heart of it – deep down, I think fish is a really good catch. Just maybe not for me.

In the next blog – I bring fish a little more into my world.
Your spoiler is: it’s weed. And another flub-bub.