Hello, and welcome to your Monday. I hope your Monday opened your week to a positive start, after a delightful weekend doing whatever it is you like to do in whatever place you are.
As a salute to the loving holiday spirit, allow me to recant a little story, if I may.
Several months ago, my friend invited me to join a group of people going to a birthday party in Houston. The party was being held at a little hotel, where the hosts rented out the pool area; the invitations advertised a tropical theme, and party-goers were encouraged to bring their swimsuits. So the members of our little group donned swimsuits beneath our party clothes and headed straight for the festivities.
Of course, we were the only ones who brought swimsuits. Except the birthday boy, but he was already drunk when we showed up so he wasn’t swimming anywhere. Oh well. We debated whether we would look weird, being the only ones swimming...a debate which lasted about 30 seconds. And then we did cannonballs into the water. Let everyone else be boring.
Only twice did anyone else join us in the water. A group of
slabs of meat gorgeous South American men stripped down to their square-cuts and wandered around the shallow end, their nipples perked up by the gentle evening breezes. They were fun to watch for a while but they wouldn’t play Marco Polo or even say anything interesting so we didn’t care about them. And then later, a guy walked in with an adorably-scrawny little boy who looked to be about 6 years old. The dad was dressed in the gay uniform of tight jeans/tight T-shirt/great shoes, but the boy wore a baggy pair of trunks, topped off by a huge smile. He was ready to jump into that pool and do some damage.
The dad told his son to avoid drowning, and headed for the bar where he stood for the next few hours flirting with cute guys and drinking margaritas while ignoring the fact that the kid could quite possibly die in that water. I found out from various party-goers that the dad had a drunken one-night-stand with a WOMAN, got her pregnant, and she decided to keep the baby. Instant offspring, just add vodka. Apparently it was Dad's night to watch the boy, so they just came to the party together, where he presumed everyone else would watch his son while he got some action. Luckily for Dad, my friends and I took turns playing with the kid, tossing him around like a floatie toy and saving his life when he went too far into the deep end. Which happened at least 20 times.
(click below to get to the good stuff)
His favorite game was trying to drown me by climbing on my head; I’d peel him off and fling him across the pool, after which he’d sneak up on me and try to shove me under again. This game went on for what must have been hours. Between attacks, I entertained myself by watching every move of a certain guy in a blue T-shirt; he had black curly hair, and smushy pink lips and muscles everywhere and the most beautiful, smooth skin I have ever seen. His arms stretched the seams of his t-shirt, and his butt stuck out at such an angle the hem of his shirt gathered up like it rested on a shelf. Seriously, he was the best-looking guy at the party. I felt unworthy looking at him. Which is stupid.
But he really was amazing. When he walked around, everyone would watch where he went. I resigned myself to watching him just like everyone else, imagining what his hair would feel like with my fingers running through those curls....I imagined it was very soft. And then that damned kid would climb up on my face and block my view.
I don’t like to hit on guys. I become a babbling, neurotic idiot who makes about as much sense as someone with Tourette’s. It just doesn’t work. But at that party, I realized I was being a little pathetic with all the wistfulness. So I decided to use the kid to my advantage: I peeled him off my head and whispered in his ear, telling him what I wanted him to do. I pointed at The Guy. The kid nodded in understanding, climbed out of the pool and skittered over to him, and poked him in the side.
”You think you’re tough?!” the kid squeaked.
“Excuse me?” The Guy said, leaning down and raising his eyebrows. He had a Spanish accent. Just when you thought things couldn't get any better.
“You think you’re tough?” the kid repeated. “You’re not tough. I could kick you’re butt.”
“Oh really?” he said. And he smiled a little.
“Come on, if you’re so tough, get into the pool!” And the kid turned and hopped back into the water, near enough to me so I could grab him and save him from drowning once again. I just looked at The Guy and shrugged, like Where is he getting the ideas to say these things? Kids are crazy. The Guy then smiled at me a little bit.
Then he turned back to his conversation.
He didn’t think I was funny.
And for the first time all night, I realized I was the only adult in the pool, swimming around like an immature idiot and making too much noise, as usual. So I floated around for a little while, quietly, feeling silly, trying to keep my body under water so no one could see my fat. And then I just floated away.
At the end of the night, I sat on a lounge chair putting on my shoes, when I heard the voice behind me. “You looked like you were having fun,” he said.
I turned my head, and there he was, standing right there, with a gargantuous bulge in his jeans right at my eye-level. Every drop of blood in my body went straight to my face. I started to say about three sentences all at once, but the only thing that came out was “Oh...uhh...yeah...” as I tried to pat down my messy pool hair and look at absolutely anything other than his button-fly area. Babbling, neurotic idiot.
He said he thought it was nice, watching me jump around with the little kid. Being around all those uptight guys at the party, trying to look cool and aloof, he didn’t think any of them were any fun. He prefers guys with a sense of humor, guys who are enjoy being around kids.
Turns out, he likes kids too. He’s a teacher.
And maybe, before I left the party, we could exchange numbers so we could keep in touch?...
We ended up meeting later that night at a bar. The night turned to very-early morning, the bar turned into a hotel room, and those curls did feel really nice with my fingers running through them. So soft, just like I thought. We parted ways the next day, but I soon found myself back in Houston, a city where I spent lots of time over the next several weeks, doing little more than ordering take-out food and bouncing around on every piece of furniture in his house. He was smart, and funny, and nice. I reveled in his cocky macho attitude, his silly laugh. I loved his droopy eyes when he first woke up in the morning. His voice went up in pitch at the end of sentences whenever he was up to no good. Luckily, those moments usually ended up with me losing my pants. God bless him.
I couldn't move to Houston on a whim, so the distance of us living apart finally drew the relationship to an end. But you know what...it's not that sad. These things happen. And we still talk. He’s now dating someone who does live in Houston, and he’s very happy. So that’s good. When a guy is worth it, I’ll take what I can get and be content with a friend, if that’s all we can be. And I have a head full of memories of being with a man who could make me dizzy with just the slightest touch of his hand. My God.
The moral of the story? It's simple.
Be yourself. See how well things can work out?
Happy holidays, everyone.
P.S.: The picture above isn't The Guy; it's Adam Garcia, of Tap Dogs and Coyote Ugly fame. But I love Adam Garcia so much and The Guy looks a lot like him, right down to the sleepy eyes. (...but better. Trust me.)
P.S.S.: I still have the blue T-shirt. Mr. Guy, if you want it back, you're just going to have to come get it.