My "weekend", including an extra day, my last vacation day of the calendar year (god help me) started, in a way, after my Monday morning at the rink, when I stopped off at Rhino's for a pint that became 4 or 5 before I finally wobbled my bike the rest of the way home, when to bed and then up around 11:00 for my final shift of the week.
Tuesday found me awake and horny come early evening, with nothing planned, no particular place to go and no one to do (as per usual). I spent a while at the computer, browsing profiles on dating sites and otherwise mostly wasting my time, until the call of the pub became too strong to resist. "Maybe I can work on the novel whilst hoisting a pint," I lied to myself.
And so Rhino's once again, where I did manage to weed through the pile of magazines and old newspapers I've been carting around like some bag-lady in training for the last couple of weeks. Drank a few pints, didn't talk to anyone and finally staggered home. Went online, flirted with a friend who made it pretty clear we aren't going to sleep together - more's the pity, I think, but maybe she's right that it would put our nascent friendship at risk.
Wednesday was another right-off, mostly (certainly not much in the way of writing done). Made my way North, to the outer reaches of Bloor Street and The Green Room, where I did manage to get a quick lesson in How to Pick Up Girls.
Steve is an old friend - the kind you're happy to run into but whom you never make a point of seeing. He was one of the first people to make my young and insecure self feel welcome at SEED, my new high school, where I was the youngest kid there. (I was 14, ostensibly in Grade 9, but but of rest of the kids were in Grade 11 or up.) Steve was (and is) 2 or 3 years older and seemed terribly sophisticated to me. He was (and is) loud and gregarious with a ready cynical laugh; he was one of the first two men I ever saw kiss; he got laid and could joke (as well as sometimes cry) about; he'd read his Marx and could argue politics, philosophy, literature, with the best of them.
He also hangs out at the Green Room a lot - he's been there just about every time I have in the last few years.
He seemed surprisingly pleased to see me, even bought me a beer. He reminisced awkwardly, and admired members of the opposite sex with a greater degree of comfort. "I'll show you how it's done," he said when I muttered something about needing to learn how to approach him outside of cyberspace.
And so he did, picking the first woman to come up the stairs on her way to the bathroom. He stopped her on her way back. "Excuse me," he said. "I just wanted to tell you you're one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen."
Did she laugh? Did she slap him? Did she tell him to bugger off?
No. She smiled, looking a little embarassed. "Thanks," she said shily.
"My name is Steve," said Steve, and she accepted his outstretched hand.
She looked to be in her early 20s. Steve is 40 or 41 now, with long, greying hair tied back in a sloppy pony-tail, an expanding belly and he was wearing dirty, paint-splattered clothes. He had paint on his hands and face as well. He has a prominent overbite and a head that seems just a little too big for his body.
"My name is [whatever-the-hell-it-was]," she said, looking ready - if not quite enthusiastic - to exchange pleasantries.
But Steve said, "Nice to meet you. Maybe I'll see you around," then turned to me, laughing. "See?"
I couldn't deny it; I still have a hard time seeing myself being that forward. For neurotic reasons I still haven't figured out.
Yes, it's true: I have sex on the brain. (I told you this was going to be self-indulgent!)
Speaking of which, there is - or there may be - a light on that horizon.
I spoke for about an hour with Kris, a woman I "met" thought hotornot.com before coming into work this evening/morning. She's "scarily young", about 5 inches taller than me, has a disturbing family life, and says she finds me intriguing. Against my better judgment I find her intriguing as well.
She works, she's volunteering for a candidate in the local municipal election and she's awfully busy at home, so when we're going to get together and find out whether our attraction in the written and verbal worlds translates into physical alchemy is still up in the air, but (she says) that we'll get together is a given.
With trepidation, I hope so, too.
And that, as they say, is about that. I did get together with Vern on Thursday for drinks (are we sensing a pattern here, boys and girls?), but there isn't much to tell about that - when two people have been close for more than 20 years, translating the resulting short-hand would take more energy than I have at 7:00 o'clock in the morning. And anyway, I'm still at work; the phone might ring any minute.
He did tell me that his girlfriend read the semi-pornographic story I recently wrote and, apparently, she liked it. Which relieved me more than I thought it would.
And now ... to spell-check.