Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Flashback, Part 2: Nick Says Hi

Flashback: A Short Story in Six Parts

[Part 1]

Part 2: Nick Says Hi

His online profile is plastered all over various dating websites. Most of them include the standard lame descriptors due to a combination of (1) his utter inability to talk about how great he is and (2) the utter lack of actual great things about him worth putting in a personals ad. Some profiles include a photo. None of those photo-enhanced profiles includes a disclosure that the photo is of some guy he barely recognizes anymore, what with the passage of seven years and the addition of approximately thirty pounds.

It is rare that he receives any responses whatsoever from any of these ads. He does not really even expect them. It is a surprise when he is alerted that he has received an email, or even a "wink."

His profile had been up for two years when Nick sent him a response.

Unlike most other men in DC, Nick didn't seem to be into the superficial stuff. He seemed smart, and eschewed pop culture. He didn't own a television and (probably as a result) listened to a helluva lot of NPR. He read a lot. And he spent a good part of his past in Japan, which was cool. Nick was relatively "new" in town, so he didn't know that many people. He also didn't have much of a sense of where and how to meet gay people, not really being into the bar scene much.

The combination of these factors meant that Nick appeared much more mature than the typical 25-year-old gay male. While age per se isn't necessarily a breaking point, it tends to serve as a reasonable proxy for maturity level. Nick seemed to have surpassed that barrier: at 25, he seemed more mature than many of the 35-year-old gay men frolicking around the scene.

They never truly "dated." Their first face-to-face meeting took place at a coffee shop where they played Scrabble (a true testament to both of their geeky sides). They got along well, chatting on the phone frequently (what else was Nick going to do at night, right?) and hanging out for a few weekends. Perhaps prematurely, he introduced Nick to the bulk of his friends by inviting him to a Memorial Day cookout (hosted by someone else, at their house), and also to a pre-Gay Pride party to which all of his gay friends were invited. This was his way of introducing Nick to some people, as well as at least a part of the "scene." When his friends asked, he was hard-pressed to tell them what was going on between them, for it was unclear whether they were, in fact, "dating."

This is not to say that his intentions were not clear, of course. Nick was nice, he was intelligent, he was more mature than the average gay man. He seemed to have his head in a good place and that, along with his objective physical appearance, made him attractive. If he could have given his heart to someone, Nick would have been a candidate for that.

[Part 3]

1 comment:

duane said...

This sounds like it is going to get good...