Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Pitches and Revisions

He picks me up exactly 22 minutes after he texted me he would. The misfit has it down to a science. I step into his brother’s car with the New Mexico plates. His brother, a journalist, I found out two weeks ago has a house in New Mexico. I greet the misfit with a kiss on the cheek, the way friends do because that is what he has made me now, just a friend. I place my left hand inside my inner thigh. My thumbnail picks at a small callous at the tip of my pointer finger. I do this to keep from touching him which is what I really want to do. He’s lighter, the happiest I’ve seen him in the last two weeks. He begins to tell me about a new story he is working on. It has nothing to do with her, the haunting ex.
I begin to scribble notes in my moleskine. He drives with a certain determination. He obviously has a place in mind. We drive through Brooklyn and over the Williamsburg Bridge. I don’t ask him where we are going. We park in the east village, a few blocks from nyu where we both went. I recognize the bar he wants to go to. He’s mentioned being there with his friends before. We don’t go in because there are too many servicemen in uniform and that makes us both uncomfortable so we walk in a perfect circle. I show him where a former lover of mine used to live, the afghani filmmaker. I show him where la fea likes to drink.
“Wanna hear a movie idea?” he tells me. He wants to write a screenplay and make a lot of money. I listen as he tells me his idea. It’s a good one, very commercial. He even has it cast in his head. I showed him the all boy catholic school where la fea and I would go to pick up boys in uniform. We don’t talk about the “note”. Occasionally he puts his arms around my shoulders or my waist. It feels awkward, the way it did when we first met. It feels like a first date.
We end up back at the bar he originally wanted to go to. The servicemen have left. We find a table towards the back and he goes to get us beers. I must try some Belgium beer he tells me. I try it and am not that impressed.
Finally we talk about it. He says he didn’t dump me. He just doesn’t want to hurt me. He feels inadequate as a writer, as a man. He feels fat, ugly and balding. He can’t give me what I deserve, what I want. It’s because he knows I am falling in love with him that he says all these things. That’s why he wrote the “note”.
I ask for boundaries. Tell him I need them. It’s obvious to the both of us that we will still see each other, “hang out”.
“Can we kiss?” I ask
He laughs, “Yes. I am very kissable,”
“Can we fuck?” I ask. He doesn’t answer. He’s obviously not sure about that one.
I give him money to get us another round which we drink quickly before leaving to smoke a cigarette.
He’s hungry. I’m not really but I suggest we get something to eat because I don’t want to leave him yet. We go to Chinatown. It’s close to 1 am. We eat Chinese food and the he drives me home. He walks me to the side door like he always does and we kiss goodbye on the mouth.
“See you at 10 tomorrow night,” he tells me. I just nod my head.
It still feels like we’re dating.

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