The Human Octopus

I knew when J first contacted me that it wasn’t going to turn into anything serious. I had already glanced at his profile and skipped over it when I came across the bold (and prejudiced) assertion that he was “looking for a woman who isn’t on anti-depressants”. I was even somewhat amused that it knocked me out of the running. After all, between this man and my happy pills, there was really no contest.

When he emailed me, I quickly followed up with a reply of, “Sorry, I’m on anti-depressants, so clearly we aren’t a good match.”

He counters: “So, I’m a smoker. No one is perfect.”

Unwilling to be drawn into a debate about a prescribed drug that treats depression versus nicotine addiction, I simply respond: “Clearly, our dysfunctions don’t line up well. Thanks for the message though.”

“So, want to meet for a drink?”

A couple of weeks of witty email banters are bandied back and forth between us. I’m not looking for anything from him and certainly don’t think he’s going to be “the one”, but I finally agree to take him up on his offer because he seems amusing. I think that it might be nice to simply enjoy a relaxed evening of conversation over a glass of wine, without the pressure of determining if we work well together. For me, the determination has already been made that we don’t. So this will be a cake date: Fun, with no pressure.

As soon as he shows up it is clear he is his biggest fan. He is witty and charming and funny and outrageous, at least in his own mind. I feel absolutely zero physical chemistry, but I’m still aiming for low-key fun. I’m getting a strong bad-boy vibe, with a deep thread of geek running through and, as the conversation progresses, I’m admitting to myself that I find his company annoying.

After the first hour, his conversation is studded with phrases that he seems to consider edgy and clever. Referring to his roommate’s refusal to drive him to the restaurant: “I said, cunt, it’s only a few blocks.” When I suggest ordering food, he loudly calls out, “Feed us, bitches.” He punctuates every few minutes with a shoulder bump and a loudly intoned, “Cheer up, will ya?”

I’ll admit it. I began to focus heavily on my wine. Even more so when he started to hold and kiss my hand, then leaned in while I was chewing and kissed me. Chewing! Does the fool know nothing about women? As time passed, he morphed from a merely annoying and juvenile forty-something into a human octopus. Everywhere I turned, there were his hands. He continued to lean in at will and kiss me randomly, while petting my back (much lower than I would have preferred), my hair, my face, and my hands.

Since when did slobbery PDA become acceptable on a first date?

I escape to the bathroom to text L, my on-again, off-again lover and friend. While that statement, in and of itself, may seem to require explanation, it would take too long and I digress from the events at hand.

Me: Oh, dear lord

L: LOL…that bad?

Me: Ugh…A geek with as many hands as an octopus. I have escaped to the bathroom.

L: Like touchy feely?

Me: Oh yeah

L: You poor thing

Me: Ok. Back into the fray to try and wrap up this night so I can go home. Pray for me…

L: As they say, pimpin’ ain’t easy

Me: ..to whatever deity you need to

It occurs to me later that some might consider it odd to text a lover from a bathroom stall, while you’re on a date. Nevertheless, in a sea of dysfunctional and distasteful dating companions, I find L to be a reassuring presence in my life.

I return to the table slightly buoyed by the texting and announce that I’m very tired and that I need to go home and go to bed.

“I think you’re wonderful and beautiful, young lady.” He says with what I think is meant to be a tender smile. “You could always go home to my bed.”

“No, really, I think I can’t.” My smile is frozen in place as he leans in for another kiss. I wonder at his ability to misjudge my reaction, as his tongue darts out to attempt to find an entry-way to my tightly sealed mouth.

I stand abruptly and begin to walk toward the entrance. My disgust is such that when he offered to pay, despite my innate inclination to go Dutch, I readily agree. I figure after the slobber and octopus hands, I could handle a free meal.

At the car, he ignores the distance I am keeping between our bodies and swoops in and takes me in his arms passionately. Leaning me backward, he again attempts a full-on mouth assault.

“Kiss me.” He intones passionately, his smoker’s breath panting in my face. “Kiss me like you mean it.” Awkwardly caught between my door and his body, I kiss him chastely on the lips and then dart backwards.

“Thanks for the pizza. Be careful on your walk home. “

Then, blessedly, I am on my way home. As I daydream about my bed and sinking into unconsciousness, in the hopes that I can rid myself of the sensory impressions he left me with, one more thought occurs to me. I text it to L.

Me :I’m going home to gargle…with bleach.

L: Ouch

Somehow, that seems to sum up the evening quite nicely.

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