New Life : Erica 2nd Date

New Life : Erica 2nd Date

There is a certain nostalgia attached to every flight. I’ve always felt sleepy as soon as I’ve gotten to airports. Like I could finally relax and just be me for a few.

I’m flying back to San Diego after getting situated in my new apartment in the East Village. I spent much of the afternoon with Erica. 

We were talking about the things we would spend money on if we were incredibly rich. 

“First, I’d hire a personal chef for all my main meals and snacks in between,” I said.

“Yeah, I could use that too,” she responded.

“And then, I would pay an artist to sit by my bed and play piano while I fell asleep Monday through Friday,” I continued. 

“Oh! I could….” she started to say. And then paused. It’s only our second date. She got caught in her head and her tone shifted and she took on the role of the person we often become in the beginning, that is the person who says potentially intimate things in a nonchalant way that could gesture towards incredible meaning but also be brushed aside as casual without much risk. 

She continued, “I could play for you. Or I could FaceTime you while I’m playing.” 

The thought was nice. Our first bit of feelings. The first extension across the aisle. This person with her own life and thoughts playing piano for me, a new person she doesn’t know well, creating an image in both our heads of something sweet and meaningful that we could share as our own collective memory.

She is hard for me to read so far. I forget what we talk about as soon as I walk away. She is friendly, sweet, a little playful, and also quiet, steady, and removed. Her presence is more of a gentle breeze accompanying me on a walk when I am usually drawn toward hurricanes that keep me up at night. 

I’m learning that all this takes time. Online dating plucks people out of their realities and places them in a new arena. We are getting to know each other without any context, no real life experiences shared. I’ve never seen her interact with her friends or co-workers. There’s no observation from a safe distance to determine compatibility. We are placed on the field with minimal time to prep and expected to make something that feels like it matters. 

We have a date next Friday. We are going to see an experimental contemporary dance. I will wear a turtleneck. Our arms will touch as we sit in our seats. We can go for tea after. 

Words seem to me slow and misleading. I could show her who I am in an instant. A basketball game, a hand across her waist as I stop her from walking into the street, a kiss that moves through her body, a few moments on set watching me direct. Instead, we talk. Taking our time to feel each other out. Because that is our only option.

It’s possible our connection will crack open. It’s also possible that it’s just not there. The stars put no magic in us together. Just words and nice ideas about things that could be but aren’t real. 

I’m excited for my first date with Maddy next week. We are going for a hot beverage at Abraco in the East Village. 

I commented on her photo on Hinge, “coming of age post emo solo album cover?”

She said, “I think at the time I was going for “girl on a 15 minute break from work escapes into an alternate reality” but what’s the difference honestly.”

I said that resonates a lot more. Then I told her she was incredibly attractive. And then apologized for making it about looks immediately.

“Well I think on this particular platform looks is much of what there is to go off of, so I’m sure that’s not all you value (and thank you, you’re sweet).

“it definitely doesn’t give a lot of context to work with. and yes, there are many more important things – like how much money you have.” 

“Oh right, the second most important thing about someone aside from looks. I typically only discuss my capital with my attorney, so I’ll be a tough nut to crack.”

“i respect a woman who means business. anyway, how motivated do you need to be to extend beyond this app and meet a person in real life (me) ? i probably have 6 more funny/interesting things left before my text personality runs dry and i’d much rather meet you for [favorite hot beverage]. 

“I’d be happy to meet you for [tea or something similar] sometime soon. What’s your schedule like?” 

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