The Double-Decker

A few days ago, after my first OKCupid date with Josh (the Urban Farming Developer) who had been a real neat dude, I was feeling hopeful. I strolled into work after my walk on the Highline and greeted my fellow employees with a crisp new smile and a pop under my heels. There was a whole world of possibilities opening up to me, it seemed. I divulged some of this positivity to my co-worker, Steve. He smiled a little when I told him about my day. I’d been bemoaning my fate and my frustration about the men in my life (or lack-there-of) to him for the past few months, and it seemed that after the first few duds, I was on the up and up. Steve’s got an Australian accent, rocks a completely shaved head, is married to an Australian Model, and is a really fun guy to gossip with about our boss and rants whenever he possibly can. When I finished detailing my walk with Josh, Steve said: “So, Nat, whot with the way things are goin’, you could have the guys you meet pay for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinnah.” I chuckled and thought that notion somewhat absurd.

Until Yesterday.

I’ll keep a long, long story short. Two dates in one day is a lot to recount. Yesterday I met: Bill and Ben in Williamsburg. Just, not at the same time.

Breakfast: Williamsburg. 9:12am. Meet: Bill.

Me: (Walking in sweaty, red faced and embarrassed) Hi! You must be Bill! I am so sorry I am late. It took me longer to get here on my bike than I thought!

Bill: No biggie! I was enjoying cooling off by the fan anyway.

Me: So, nice to meet you (going in for a hug)

Bill: Same!

Me: Oh, sorry, I’m like, covered in sweat. Ha!

Bill: I totally understand, I just walked about five blocks and I was drenched.

Me: (Sitting down and noticing Bill’s got a fruit bowl and Iced Latte) That looks good, I think I’ll get that.

Bill: yeah! It is really tasty.

Me: (Standing up and knocking into the table: Iced Latte spills and dribbles on the floor. I wish I could dribble into a puddle next to it) Ohhh… I’m so sorry about that.

Bill: (looking like someone who wants to make a sarcastic remark, but feels too polite to do so yet) It’s… OK.

Me: I’ll just clean this up for you (scrubbing the table with a napkin that falls apart and crumbles into disgusting coffee-covered pills that roll around on the table and stick to everything)

Bill: So, you’re an actor, right?

Bill and I talked for about 2 hours. He said he needed to leave for work around 10:30 and wound up staying until 11, which I took as a sign that despite my sweatiness and spilled coffee, I had charmed him. Before parting to go our separate ways we even discussed what eating a human would taste like and both agreed that if we had to, we would choose a moderately plump hipster female. Overall, he seemed like nice guy. I’ve started to imagine I’ve become a Casting Director of my own life, and I’m auditioning guys on the role of the romantic lead. Bill can have a call-back. We’re meeting up again on Monday…

Williamsburg, 2:45pm. Meet: Ben.

I’m standing above ground right next to the entrance to the ‘L’ train. Ben said he was running late when I called. I put my phone away and wait. What’s amazing to me is, despite having to wait in the hot afternoon heat, I managed to help 4 people out with directions. I don’t even live in Williamsburg, but I whipped out my iphone and directed people to where they needed to go. I felt like I was supposed to wait on that corner for a half hour just to help people. I get a call: “Hey You! I’m above ground! Oh! I see you!” I scan the intersection. He’s unmistakable. Ben comes rolling over to me on a skateboard, his hair a mop of blonde, he had playful Peter-Pan-esk eyes that looked like he’d been involved in quite a lot of mischief. “Hi! I’m Natalie, nice to meet you! Want to go into this Diner?”

Ben: Naw, that place? Have you eaten there before? yuck.

Me: (Actually I have eaten there before: with a guy named Sketch spelled with a ‘K’ but you don’t need to know that, and I don’t need to eat there again, on second thought) Got any recommendations for the area?

Ben: I want to get something healthy. I’ve been on a health kick lately.

We wind up going to a Thai place for lunch. It was perhaps, the worst food I have ever had. I pick at the garlic tofu and want to spit on my plate, but decide that would not be a very good first impression.

Me: So, you grew up in Sweden?

Ben: Yeah, I lived there until I was 13. (He blurts out several lines in Swedish)

Me: (This is scary. Why am I finding Swedes everywhere these days??) Wow. I only know, like two lines in Swedish. (I awkwardly say ‘I’m tired’ in Swedish) haha! But I’m not actually.

Ben: Woah. It’s so strange to hear it coming out of another person’s mouth. (He looks at me for a second longer than someone who is just making a passing comment) How’s your Thai?

Me: Um… Pretty terrible. Haha!

Ben: Same here. This place sucks.

We walk over to the subway, I need to get to work. Ben’s taking the ‘L’ back out to Bushwick and I am going into Manhattan. In the tunnel before we part:

Me: so, yeah send me a text or an e-mail and we can coordinate another meet up.

Ben: What about next Thursday? around this time?

Me: Sure. (I pull out my iphone and plug in the time, as I am doing so Ben leans in to kiss me.) WOAH! You move fast!

Ben: I really want to kiss you.

Me: Um, yeah, thanks. But, um, yeah…

Ben: Sorry. I’m pretty impulsive. Ok, so, I’ll see you next Thursday!

Me: (Holy shit. What the hell? Did I kinda’ like that?) Yeah. Ok. Bye.

I walk over to the subway platform and wipe the sweat from my face. I get a weird paranoia that suddenly everyone must know that Ben just tried to kiss me. I look over across the train tracks and see Ben waiting on the other side for his train. He smiles and waves. I wave back before my train pulls in and I board. I sit down and smile despite myself. I don’t know how I feel about Ben. I’m giving him a call-back. I vacantly stare across the subway car. A man with a shockingly pink head of hair catches my eye and smiles. I smile back.

Life is so crazy.

-Natalie

July 22, 2011 at 4:53 am by Natalie Allen