Arrived around 6:15pm — after being told between 6pm and 6:30pm would be fine — bearing gifts… or, in this case, two vegan cupcakes from The Grind. The Tan Man was making a salad (romaine, avocado, olives, fresh-picked tomatoes, mushrooms, green & red peppers, spices) and getting ready to put portobello mushrooms on the grill. Went to the backyard with him to munch on breadsticks and spinach-artichoke dip while he cooked aforementioned mushrooms. Met his neighbors and their dog. Went back inside for dinner. By candlelight. Yes, candlelight.
But then it was time for our 8pm meeting. On the way, he mentioned the grapevine would be buzzing seeing us show up together, walking (clearly) from the direction of his place. He said plenty of people are asking him if we’re dating, and he tells them to mind their own business. Would’ve been the perfect chance for me to say, “Well, are we?” but I didn’t. Of course. And I could hear — and practically feel — the grapevine buzz as we walked up to the house and Pops was standing there on the steps. Yes, Pops.
After the meeting, we walked back together, but parted ways at the crossroads between his house and mine. Earlier in the evening, I’d asked if he wanted to have dinner at Trattoria Trullo tomorrow night, so we confirmed that. I walked home with more questions than answers, so I called Uncle Eddie, and he encouraged me to just call The Tan Man and ask him already. Which is what I did.
The response? Maybe not as exuberant as I would’ve hoped, but honest. And probably the best one I could have asked for. “There’s something there,” he said. “And I feel comfortable around you, but I’m not sure what’s happening. We should have a conversation.” And, also, “I’m trying my best, in sobriety, both to not run away from things AND not run into them,” and I actually agreed, since (I think?) that’s what I’m attempting to do as well.
And in other news, Brooklyn Boy (not to be confused with jj) contacted me to tell me I’m looking great (he follows my 365 versions blog) lately (duh, I know), signing his email “much much love” and asking if I’ll be back in NYC any time soon because he was “heartbroken” to be out of town the entire time I was there last month. I’m starting to think that if I moved to New York, my dating life would actually improve. Which, I know, is the exact opposite of what everyone says actually happens. Even long-distance, I continue to be an anomaly.