On Friday, I was an emotional cyclone of excitement and disappointment. In the evening, I was supposed to make food to bring to two events over the weekend but instead collapsed on the couch to watch episodes of The West Wing (my “new” show). I was done.
Saturday was quite packed, including a spin class and brunch in Palo Alto with dear A and a gathering of friends in honor of a soon-to-arrive baby (but not a baby shower). Both were relaxing at the time but required a lot of driving, parking, and running late. I accidentally left my cell phone in the car approximately 85 times over the course of the day…it was that kind of day.
The Moroccan offered to make me dinner at his place, which is the kind of invitation I would rarely turn down–so much new information on date 3: his place, his things, his cooking. Plus, I figured that in the name of ‘taking things slow,’ it’s easier to leave than to kick someone out. And, finally, I love to be cooked for and couldn’t wait to see him again. Running late, I flew out the door with cookies for dessert and a bottle of wine (I let him know the “detox” was over).
Having just moved over to Oakland the previous week, he had described his new living situation as a house owned by a musician friend in his late 50s who is also an antique dealer–so the house is filled with tons of junky art and statues and random stuff. The picture this conjured in my mind was a little worrying. He also mentioned that the friend is rarely in town as he comes through on business but has a house in Oregon with his Jamaican wife, so that part sounded good–the house to ourselves.
I pulled up to the address in Rockridge to find a sweet little bungalow a block off of College Ave. The front door was open so I walked in, seeing right away that the collection of art was indeed kitschy but more orderly than in my imagination, and the house is really cute. Just beyond the living room was the dining room table perfectly set for two. As I walked into the kitchen, he was pulling two plates of fish, rice, and roasted vegetables out of the oven. He gave me a kiss hello and we sat down to eat and everything was delicious and thoughtfully prepared.
After dinner, I asked for a tour of the house and we got as far as his bedroom and stayed there until the next morning.
As far as I can tell, his only possessions are two guitars and several tall stacks of books. He played his guitar for me and sang songs in French, Arabic, and English, and I was in a smiling reverie the whole time. He’s really talented and said things like, “and here’s where you’ll come in on the violin…” We had good talks and he divulged some personal history which started with, “Well, here’s a surprise…” and I realized that I can use this opening when it’s time to tell him my own. Which I’m thinking might be tomorrow night.
If I feel like it. I’m trying to feel my way here… I don’t want to do it wrong and yet I probably can’t do it wrong. He’s been open with me, saying that he wants to get off on the right foot. I’ve always felt the right moment would reveal itself, poised between not to early and not too late.
In the morning, he made me breakfast and then walked me to my car, good-naturedly insisting on seeing me for the next three nights before I leave town and/or to cancel my plans and hike with him. But the leaving felt good, knowing wisely as I do that the coming back together is sweeter and I’m less likely to lose myself in the process.
I need a new nickname for him, given that he’s no longer the one-dimensional caricature of someone I texted for a month from an online dating site. He now has at least three dimensions, maybe more. I’ll work on it.
I got the opposite of a guy-atus, and the timing couldn’t have been better.