Jack and I had a generous dialogue going on Tinder. He was clever, this much I knew but he also seemed a little goofy, out of his depth maybe. By this stage I had really expedited the whole ‘hook up’ process. Come right out of the gate stating what you want, see if you both agree and then don’t waste time with too much chin music before getting down to it. No dates (drinks maybe) and no sleepovers. Just the skin, not the contents.
Just business time.
Jack had other ideas though. He had explained to me that he had recently been exploring an open relationship. Ok, if that’s what floats your boat. I already know a few couples that do this successfully and I’m neither here nor there on the concept. All I knew what that I didn’t want to be in one, a relationship open or otherwise. We had been flirting a bit via message:
“You know I have to call you Jack right?”
“Call me Susan if it means you’ll fuck me”
And then there was silliness:
“Bubble bath. It’s happening. Tomorrow”
“While I brush your hair and shave your legs”
“I know you are but what am I?”
I attended a function for my son’s school the following Friday and met Jack afterward. We made small talk (this is the part I dislike). I needed lubricant, I ordered a martini and when I’d finished I suggested we go back to my apartment. Not so fast, he wanted to have another round, I’m never one to turn down a cocktail so we had sazeracs. We walked home after that and settled on the couch. We had a scotch and chatted away. I touched his leg ‘that’s okay’ he told me ‘if anything’s going to happen you’ll have to initiate it.’ Sheesh. This was going to be work. We kissed for a while and then, noticing the time he suggested we lay in bed for a while and ‘talk’. It turned out he actually meant talk. Some of it was uncomfortable. I felt like he was poking at the contents.
We did fool around a bit but nothing like I had expected. He told me he didn’t want to have sex. Even with a condom (preferred). ‘Ok’ I guess. We listened to music and at around 4:30 am I finally fell asleep. For 2 hours.
Bright and early, I got dressed, fetched coffee and croissants from my nearby cafe, picked up the paper and had my morning. Jack didn’t wake until around 10 or so (jealous). When he came down stairs I asked him if he could change some lightbulbs. Being an old apartment, the bulbs blow all the time. Normally N changes them but seizing an opportunity (Jack is very tall) I wanted to get something out of the scenario. Later, my friend J and I joked about using Tinder to get work done around the apartment: “plumber wanted; light carpentry in exchange for heavy petting; need tall man to change light bulbs”.
I started noticing things about Jack. He had stayed the night so I had to see him. He was all about the detail. Being an architect, he measured my parquetry, he talked about his work, he took teeny bites of his rockmelon (I eat it like a monster, juice dripping down my chin). He had nice boots. These things were telling.
We had brunch down the street. We chatted for a while on varying topics. Finally, after splitting the cheque I asked ‘so, why didn’t you want to fuck me?’ The last night had left me a little confused. ‘ I just want to see how it goes, you seem to see things in black and white’ (true). The following dialogue was the definition of miscommunication. He seemed to think I was overly concerned about what his thoughts were regarding me. I just wanted a straight answer. ‘Well, I have arrangements with other people’. Right. Well, why didn’t he just say so? I could understand that. However, I would never chose that for myself. It sounded like the opposite of being free to me.
It was easy to say goodbye and I wandered to my subway ready to face the rest of my day. I was still unsure of what had just happened and why I had broken several rules to spend time with Jack. I was so pleased though, to have light again.