Someone's nose must have been itching because in moments after posting yesterday, Steven texted:
S: "Are you driving or do you want me to pick you up"
E: "I don't have a car but happy to cab it. What time?
S: I'll pick you up. 6pm."
E: "Okie Dokie"
What? No "Hi gorgeous"? Hmmmm....come on and keep the flirting going, dude!
My outfit was laid out on my bed, I showered at 2:30 and then chilled with Meow Mix to paint my nails with a glass of wine. This is painstaking as some of my polish, I can never remember which, gets bubbly. Fuck! Do over! And...Do over! Finally, acceptable, but not perfect. I can live with it.
It's Sunday and that means I call my Mom and Dad. Because I'm meeting Steven at 6:00 (my regular call time) I call her at 4:00. "Hi!" "Hi, yourself." "What are you doing?" "I'm watching Dr. Zhivago. I've never seen it." "Okay, well call me back but I have a date at 6:00 so if not we can talk tomorrow." "Okay, Love you!" "Love you!" I go back to watching TV and fanning my nails as if I'm desperate to lift myself off the couch by that motion alone.
At 5: 15 I slowly get ready and Steven shows up at my house right on time. I know this because I am totally ready and see him through the living room blinds walk up to the house. Wait for him to knock. Waiting, toe tapping. Come on and just knock on the door. I can even hear him coughing on the front stoop. The phone rings. "Hi!" "Hi! I'm downstairs." "Okay, I'll be two shakes."
I walk downstairs and he's at the door with this smirk-smile he does. It's like he knows something know one else does, and yet it must be funny because it's not devilish, but just....happy. A quick kiss hello, he grabs my hand, helps me down the stairs and into the car. We're off....to his place.
I've come to realize over the years that you can never anticipate what a guy's place will be like. The one's who look so put together can live in a complete pigsty and those who you think are a total mess are the complete opposite at home. Still, you do get those who are a mess all around and those men who are so totally meticulous about their home you're afraid to touch anything. It's like being in a museum and you're ready for them to say "I don't use dishes. They get dirty, so we'll just eat off the freshly polished floors." With Steven, I had no idea what to expect but figured it wasn't going to be too bad.
Steven doesn't actually live that far from me, but it was certainly a neighborhood I haven't been in before - remember when I said in a few minutes you can be in a completely different neighborhood? Even if you've lived in the city 20 years. It's true. He owns a three-flat brownstone that he purchased in the late 90's and did a complete gut rehab. He rents out the second floor to a gal with two dogs, who bark non-stop until she gets home. Smells like separation anxiety and possibly lack of exercise. Anywhoo...I'm not here to be the Dog Whisperer apprentice, which I'd actually enjoy, come to think of it. The third floor is vacant, at the moment.
We park outside the house. I get out of the car and he comes around to meet me, grabbing my hand and helping we walk carefully across the snow laden grass patch (this is what we call a yard in Chicago) to the front gate, which he gingerly unlocks and then helps me up the cement stairs - original to the 100 year-old house. There's some ice and he immediately grabs a scoop of de-icer and puts it down. Brownstones that are broken up into flats typically have one main door that immediate leads to two doors - one for the main floor apartment and one to the second floor. The third floor entrance is normally off the back of the house. His door is on the right and we walk in. Immediately in front of me is a beautiful, large umbrella holder. A large wall mirror to my left. I turn to look past the open wall banister into his living room with large, but comfortable looking furniture, two almost tragic pieces of artwork, a large, wooden square coffee table just about a foot tall, and....the projector. This is a strange new, or at least new to me, trend for boys with toys. They might have a television and a projector or just the projector. In this case, there's only the projector, right in front of me, pointing at what would be a beautiful bay of windows but is actually covered by a large retractable screen. Boys and their toys. It's hilarious.
I follow Steven to the left through the open floor plan into the dining room. Here is where he keeps most of his travel treasures from South America. They adorn the fireplace mantel and above them is a gorgeous oil painting of a long dark-haired woman in a red skirt and white top off her left shoulder. She is sitting in a chair shyly looking out to us. She's like a Latino Mona Lisa. I can't take my eyes off of her. In the center of the room is a large, and I actually mean, HUGE wood table surrounded by an assortment of antique chairs - two leather studded chairs at each end. It must have taken an army of strapping (mmm..yum) men to move this monstrosity in to the house. At both ends, the table has a beautiful ceramic tile inlay. Two extra chairs sit in the corners. This thing is so huge I don't how anyone would get around the table to get those chairs. It's beautiful but just too big for the space. As I turn left to follow him down the hallway I notice a wood built in full of his travel treasures - masks made of porcelain and wood, textiles, books and little knick knacks. I walk down the hall passed the bathroom - big and gorgeous with white subway tile and this ornate cabinet and sink. I'll check more of that out later. More artwork in the hallway.
I see the kitchen ahead of me and walk in. The floors throughout the space are all original. As I look right the cream, ornate, Mediterranean-inspired cabinets sweep around two walls with the sink in the corner. Sweeping around further at the end of the cabinets are two rustic wood shelving units with all kinds of unique foods. Passed the door to the back and the refrigerator stands alone. In the center of the room is an old table with two large pieces of granite sitting on top (these granite pieces also appear on the counter tops, which are not granite themselves.
When I walk in Steven is in the process of getting everything ready for dinner. He pulls out a box of noodles, a huge plastic jug of Ragu, a large jar of minced garlic and a bag of Swiss cheese slices. No kidding. I can't make this shit up. This is dinner. He turns to put water in the pan and reaches out for me. I succumb and he kisses me. Both of us forget about the water for a moment until I pull away. Normally in this situation I would be uncomfortable and pull away immediately, but I didn't. I've resolved to let love in and there's only one way, to allow it to happen; to give it a shot. He turns to pull the pot out from under the water and put it on the burner. In the meantime, I walk to a spot by the table. After turning on the burner he comes to me, opens his arms and we just...hug. It seemed like eternity and yet it ended too quickly. He pulls away slightly and kisses me again this time with much more diligence. He steps away to stir the noodles.
Steven isn't really a chatty guy. He's kind of quiet and walks around with his smirky-smile, perfectly content in his own world. So I begin to ask him questions about his family. "My mom lives in Puerto Rico, so we have someplace to visit!" She moved shortly after her divorce to his father. He is the middle child of three boys and then a half brother. His youngest brother moved to Puerto Rico with his mother. Two live close by and one in Miami. "Have you been to Miami? We have a place to stay when we go." Hmmm...making future plans....hmmmm. The saddest part is that when his mother comes to visit she chooses to spend time with his brother and his kids. I can tell it kind of bothers him. "Do you want to watch a movie?" "Sure." He leads me back to the living room and pulls out three large plastic trays of movies. Two more remain on the floor next to the couch. It's either the "Tales of Despereaux", "Battlestar Galactica" or "Get Smart". I pick the latter.
I walk back into the kitchen and ask him more about his house. "Yeah, and it's great to have a roommate to help out." What? Uhm...roommate was never mentioned before. "Well, it's nice of him to let you have the place to yourself tonight." Cough. "Uhm yeah."
The noodles are done and he pulls out two colorful plates out of the cabinet and sets them on the table. After draining, he grabs one plate and spoons some spaghetti on to it, sets it down in front of me and instructs me to scoop my preferred amount of garlic on the noodles. He then takes the big jug of Ragu and pours it on until I say stop. Next he takes two slices of Swiss cheese, places it on top of the concoction, covers it and puts it in the microwave. I stand there watching in some disbelief. He repeats the pattern for himself. While I'm waiting for his to cook, I turn to the refrigerator to read the article posted with magnets. Steven walks up behind me, wraps his arms around my waist and snuggles his nose into my neck. "Mmmmm...you smell good." The microwave dings and he turns away to pull his plate out. Each plate goes on a tray with fork, a glass of water for me and homemade apple juice for him. We walk back to the living room and place the trays on the coffee table. He puts in the movie, turns on the projector, hits the lights and we sit to eat. I'm not going to lie, I was a little skeptical, I mean, are you serious? I dated a guy once who said he'd cook for me, but didn't have a clue. It took two months before I realized he was getting take out from a variety of restaurants.
Trying to be nice. "Not bad. The Swiss cheese gives it a different flavor." "See! I knew you'd love it." "Well, love is a bit much. Let's see if I throw it up or not. Thanks. He grabs my head and presses our faces together. He laughs. When Steven laughs he leans his head back, opens his mouth and the sound rises from his Buddha belly. A little like Santa but not has full or long.
We finish dinner and I head to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom my breath is slightly taken away. he rehabbed this? It's beautiful. I look at the toilet and go to grab some TP, cuz I always do that prior to squatting, cuz you never know, and on top of the toilet is a curling iron. Hmmmm... I finish my business and go to wash my hands. Right there on the shelf is a wooden leaf and in it lay a cool turquoise ring. I try it on and it fits. A female's ring. Hmmmm....is his roommate a woman? Hmmm....why didn't he say something? Whatever.
I return to the couch, kick off my shoes and grab the blanket to warm my bare feet - his apartment is chill-ill-lee. He asks if I want to lay down, I say yes, and he whisks away the pillows from the couch selecting two to position behind our heads. He maneuvers himself behind me to be on the inside and pulls me, hugging the blanket ,back to lay in the nook of his arm. Of course, he now takes this moment to put his hand on my stomach - please don't feel the bulge. He reaches up to my face, grabs my chin and pulls my face to his for a serious make out session. I can tell he's, cough, enjoying it because he moans and the tongue is set free. I just don't know what to do with that thing! The majority of the kissing is good but this animal must. be. tamed! "Mmmm...you're a good kisser. I just realized that." Yes, cuz I don't have a wild animal in my mouth. We stop to take a breath and all of a sudden he's got heartburn and gas (burping not the farting kind like me). We go back to watching the movie and when it seems to have resolved itself he comes in for more. It continues this way for awhile.
Half way through the movie he apparently decides he wants more and we just start making out. Some light petting and he's on top of me. "We should move to the bedroom." Dingalingaling. Warning Epiphany. Warning! "Actually, would you be upset if I..." "No!" I smile. "Good, it's just that I'm enjoying the pace that we're at." "Totally." We continue to make out and he sits up, pulls me on top of him so that I'm actually sitting on his lap. All of a sudden there's a key in the dead bolt and we both jump. His legs move out from under me to a seated position on the couch. My legs are still behind his back and I'm covered with the blanket. His arm rests on the back of the couch. It's his roommate.
She (yes I said SHE) is a cute blonde in her 40's. He makes introductions and I'm kind of confused why he didn't correct me earlier and say that the he was actually a she. Did he think I would be jealous or something? To me this is not a big deal, I had a male roommate at one point but he was always with his girlfriend and almost never home. I still remember when we had a huge spider (E does NOT do spiders) on the vaulted ceiling of our apartment. Both of us were standing on the couch screaming like girls. Here I thought I would have a man around the house and I ended up with an eight year-old girl. Finally we called some real men to come dispose of the nuisance. I still laugh about that moment.
The roommate walks back into her room and closes the door. I look at Steven and laugh. I can't stop. "What?" Trying to catch my breath, "Oh. My. Gosh. I suddenly felt like I was 17 again!" We both laugh and laugh. With her settled in we continued watching the movie. When it was over, Steven grabbed my feet under the blanket and I laid back on the couch. He is a terrific masseuse! Whoops! I just let a little toot or two come out. Damn gassy ass! Well now he knows I fart. I try to cover it by asking questions and we talk. We talk about scary dreams, my Nuclear bomb, and his repetitive dream from childhood that came every night. He described how after some time he was actually able to start controlling the dream and change it. To me it sounded like a video game and I wondered if he was joking, but he wasn't. It apparently went on every night for years. We talked more about his family, his Mom moving, and the rest of it. Steven is quite shy when he opens up and talks about himself. There's a clear discomfort there but it was so nice to learn more about him.
Soon there after we were laying together again, this time E was crammed into the nook between the cushion and the back of the couch. Very cozy and warm! His heartburn was still acting up (and thank goodness because I think he wouldn't have stopped kissing and touching me! It was the perfectly timed, required time out.) However, at one point, after massaging my head (LOVE!), he began running his fingers down my neck. My eyes were closed and I heard the direction of his breathing change to look at me. The way I was laying compressed the little girls (with the help of a padded bra) into real cleave! His fingers ran lower and lower down the open v-neck of my tee and I thought I was going to lose it! I can feel my will power crumbling under his touch. I think screw it (pun intended) and suddenly I regain sanity. This is not how I want it to be. It's great that we have such hot sexual chemistry, but I don't want this to be all there is. Plus, E, you're a little desperate for sex, admit it! Finally, I stopped him and we gathered ourselves, breath included, so he could take me home. He cupped my face with one hand and said "Such a beautiful girl. I like you...a lot." "You're growing on me," I reply with a laugh. Then again, is he confusing desire with like? It's a guy thing. Men fall in love with their penis, women with their mind (thanks again for that information, Patty Stinger!).
Finally we peel ourselves apart. He sits on the couch and reaches for my hand to pull me out of the abyss. I stand to get my shoes and he grabs my hips, pulls me towards him and rests his head on my stomach. He then raises my shirt to kiss my stomach. Nnnnoooo not the bbbulllgeee! I stop him and pull him up. He turns on the light so I can find my shoes. We put the couch back together and get ready to leave.
He grabs my hand as we walk to the car, opens the door for me to get in, I reach down to hit the door lock (so "Singles") and he gets in. Within a few minutes we're outside my house and he asks in haste and excitement, as if he's suddenly remembered he hasn't asked me to get together again, "Hey, when am I going to see you again?" Think strategically, E. "I think Tuesday or Thursday. Let me check when I get in and I'll text you." "Ok".
Why, you ask, do I need to be strategic about this? Well, for one good reason it's getting a bit heated and I need to tame that by not creating opportunities for it to happen too soon. This means, NOT getting together with him Thursday-Saturday nights because he has three days off, which could mean late night dates and trouble. I am not in a rush. In the past, I would have ripped off his and my clothes and had sex too quickly. Those relationships never had any depth. We never just talked and got to know one another. I want this to be different. I want to find someone who is willing to wait, to have fun getting to know one another. So, Tuesday. Tuesday is good. We both have to work the next day, he at 5:30a.
In the meantime, none of the other guys have contacted me except for The Wet Rag who texted the other night. Unfortunately, a response must be given. My standard one is "Just want to let you know that I've met some people and moving forward to see how things go there. Take care." Gentle but not devastating like "I'm sorry you're about as exciting as a wet rag. I'm not interested." There is Don who is a hottie and I think I'm going to text and ask when we're getting together. I'm just going for it.