Recently I’ve been on a few dates from an online dating site. The people have all been a lot of fun to talk to and get to know a little. It’s definitely an interesting way to get to know Seattle and myself. Dating is very new to me, especially online dating. Sixteen years out of my 41 years of life I’ve been married and then 99.99% of the people I’ve been in any sort of relationship with have been friends before I ever went out with them. I feel pretty clueless.
The date I went on the other night surprised me. When I walked into the bar and saw him my first impression was that he was much different than I had expected, in a good way. I could see how he would be fun and that I would probably be attracted to him eventually.
I’ve learned recently that I’m not attracted to anyone that I meet at first. I need to get to know them a little and that takes time. This actually has had me worried but that’s probably a whole other blog post.
My date and I talked in the bar for a while, which was fun, and then we left in search of some music. At one point he gave me his arm and I took it. We headed towards a place where a Latin band would be playing. Dozens of memories from when I served a Spanish speaking Mormon mission in Los Angeles flooded my head.
By this point on the date I had drank one and half ciders. At this level of tipsiness I have trouble keeping my mouth from talking. It just keeps going and going spilling out all of the contents of my brain.
I told him about a Taco Bell in Los Angeles that I had eaten at where bulletproof glass reached from counter to ceiling creating a barrier between the employees and the customers. You spoke into a microphone in the glass to place your order, paid through a revolving door, and received your food through another revolving door. There is something eerie about this set up. The workers are protected over there on that side of the glass but I am over here out in the open eating my taco.
I told him about the time I drove my companion and I, sort of by accident, down an alley way right into a drug bust. An under cover cop whistled at me pretty much saying “What the hell? Move your ass out of here!” I drove the car in reverse out of the alley way and that is when I noticed the armory truck parked out back and the helicopter flying over head.
After about an hour or two my companion and I drove by the front of the house. Yellow tape lined the yard. Three or so blue body bags filled with bodies littered the yard. More were being pulled out of the house. An ice-cream truck parked kitty-corner across the street sold ice cream to the spectators lined up on the sidewalk.
I told him about the blue trailer park. The trailers were the size of my living room, if that, and housed several people to one trailer. One lady lived in a trailer in the back with her five kids. You couldn’t even stand up in the trailer but it did have two rooms to it I think.
Several of the kids who lived in the trailer park would gather around us as we read Book of Mormon stories. I felt scared for their future. I knew exactly what they would have to encounter once they grew up a little. Once we taught a drug dealer who couldn’t leave the trailer park without being severely beaten by a gang he was in trouble with. One night he called us. My companion, who was from Ecuador, answered the phone and since her Spanish is perfect she understood well the dirty things that he was saying to her. It freaked us out that night.
I told my date about the time I saw two dead bodies covered in white sheets whose covered heads leaned up against a brown apartment complex. How seeing that created a haunting and sad feeling in me.
He seemed to like me talking and when I apologized he told me he enjoyed it. I tried really hard to listen to him too, which can be challenging at times like that because my mind feels like a race car with my thoughts being some super-charged high-octane gasoline forcing the car to zoom around corners, fly over hills and under bridges, at head-spinning eyeball-popping speeds. It’s curiosity about the person in front of me that saves me in moments like this.
The thoughts and memories kept spilling out of my mouth until we were surrounded by music.
Since there would be dancing I decided that it would be OK to have a shot of fireball. One shot and a lot of water. We danced and it was fun. He held my hand and that was OK. He touched me a little more and that was OK too. It’s nice to get that sort of touch because I haven’t had it for so long.
Then at one point his hand slid up the back of my sweater and onto my skin and his fingers slipped under the band of my pants. I felt like crying. I’m not sure why maybe because it didn’t seem like he was going to stop and I was going to have to tell him to. And this is where I can see I obviously have an issue to deal with. I told him that that was too fast for me. He didn’t do it again. He was nice and fun and I will probably go out with him again.
After that though I wanted to be by myself. I wanted to dance by myself and it took every thing I had to keep paying attention to him. When he left to the bathroom I danced fully to the music and loved it. There is something about turning completely over to music that connects my body, mind, and emotions with what is outside of me and that is incredibly satisfying and soothing. I find that sexual arousal can do the same thing that music does.
When he came back the band was playing a song in Spanish that said hear me, listen to what I have to say. The lyrics memorized me. I repeated them back to him. I was excited that I could understand.
It clicked. I need someone who can hear what my body is saying and understand it. I need us to hear each other. That is where I have found safety and satisfaction before and I don’t want anything other than that.
In an effort to try and understand I ask myself does it take some people just as much effort to slow down and listen to subtle body cues when their hormones are running fast as it does me to pause and listen to what someone has to say when my thoughts are racing?