I sort of knew, when I met Anthony on Saturday night, that he’d stick around. Or we were going to date or something. I’ve been especially intuitive lately, it kicked up in March. I knew on my birthday (mid March) that this would be the year I’d move to New York. I knew that I would get the job at LNYC, and that it would last about two months. Easily, it is too soon to say about Anthony. I can’t even remember his last name.
Saturday, I’d woken up late from a nap and texted Feifei. I met she and some of her friends at Macondo in the East Village. Afterwards, we went to Arrow to meet up with one of the girl’s soon-to-be-lover. Anthony was a part of the group. He bought us all a round of beer at the start, and when he brought them back to us, we ended up in conversation for the rest of the night. It’s very curious. There was nothing in particular that interested me about him. I was particularly introverted that night, so the focused one-on-one conversation felt good. He was fucking with me a lot and at some point, to mock the complaints I had about getting hit on by married men (somehow, this was one of our earliest conversations), he said that he was married. Later, we laughed about how he was kidding. “But I was definitely hitting on you,” he said. It was just such a good banter. It flowed but wasn’t completely natural (I think this is because I’m “still getting adjusted to my new surroundings,” as Mahala told me on the phone today).
Afterwards, we departed from our group and went into another bar, neither of us remember the name. But we sat together and talked closely. A pair of long haired, young, pretty hipsters came in and Anthony complimented one’s jacket. She asked us about our relationship and Anthony told her that we just got engaged. We were both sort of hiding my bare hand. “I love you,” he said. “I just love you so much,” he said to me. I hardly knew what to do with it, but swallowed it whole. He’s funny. This girl was watching. Anthony and I met eyes. I dropped eye contact and touched the stubble of his new beard and we kissed. Cautiously, at first, it was an intimate moment exposed, and then better, more like a performance. This girl had absolutely no idea we had never kissed, had barely ever met.
There was some fluid conversation with different groups in that bar. It was very nice, like something in a small town. After speaking to one group of people I’d turned around to go back to Anthony and someone grabbed my ass. I asked if it was him. He shook his head at me as if to say, you’re serious–you’re serious. It was another guy. The jerk admitted it, and it was very close to being something bad. The jerk mouthed off at Anthony, apologizing for grabbing his girlfriend.
“She’s not my girlfriend,” he snapped.
Standing, I put my hands on Anthony’s knees. “Don’t do anything,” I said.
“I want to,” he said.
“Don’t. Just switch places with me.”
We were going to have one last beer but that had sort of ruined it. I felt so uncomfortable. We hailed a cab and he rode with me to my apartment on Third Ave.
“I have to see you again,” he said.
He texted, a casual conversation on Sunday night. I don’t know much about dating in the city, but I know that I don’t want a boyfriend. I texted back. We went back and forth for about an hour.
Yesterday, he didn’t text. I didn’t text. Nobody called.
At 6:30 tonight, Anthony texts: Hey!?!
And I wrote back, Hi!
And we texted for about an hour, and he asked me out.
He’s taking me to dinner on Sunday. The location is a “surprise for now.”