Do you ever have one of those nights where an attractive person starts hitting on you in a bar? It was someone you’d met over the summer, but neither of you have been able to piece together just how you met. We were drunk… and talked about Sunglass Hut… right? Is that what happened? And every time you see each other you exchange some cheap small talk and that I know you but I don’t know you look of recognition.
But tonight is different. Tonight the two of you make an effort to solve the mystery of each other.
He asks, “Who are you from 8-5?”
As in, what do you do, but for you, the question should have been phrased, “Who are you from 6 AM – midnight?”
You start with the library. It’s what pays your bills, so get that part out of the way. Next mention the magazines. They’re interesting and cultured and oh-so-hip (never mind that they don’t pay you). And to close, talk about your job with the youth program, that “it pays the bills but really I just like hanging out with the kids” sort of thing to really get his ovaries swollen.
Gay men have ovaries right? Ovaries swell when excited, right? For working in a medical library your knowledge of interior anatomy is poor.
The youth program reference makes him smile.
“I used to be a latchkey kid,” he says.
Never mind that he’s an adult, or that he’s probably two or three years older than you.
Boner City, Population Zero.
Maybe it’s because he leaned in when he said it, maybe you caught a draft of his breath and didn’t like the taste. Taste is important. Science says so.
Maybe your head is wired poorly and now perceives this grown-ass man as a grimy fifth grader.
Or maybe it was his question, “Who are you from 8-5?” Maybe the person you are at the bar is compatible with him, but the person you are from 8-5 isn’t.
Whatever it is, you’re no longer interested in exchanging numbers.
You’ll still see him at the bar, and every time you’ll exchange smiles and small talk.
You’ll talk about what you do from 8-5 while sharing time from 10-midnight, because that's what feels right.
Because for now, your faces aren't meant to cross paths outside of the warm safety of the bar.