Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why the Universe Is Frustrated With Me

© Jon Brock - 2013
I've slowly but surely weened myself off the terrible narcotic that is "online dating." No more OkCupid (too scientific); no more Adam4Adam (too nasty); no more Grindr (too stale); no more Craigslist (, yeah). It's over! See ya! Later! Goodbye! (Although, I'm sure that I'll relapse at some point. It happens. I'm only human.) Without being "plugged in," so to speak, I'm left with (really) only one option: organic, face-to-face, human interaction.

Oh no! Run for the hills! Isn't there an app for all of this?! Get my phone! No! No! No!

It's throwback time, bitches! Time to go back to the days of generations past; the days when if you thought someone was cute, or funny, or desirable in some way, shape, or form, then you fucking approached the person and engaged him/her in a conversation. None of this "Looking?" or "Sup" bullshit. Whatever I may be looking for, I guarantee you that you're not going to satisfy that search with a shirtless photo of yourself, followed up by a photo of your cock and/or ass. Sure, I'll jerk off to it, but I could have easily done that without your (typically) unsolicited "explicitives." (Yes, I just made up a new term. Tell your friends.)

Right...where was I? Oh, yes: human interaction, and why the universe is frustrated with me. Now that I must resort to meeting people out in the real world, I've been putting my social skills to the test. The odds are forever against me, as I'm both shy and extremely introverted. Despite those menacing truths, one can only get better at socializing with each subsequent interaction. (That's what they call conventional wisdom.) Anyway, let's fast forward a bit...

The last guy that I was dating--we'll call him X--was playing host to his three friends from San Diego last weekend. It was nothing out of the ordinary; people have friends that visit all the time. But my sister (who lives in Los Angeles) was also in town that weekend for a work conference. As I do with all new visitors to this great city, I got a car and drove her straight to the top of Twin Peaks. You can see the entire city from that vantage point. That was something that I had done with X on a previous occasion. Naturally, I was surprised when, soon after arriving at our destination, I noticed X pull up with his three friends. We huddled up--it was cold and windy up there--and went through our introductions. As it turned out, X's three friends were attending the same conference as my sister. And they had even been to some of the same conferences in the past, but were not made aware of such until that moment.

So, here was this guy, X, whom I had much more connection to than I had previously known, and I couldn't help but think that the universe was just fucking with me. "(Finally), here's a good guy for you. And he's connected to you in these different, and good, ways. Go for it!" Maybe it all appears tenuous, but maybe it isn't so. Moving forward.

I needed my fix before work yesterday, so I went to Philz Coffee in the Castro. I placed my order and then went to pay for it, where a guy that was totally my type--can you guess that one?--rang me up. After giving him my debit card, this conversation occurred:
"You must be from Washington?"
"How would you have guessed that?"
"Because your card is from [credit union]."
"Oh, right!"
"I'm actually from there. A little town called 'Kent.'"
"No shit! I'm from Kent!"
And from there we proceeded to chat about where we specifically lived and went to school. It turns out that he lived just a few miles south of where I lived. So, again, what are the odds of me crossing paths with someone that was super cute and nice, grew up in the same damn town as me, and just happens to be gay and living in the same city as me now? These all can't be coincidences, can they? The problem was that I failed to act on an oft -late impulse to attempt to engage the other person again. I didn't say, "Hey, if you'd ever like to get together sometime and talk about growing up in Kent, give me a call," and then give him my number. Nope. Instead I did what I have always done: get awkward and run for the nearest emergency exit.

That was the universe, again, attempting to push me down the right path. But I fucked that one up, too. The moment in which it could have been completely organic, and not planned or contrived, has passed, and all because I failed to do what people did before the internet and smartphones. But failure isn't forever. One of these days I will stop missing all the pins that the universe sets up for me, and I'll finally get a strike.

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