It’s cherry blossom time in good ‘ole Washington D.C., the capital of the US. The photos as well as the election talk brings me right back to when I was living there, as well as an extremely memorable encounter…
We pop open the fourth bottle of house Prosecco at house pricing but the quality doesn’t matter right now: we are happy. The presidential debate is on the big screen and every time one of the candidates speaks the keyword we swig. I am at my favorite bar in Washington D.C., one of the most surprisingly liberal cities in the U.S. I think the trigger word to drink is tax cuts or education? Maybe healthcare I can’t remember — the same words are constantly repeated once every four years. I don’t miss American politics at all.
I’m listening to know-it-alls shout back at the TV. Political peanut galleries are so passionate, as if the candidates and America can hear them. Nothing new is spoken. I am bored.
”Food. It’s all about what you eat.” …says a new voice. We are talking policy and reform, tax cuts and healthcare and this guy interrupts, insisting everything is about what we consume? How absurd. So absurd, I turn my head to look. There is a man standing a few feet away. There is something about him that’s different. I don’t know what and I don’t know why but the man is different. Different is definitely good.
He is leaning against the wall near the doorway. In one hand is a glass of clear liquid over rocks. I’m still unsure what to make of him. He has a street vibe — or is urban the politically correct way to say ghetto now? — yet very distinguished. He has this beautiful glow, an unexplainable aura. Normally, I pay minimal attention to endless chit-chatter. For some reason, I am anticipating the words that are streaming out of his mouth. I challenge him on a few points about issues he confidently states. He steps back, surprised that he is challenged but continues forth. I challenge him again, he pushes then pulls. I push then pull. Oh I get it. We are playing a game — bring it.
When the cadence of our conversation has finally slowed, he swiftly changes the subject and asks what I am doing in D.C. I respond, work. He says he is there for work as well. I notice his entourage for the first time and taken aback. Why hadn’t I seen all the people hovering around him until now? It’s too late to ask as a mac truck of a man whispers something to him. The mac truck leaves and the man turns to me and says he has to go, but would love to meet up later for a drink. I laugh. “Later for a drink can mean only one thing.” I say and without breaking the rhythm he says “it’s whatever you want it to be…but let me get your number so we can link up.”
Reluctant to be so generous with my personal information I smile and shift my body away from him. He leans in towards me to get closer. Push and pull, still the same game, same rhythm. He then asks: “Do you know who am I am?”
An arrogant demeanor such as his would usually make me shut down and cut further communication but instead, he draws me in with his earnest curiosity that I do not recognize him. His childlike mannerism intrigues me but more so, it convinces me he is genuine. “Am I supposed to?” I coyly retort. Not a beat is missed as I have the Prosecco running through me, giving the nudge of confidence I need to keep up with this intoxicating man.
He then says, “I am _____, have you heard of me?” Me in my head (Holy shit. How can I be so stupid and blind and idiotic not to recognize this guy?) but I keep my composure.
“Sure I do but I’m more interested in what’s going on up in that head of yours.”
We exchange numbers and emails, he doesn’t have a Facebook. He spends the next few days attempting to get me to attend his functions. I didn’t show up to any of his pre-parties or after-parties or shows. But we did have breakfast the day he was leaving. A simple, boring breakfast of fruit and black coffee. I was a bit relieved the spark was still there while we were sober. He goes back on the road, I go back to work.
We continued seeing each other for a few months in different cities, and he was everything I needed when he showed up in my life: sharp, funny, and most of all quick. I hadn’t met someone whose wit I had trouble keeping up with in a long time. He was unavailable yet attentive which made me feel special. I knew he was self serving and definitely not a keeper but I couldn’t help but be taken with the attention he was showering me with. He proved that “busy” is simply an excuse, as he made a lot of time for me amidst his hectic schedule, life, and unattainability. I knew things were not going to last but I didn’t care in the moment. Is it so wrong to want what we can’t have at least once in our lives?
I stopped talking to… hmmmm let’s call him “DC” — I can’t think of a nickname that won’t immediately give away his identity. I met him in DC, so I will name him DC. As in the District of Columbia. This name doesn’t do him justice. I don’t know why his lousy nickname bothers me so much but it does. Where was I? Oh yes, so I stopped returning DC’s phone calls, text messages and failed to respond to his emails because I let someone back into my life. DC soon got the hint and stopped contacting me. This was more than a year or so ago but I periodically hear from him even to this day.
The other day, I ran into mutual friends in Tokyo of all places and he reached out again. What this means I have no clue nor do I have the bandwidth to care. What I do know is this man and I have random connections that brings him back into my life at certain moments. He is on the road again and mentioned stopping by Tokyo between cities. Nice thought but I’m tired of words with no actions. We shall see if he really does show-up.
(Completely fair how this could sound make believe. But I have girlfriends who met him and photos from those days. If it didn’t happen to me, I’d think it was far fetched too.)