If this had happened in 1995…


I went on a date last night with some guy I met online (OK Cupid if you must know). We were talking, having the getting-to-know-you conversation that ranges across personal histories, family, cities lived in, etc. In and among the chatting, it turned out that we had both lived in San Francisco before, and coincidentally for much of the same time. And then, as he was describing his former place of work there, something clicked and I realized we had met before. The vagaries of how the memory works are mysterious to me. I am not entirely sure why certain things stick in our heads and others don’t, or why these things remain buried for years and years with nary a peep until something calls them forward. Only a few jumbled pieces were coming to me. I remember talking at a party and thinking this guy was quite sexy. I remember having a slight crush on him at the time, but that nothing ever happened between us. I remember (vaguely) bumping into him in a couple of other situations in SF at that time. And that was it, but it was enough for me to marvel that after all these years he should contact me to ask me out on a date. And although it was slight, I noticed that this past feeling of longing was somewhat coloring last night’s date, and that I felt myself slightly more attracted to him than I would have been had we just met for the first time. It was as if my younger self was still wanting a chance with his younger self. And the date itself went very well, drinks moved on to dinner, and we had a wide ranging, easy conversation that I honestly enjoyed. Since we were close to my place, he walked me back and I invited him in for a few minutes. He made some remark about it not being a good idea to come up, but did anyway and soon we found ourselves on my sofa talking when he planted a kiss on me. And then we kissed more fully. It was pretty awkward and awful to tell the truth, and whatever spell had been cast by my younger longing was pretty instantly broken. I suddenly had no desire for him at all. I quickly moved off the couch to get more water, and repositioned myself a little bit away from him. We made some noise about seeing each other again, and I led him to the door. He was a nice guy, and someone I wouldn’t mind being friends with, but I am not the same person as I was years ago, and neither is he. As he left, a big smile¬†crossed¬†my face at the circularity of things, and how years and years of distance can suddenly touch each other across all that time and space. Even for those things you had no memory of, and that seemed so small and insignificant.