Justin's Life...

~ August 2001 ~
~ August 27th - 30th ~

August 27, 2001 - Monday

Lately, it seems all the potential dates I've encountered have had an aversion to body hair, so when Jay and I were going to go out this past Saturday night to a bar, I decided I'd leave my face scruffy and ward off the hair phobes.

After cleaning up the edges of my facial scruff and getting dressed, I looked in the mirror and decided that my outfit looked ok but could be better. I tried on a few different shirts and ended up layering two... the result was that I looked pretty damn cute. The color of the button down shirt brought out the color of my eyes and the facial hair was working, too. In turn, I figured that if the night didn't result in finding the man of my dreams, the look shouldn't go to waste, so I grabbed my digital camera and played around a bit, trying to get the perfect picture for my personal ad.

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Anyway, as I was playing with the digital camera, the phone rang. It was Daniel, a guy Jay and I'd met the week before at the bar where we were going this past Saturday night. We'd given him our cards, but he hadn't given us any way to contact him. When a week had passed and we still hadn't heard from him, we figured he was out of the picture, interested in neither of us.

So, as I was talking on the phone to Daniel, Jay arrived. I let him in and as I wrapping up the conversation, I told Jay who was on the other end. His response was "ARGHH!"

Truth be known, Jay had been totally Jonesing for Daniel and my interest was much more flippant, though when we were at the bar, it was obvious that Daniel was interested in me far more than he was in Jay. Jay would try to flirt with him, and he'd respond with something about how "adorable" I was.

Yet knowing how Jay was so much more into him, I even wrote both Jay's and my phone numbers on the back of my business card, opening the door and even pushing in Jay's direction. I mean, Daniel was a nice enough guy, but if Jay and I met a red head at the bar, I'd figure Jay'd at least attempt to steer him in my direction. If he was obviously more attracted to Jay, I'd chalk it up to just being one of those crazy nuances of life, but I'd figure Jay would at least make sure the red head knew I was out there.

Anyway, when I got off the phone, Jay was still in a pissy mood. We talked about it for a while and I remember him saying that sometimes he wished he had ugly friends. I thanked him for the compliment, and we headed out the door shortly thereafter.

Within the first minute or so after arriving at the bar, I noticed a really cute short guy staring me down. Having a thing for short guys, especially cute on the stockier/solid side short guys, I took notice, but he was busily talking to another bar patron... so I went off with Jay and began talking with a couple guys he'd hung out with on a few occasions.

As the night progressed, I kept looking back at the short guy. I stared a hole in him a few times, but he and the other guy seemed really wrapped in conversation. Yes, he did look back at me and he did smile a bit, one time even full on, but he was a gay man. Even if he was with the other guy, he'd likely still look. So, for a while, I played the staring game.

I'd go up to the bar, next to where they were standing, and I'd order a drink. I'd then return back to the other side where Jay and his friends were standing, giving the short guy pretty certain looks as I walked across the floor.

Finally, I decided I'd just go for it. I walked towards the bar and both the short guy and his companion were looking at me pretty unfalteringly, so I simply said, "Hey" as I waited for the bartender. I then walked over a few feet, introduced myself, and asked, "So, are you two together?" They responded that they were not, that they'd just met earlier in the night.

So I stood and talked with these two guys for a while. Eventually, Jay came over and a little thereafter, the non-short guy left. Long story short, so to speak, the three of us hung out, went to another bar for a bit, then parted ways at a little after two in the morning. I gave the short guy, whose name I'd found out was David, one of my cards and wrote my number on the back. He, in turn, took one of mine and wrote his full name, phone number, and e-mail address. He then asked if I wanted to get breakfast in the morning, and I said yes. A 9AM breakfast was set.

So, the next day (yesterday), I woke up at around 8:30AM and showered. 9AM passed and no one called. I called the number on the card a little later and got a generic answering cell phone voicemail system. I left a message with my name and number.

A while passed and I still got no call back. At around 10AM, I phoned again but didn't leave a message, then at a little after 11AM, I called once more to leave voicemail asking what was up. A minute or so later, my phone rang. It was David.

He apologized for oversleeping then asked if we could meet for lunch instead. I said yes and thirty minutes later, we met at a small family diner to have a very nice long lunch. Amazingly, we didn't talk at all about how I thought he was cute or had a nice body or whatever. We just talked about who we were, about our families, about school, and about where we lived. Or rather, where we live.

Unfortunately, David was just here for a conference, but as we said good-bye in the parking lot, he said that he got to California fairly often and that he liked San Diego. I responded that I liked him, and we said good-bye with a handshake.

It was nice... really nice and different. Usually, I tend to go for guys who lavish me with compliments, but save for rubbing my head before we said good-bye on Saturday night and asking me to have breakfast, my interactions with David were neutral in the attraction department. I don't know how to say it other than it was refreshing and something I'd like to experience again. I mean, I know he lives on the other side of the country, so I've got major doubts about it going anywhere... but it was too nice to rule out anything just yet.


August 29, 2001 - Wednesday

Early Monday evening, Jay said he was thinking about going out to the bar, and later Monday night, he said that while I was welcome to go along, he was going with or without me.

So, having nothing better to do and figuring why not, even though it was a Monday, I got dressed, he picked me up, and to the bar we headed.

When we got there, it was too sparsely populated to go inside, so walked down the street, goofed off a bit, then headed back to arrive around 9:20PM. There still were very few people inside, but we headed in nevertheless and Jay sat at a table while I stood next to him.

Next to our table was another mid-twenties looking guy who I mentioned to Jay. Jay responded that he had noticed him, too, but that he didn't know if the guy knew how to smile. I'd thought something similar, so I agreed then headed to the bar to get a drink.

When I returned, we talked about the stone faced guy a bit more then the owner of the bar came over and asked Jay if he wanted to play The Dating Game, which they set up on Mondays. Jay hemmed and hawed for a while then said he'd let me decide for him. I responded, "Sure. Why not?" and then the owner whisked him away to the office while Jay yelled back that I'd sold him out. -- Jay'd mentioned on our walk a few minutes earlier that he'd thought he'd learned his lesson the week before, but he had to add the qualifier "I think" and he had to point out that he had to add the qualifier. I figured he really did want to do it again but just needed some pushing.

Anyway, while Jay was back in the office, I walked around the bar and made eye contact with the non-smiley guy. He held my gaze for a couple seconds, and figuring Jay was back in the office for a while and I might as well push my going-up-and-talking-to-someone abilities, I walked over to the guy and made a comment about how he didn't look like he'd be a Madonna fan (whose concert was playing on the TV). He said he was but wasn't and we began a conversation.

A little later, Jay returned and the conversation stopped for a bit. I remarked about that and Jay said that he'd leave, but I said I was just commenting on it, not trying to get him to go away. So the three of us talked for a while and I thought it was going well, but when the non-smiley guy went to the bathroom, Jay said, "He's SOOO not into you."

True, he hadn't been obvious in it, but he did wink, he did nudge, and he grabbed my chin. He was military-boy into me, or so I thought, but was I simply missing something Jay could see? Was I making an ass out of myself? Barking up the wrong tree and I couldn't even tell? I didn't think so, but...

So, anyway, he came back from bathroom, and a few minutes later, the staff took Jay into the back room for pre-show preparations. While he was gone, I flat out repeated what Jay had said and asked if Jay was right. He responded that Jay was not and that being a military boy, he was a little more reserved. That sounded fine to me, and when Jay returned, I told him what had transpired.

A few minutes later, The Dating Game began and the "almost passable for a woman" drag queen began drawing numbers for free porn and to be a contestant. As luck would have it, one of the numbers given to the three of us was announced, but Jay was going to be the choose-a-date contestant later and the military boy definitely didn't want go up on stage... so they tipped my chair and I fell out of it. There was no recovering graciously, so I walked on up, got my bag with a cheesy porn video and lube, then went on the stage.

Contestants #2 and #3 were soon chosen then the drag queen had us introduce ourselves. I'm not sure what prompted it, but I said something about my friends pushing me to come up there and the drag queen responded that they probably figured I needed to get laid. I kept the conversation going and said something to indicate that I'd only met one of those friends that night, halfway indicating that I was working on that.

The other contestants introduced themselves then the guy on the other side of the curtain was brought out. He asked a bunch of innuendo laden questions, and I answered them cleverly but without the slime that was oozing from the others' answers. Something like "If you and I could go anywhere in the world, where would you take me and why?" got the answer of "Denny's in Mission Valley." My answer to "What's your best physical feature and what's the worst physical feature of the other contestants?" had the crowd yelling. For the first half, I said "my face." For the other two contestants, I said, "his face." And when we had to hula hoop to demonstrate who had the best waist action, the crowd cheered for me by far.

Needless to say, I was eating it up, and when the crowd gave their opinion as to whom the bachelor should pick, they cheered for me SO much louder than they cheered for Contestant #2 and #3. I had the HUGEST grin on my face... and well, he picked me.

After we posed for a picture, we went back down on the floor, and I told him that he could have the prize of a dinner for two and two movies passes. I was really after military boy and had even flirted with him while on stage, so I just didn't see the point of exchanging numbers with a guy who I found only passably attractive.

Anyway, another Dating Game round went by, I bought drinks for everyone, and then Jay went on stage. He went through his questions, and we helped him pick a contestant, avoiding the crazy looking guy and the one with unnaturally colored hair. After he selected the contestant we indicated, they posed for pictures then exchanged phone numbers. And then just like the week before, Jay was immediately ready to go as he had to get up for work the next day.

We said good-bye to the military boy and he responded, "You have to give me your number." I asked, "Do you really want it?" and he said that he did, so I got out one of my cards and wrote it down.

I then asked if I could get his number and he wrote it down for me along with his first name and a smiley face. (Yes, I already knew his first name as we'd handled those preliminaries much earlier in the night, but the smiley face was a nice touch.) I asked if I could call him the next day and he said yes.

Jay then said something about him walking out with us, but he said he was going to stay a bit longer. That seemed a tad odd as it was around 12:30AM and he, too, had said that he had to get up in the morning. I couldn't figure out what would be accomplished by staying any longer, but I didn't think too much about it and Jay dropped me off here at my apartment shortly thereafter.

The next day (yesterday), I tried calling the number the military guy had written on the card. I had wanted to ask him out to dinner either Wednesday or Thursday night, but all I heard was, "The Pacific Bell Wireless subscriber that you have called does not accept incoming calls." What? It wasn't the "out of the area" message... it was no incoming calls at all. Why would he have given me a number that didn't accept incoming calls? Was it even his number? Was Jay right the whole time and he was "sooo not into" me and I couldn't even see it? Had I made a complete fool of myself for the entire night? Had I been played? Why would he ask for my number? I didn't ask for his until after he asked for mine. Why wouldn't he just say that he lived on base instead of giving me a number that didn't work? Why the smiley face if he wasn't interested? He had seemed interested, but how could he not know that his phone didn't accept incoming calls?

The questions, scenarios, and possibilities went through my head in innumerable permutations. I had found him attractive and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy, but I wasn't at a loss because I couldn't get ahold of the man of my dreams but rather because I kept thinking I'd been played. I mean, I think my ability to read people is one of my strong points. Had I gone the whole night misreading him? What about the kiss on the cheek when I left? Yeah, I gave him one, but he gave me one back. Was all that disingenuous? Surely I'm not that bad at reading people, so what if he just didn't know? What if he really was interested but I said I'd call him the next day and didn't, so he figured since he asked me for my phone number that I really wasn't interested. But that seems hard to imagine, too. I had even flirted with him from on stage and I was fairly obvious when I was sitting next to him. ARGHH! The uncertainty.

And so, now it's Wednesday and I still have no more insight than I did yesterday. The number still doesn't go through, and I haven't a clue as to what's really going on. But, at the very least, I'm a lot less caught up in it than I was yesterday. It's amazing how one can go from such feelings of self-assuredness, like during the Dating Game thing, to such feelings of inferiority and uncertainty in such a short time. What crazy creatures we are.


August 30, 2001 - Thursday

Yesterday, Jay and I were discussing our recent "bar ho"dom ("bar ho"dom in that we've been going to the bar more than once a week; not "bar ho"dom as in going to the bar and taking someone home), but my take on it is that this is the time in my life when I should be a "bar ho." I should be going out, meeting guys, and trying to get a date.

For a good chunk of my life, I've hidden behind a computer screen to let it initiate the interactions. I use someone knowing about me before I meet him as a crutch, as a rejection buffer. And I wouldn't trade my life or my experiences, but it's time I had some new ones. Moving out on my own was to begin this self-discovery, and I have found out things about myself. My non-computer-initiated confidence is increasing and my tastes are becoming more refined. For example, in addition to liking red heads, I've also found that I'm attracted to short guys and have a hankering for military men. Who knows how long that'll last, but the point is that I'm out there discovering it. As Larry once said, life "is a collection of moments strung together. and then you die." This is my collection of bar-ho moments and I'm really grateful to have them.

Life is all about the experiences.

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© 2001 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's