I had decided before this date began that it was much more like a continuation of my first date with Fred than the beginning of a second. Yes, very thinly rationalized in order to ameliorate my feelings of guilt and angst, but I figured, I was close enough to finished with my experiment to justify it, so, why not?
Fred picked me up at roughly at my apartment complex. As I got into his car he commented that he liked my “summery outfit”, which seemed a strange compliment, but I thanked him and let it go. The concert started at eight, so we had just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat and make it to Reed on time. Fred drove a great little red MG which he had purchased when he was 16 or 17, and had been working on ever since. The top was down, it was a beautiful evening, and we were going to a symphony where I was planning to stomp on Fred’s guts. Ah, life.
As we neared the Sellwood area, I suggested a little place called Stickers Asian Cafe, a place I had gone to with my wasband on our way to a performance of the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus at Reed several months before. Fred parked the car just west of the restaurant and we went in. Stickers is one of those places which is an amalgamation of many different types of restaurant; Thai, Indian,
Mediterranean, all fairly good, all reasonably priced. I
ordered some lamb kabob dish and Fred ordered the Pad Thai. I was sitting so
that Fred would have had to make quite an effort to touch me; my feet were
tucked up under my butt and my back was pressed firmly against the booth and
hopefully out of the reach of Freddy fingers. The dinner went rather smoothly
until I noted that Fred was leaning forward in his seat. I tried to ignore it
until after a short but awkward silence; I finally had to ask, “What?” Fred
replied that he was just struck by my beauty or some other such nonsense, which
caused me to roll my eyes and push even further back against the booth. He seemed
dejected and muttered, “Wow, great response.” I could only reply that he had
caught me off guard and did not sound very convincing. He offered that he had
meant it, though he admitted to sounding a bit sarcastic when he said it. What
a delightful pair we made.
We ended up arriving in plenty of time for the concert and found the snack/wine/beer/dessert stand strategically placed outside of the concert hall. He offered to buy me a glass of wine or a bite of dessert and I replied in the negative, citing fullness and lack of comfort as my reasons. I was becoming more and more annoyed as the touching had recommenced after we had arrived at Reed. We went in and found our seats, which were located quite near to the stage. He began touching me again, and at this point I felt it was my responsibility to tell him about my personal space bubble and how irritating I found his touch. He told me that he would respect my wishes and stop touching me, but when a large man found his seat next to mine moments later, Fred grabbed the arm of my chair and pulled it closer to his, telling me that he was concerned with the other man touching me.
During intermission, I texted Reggie; I was planning on riding my bike over to his place after the concert. Intermission occurred quite late, but I was hell bent on getting over there that night. Our meetings were happening regularly and had become more and more of a physical necessity as time had passed. After I finished texting I went outside to find Fred sipping on a plastic cup of red wine. “Are you sure you don’t want any wine?” Fred was beginning to strike me as more and more of a nudge as the night went on. He seemed to not want to take no for an answer on the wine issue, which only made me more stubborn on the matter. After the concert was over, he asked me several times how he was going to kiss me if I would not allow him to touch me. It seemed like the perfect opportunity, so I told him that I wasn’t at all attracted to him. His response to this was of course to try and convince me that I could be in the future, and to not give up on him. After a certain amount of arguing on the matter, I simply gave up. I had tried honesty, I had tried to tell him how I felt about him, but he would not accept it, so I decided right there and then to never call him again. During the rest of the ride home he tried to get me to agree to go and get ice cream with him. Every reason I gave, exhaustion, it being a work night, even dairy intolerance did not seem to convince him of my answer. Thankfully our argument ended in my parking lot, without an ice cream shop in sight.
As I got out of the car he commented that he was sorry he had not told me how beautiful I looked, and what a nice outfit I had on. I saw these last comments as his final attempts to convince me not to give up on him, which, of course did not work. As I walked up the stairs to my apartment, I realized that I was far too tired to ride my bike to Reginald’s. It was roughly and I was exhausted from the constant arguing and turf defense I had partaken in for most of the evening. At least I was done with Fred, and though he did not yet fully recognize this, I was convinced that after the third or fourth unreturned phone call, he would get the message. It seemed in this case that my silence would speak more loudly than my words were able to, and though it was a grueling way to spend an evening, I felt certain I would not make this mistake again. Then again, this was the exact thought that had gone through my head roughly one week ago, so at this point, there really was no telling what I was incapable of.