about that guy I did like a man

About eleven months ago…

A few days after returning from my trip, as I was reflecting on how thoughtful my one-night lover had been, I decided to send him a note.

“Anthony, it was lovely,” I emailed. Short and sweet.

“It’s been a week, and I’m still smiling,” he replied. Thus began another long-distance flirtation. We emailed or texted a few times a week, and even spoke on the phone.

I enjoyed the attention, and I loved crafting 140 or fewer character flirtations.

“Your messages are like haikus,” he texted.

“More like Zen koans,” I corrected.

One night, while out for drinks with girlfriends, I confessed to him that I barely remembered his name, much less what he looked like. He wrote, “I was your first kiss, the first lover’s poem to grace your ears, the first flutter of breath on your neck, the first touch of your breast… Lover, you know me!” The girls and I swooned.

I’d previously held a belief that casual sex was cold, awkward and impersonal. Anthony, with his musical accent and charming banter, had taught me that it could be warm and playful.

A few months after our meeting, at the end of one of our conversations, he asked me if we might meet in another city for a weekend. And that’s when I realized we were on completely different pages in our lives. I was living a flirtation, and it was enough for me. He was thinking of seeing me again. My daily life felt like a struggle to pay the mortgage and parent my children with almost no support from their father (who was, at the time, still trying to be difficult). This was no time to think about jetting off to see a lover, particularly one with whom I could envision no future. The only way I could have made this work at that time was if he were in a position to be a sugar daddy. Does is make me a whore to think that way — that I might have considered it if he were picking up the tab? Looking back, I think I really needed an escape, so I won’t judge myself too harshly.

Anthony and I continue to be in touch occasionally. I think he likes my coolness (cruelty?) or views me as a challenge. Perhaps, given its effectiveness, this is an approach I should adopt towards men I really like…

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