Date night. My sister asked why I hadn't gone to the game and met up with him after it was over. I can't give her an answer without revealing my feelings so I tell her I hadn't thought about it. He sends me a message asking what my plan is, I tell him I'm going to see my sister who lives 15-20 minutes from the ballpark. She invites us over for drinks. I tell him there's no pressure and wait for the game to end to hear from him again. I give him my sister's address after he says he is okay with meeting her and my brother-in-law. My sister lives on the Milwaukee border. I send him the address after running it past her. Sooner than I expect he's telling me he's arrived, but when I go outside I don't see him.
Half an hour passes. His phone is dead, I left him a message wondering if he's been in a car accident or gotten lost despite the Waze app. Finally he shows up with a funny story. Instead of typing in 119th Street he misses a number and drives to 19th Street which is about 15 minutes away from Miller Park. The neighborhood is so rough he's positive my sister does not live there. His suspicions are confirmed when a large man asks him what he's doing there. He explains he's meeting a friend and is told that his friend doesn't live here and neither does his sister. Other men come to support the man talking to him. He explains that he's obviously made some kind of mistake, checks his iPad and learns of his mistake.
We spent some awkward time chatting with my sister and brother-in-law. I'm hungry, tired, and wondering if I've made a mistake. We've seen pictures of each other and spent a lot of time talking and trading messages, but meeting in person is different. I suggest we get going, we discuss the car situation. He agrees to take me back to my sister's after the night ends. This seems like the best option, he drives and I navigate even though he's fairly familiar with the area. He likes the picnic and to make it even better, a Star Wars movie is playing. I'm envisioning us sitting on the picnic blanket thinking I can survive a movie I have no desire to see that he likes.
Once we start talking I lose track of time. We must have sat there for a while discussing our failed marriages, the four miscarriages he and his wife endured before learning that she was expecting his youngest. The test for cystic fibrosis is 96% in favor of it. He sits on the floor crying until his boss pulls him into his office. At home they prepare for a child with a debilitating health issue, but when she's born they discover that she escaped the odds. He grew up in the Midwest and talks about being back and how different is is from life in the rest of the United States. We joke as we walk. I pretend to point out a parking structure claiming it's one of the must see items in downtown Milwaukee.
At the Summerfest grounds we see the artists that are going to be in town and learn that if he could have a meal with anyone he would invite Sir Paul McCartney. He took some flak for his answer, but that's who he would like to meet. I'm walking along when all of sudden my ankle starts hurting pretty badly. I can't tell if we're better off turning back or going forward. We chose to keep moving along the lake, walking between the orange traffic barriers that have been erected to direct festival traffic. The hotel is further away than I thought. Near the end I'm thinking more about my foot than what he's saying. He tells me we can get a cab. I realize this, but I keep walking.
He has to drive to Michigan the next morning. We've suggested he take the ferry, he looks into it and I'm gratified that he'll be able to shave a few travel hours off of his day. His schedule is hectic, uncertain, and grueling. To have his undivided time and attention is wonderful. Up in his room we take a look at my ankle which is steadily throbbing. I prop it up on a table he moved for me, but that starts cutting off the circulation in my leg. There's an ugly orange chair in his room. I tell him to sit in it with me and snuggle. It doesn't work, but he kisses me and that does. I love being kissed and he does it well.
The transition from square chair to bed is surprisingly seamless. We kiss until I tell him I need a break. It's not a physical thing, I'm just overwhelmed. We lay next to each other for a while talking about whatever. I mention E2 and tell him about tentative. This reminds me that I haven't heard from her in a while, I feel like a bad friend who has become so wrapped up in my own little world that I've neglected friendships I've cultivated and nurtured in the past. I vow to reach out to her and others. We start kissing each other again. I unbutton his shirt and stick my hand beneath the layer closest to his skin. He asks if he can reciprocate which endears him to me.
We start stripping off clothes and lay back down. He tells me my lips are soft. I tell him I work hard at it and laugh since I don't do anything. He holds me very close, his hands are tight on my arms and shoulders. We learn things about each other, what works and what isn't effective. We take another break and I lay on top of him. My skin is heated, but I'm cold. I pull the bedding over me and ask him if he's hot. He tells me he's fine and I should make myself comfortable. We have conversational and sexual chemistry that surprises me. I climbed on top of him, we're naked from the waist up and getting bolder. Eventually I collapse on top of him again. He rubs my back and holds me. I'm pretty close to tears, but manage to change the subject.
As grownups we know that he has to leave early in the morning. I don't voice this, but the little girl in me wants to beg him to stay knowing that's unrealistic and he would if he could. We talk about the past few months and how we've been planning a picnic ever since the day when we pretended we were having a virtual picnic via emoji conversation. He told me he would give me money for the picnic, the only thing I bought was the lemonade I mixed with tea and fruit. He didn't drink much of it, I don't know if he liked it or not, it doesn't matter. We hold hands and both grip the other's palm tightly. I explain that my left thumb needs to be close to my index finger. He kisses the side of my head before we get out of bed. My necklace won't cooperate so he helps me with it. I feel like half of a whole.
The ride back to my sister's house is short. He tells me he'll be thinking about our time together on his way to Michigan. I drive home in the rain feeling more alive and real than I can ever remember feeling. It's surreal and I find myself wondering if it really happened or I just imagined it. We know we live far away from each other and his schedule doesn't lend itself to frequent Milwaukee visits. We have difference and things in common. He negotiates for a living, He's a mentor even when the situation is complex. It doesn't seem as if he takes anything too seriously which is exactly what I need as someone who tends to take myself and others way too seriously while occasionally blowing off something that actually deserves serious contemplation.
It helps that we were friends before tonight. I ask him why he reached out after I told my Twitter friends about my stay in the mental hospital. He doesn't have an answer for me. Both of us were recently divorced and have some similar attitudes about cutting losses and not allowing things to drag on interminably. He takes action. I love how decisive he is because he asks what I want and takes cues from me. Most of the decisions are unimportant, what's of critical value is how he makes me feel. Like I'm important and a priority instead of in his way or a burden he has to carry. I realize I know very little about how to proceed in this type of a relationship. He asks me questions about Milwaukee that I can't answer. I feel like a tourist in a town I've been going to since I was a child.
We talk about being direct and confident. I tell him I don't have a subtle bone in my body and he laughs. We make jokes about my mom jeans. We click. We're in tune with each other. He's told my sister that parenting gets better. We talk about his children and mine. He's a very positive and optimistic person without denying that there are circumstances and events that suck when you're going through them. He tells me about being held up in the Dominican Republic. He's been everywhere and I haven't. But he doesn't make me feel like I'm naive and uncultured. He has non-stop energy, I keep yawning and feel bad that I'm so tired. He doesn't seem to mind.
The ferry was booked so he ended up having to drive to Michigan through the pouring rain. I kept waiting to hear from him, we don't text, we run everything over Twitter. I feel foolish when I check my phone and see missed messages from him. We're in relationship limbo, figuring things out now that we've met in person. I'm stunned that he asked me out and turned down a supper invite to spend time with me. He told an inquisitive friend that how we met is none of his business when the friend probes to find out more about his date. I like that about him. I'm not a secret, but we haven't gone public either. For most of my life people have been ashamed and embarrassed of me.
I'm too loud and my clothes isn't what other people my age are wearing. I'm too old and too young. I don't fall in line when it comes to societal expectations. This is a good and a bad thing. My body hurts and his hands make it feel better. He digs deep into my back when he's rubbing it. I tell him he must have been a massage therapist in a former life. He makes me want to be a better mother. He makes me feel like things are possible and I deserve them. He says we and us instead of me and you like I do. I've thanked the friends who have supported and encouraged me. For a while I thought he wasn't interested and I was going to have to let him go. I'm so glad I didn't walk away when I didn't hear from him for a week. He has a way of saying the right things at the right time that I just love.
This is new and fresh and fun. I'm sure there will be differences of opinion in the future. We're both very headstrong people. But there is also mutual respect and admiration. I tell him I feel respected and he asks what he did to make me feel that way. It's not any one thing, it's everything. He chats with the valet, he doesn't talk down to people. We see a man in a pink tie with yellow pants and an expensive dress shirt and admire his outfit together. He tells me about the drunk who vomited in front of him during the fifth inning last night. He takes things in stride, sees what needs to be done and takes action. I can be myself around him and say anything, even the very uncomplimentary things about myself and he takes it in stride.
I have no idea what the next steps are or where this is going or how it's going to work out if it does go further. It doesn't matter. For now this is where we're at. It was a milestone and an evening I'll always remember. I spent $1.50 on lemonade for the picnic, everything else I had at home. He would have taken me to any restaurant, but I think the picnic was perfect. He's curious and that's attractive. He despises being pigeonholed. I make no effort to filter anything. He passes the majority of tests that I detest myself for putting him through, it's a byproduct of having been badly burned in the past. I make a comment about being his girlfriend and then wonder if I should have said that. Then I think that if I'm half naked in his bed and he can't handle that word, I'm with the wrong guy.
Neither of us got any sleep after we left. Lightning ripped across the sky as we drove. It seemed symbolic, but I couldn't say of what. Jane was crying when she arrived. She told me she felt like a baby when I rubbed her back. I'm a toucher and so is he. Jill asks when she can meet him and explains that she's already met her dad's girlfriend. Life is strange and ridiculous. I can see how I've contributed to problems and resolve to do less of that in the future. The girls need clothes, I ask their dad if I can take them shopping with the money he's set aside for them. I vow to make this week one where we are more accountable and responsible.
I can still smell him on me. I never want to shower again, but I will. I'm not going to ruin my mood by the what ifs and second guessing myself. I have hundreds of songs running through my head. I'm going to send him one. I hope he appreciates it. Even if he doesn't, I'll feel better for having sent it. I have to keep doing me and based on how things went last night, I think he likes me just the way that I am. Apparently incredible things can be true.
P.S. To everyone who has been contributing to the daylogs recently, I appreciate your time and energy investment. I read when I can, vote on what you're writing, and wish you well despite any current struggles. Daily writing is a precious gift, thank you for keeping the spark alive.