Well, I can't say that yesterday was a total loss, even if it did rain all day, which prevented me from working. Some of the CocoNuts (local denizens of my favorite hangout) decided to have a mass "pity party" and went to George's Pool Hall so that we could all be alone together. Basically, it was just like every other night except that some of us dressed up and flirted more often than usual... or got drunker than usual. Me? I don't drink, but I didn't want to be left out of the fun, so I flirted with disaster. More to the point, I'm a 30-year-old male and I flirted with an 18-year-old college chick. Lots.

I guess the upshot is that I had some fun for a while. I didn't make a long night of it because, as fate would have it, I was tired. I didn't ask the young woman I was flirting with to go home with me, but I did ask her out for dinner tonight. She accepted, but she was a little hesitant, I think. You see, one of my best friends has had a letch for her and when he got drunk last night (yes... he was one of those people), he had taken enough liquid courage to go and let her know about his attraction to her. To which she kindly replied, "I'm very flattered."

More backstory: I've been somewhat attracted to this young woman for a couple weeks now (hey... don't look at me like that... I haven't been on a decent date in a few years and I need to get back in the saddle again...). I expressed this subtle attraction to my close friend, and his face kinda fell because, well, he was suffering from that "I saw her first" syndrome. I told him that I would back off and let him make his move if and only if he got off his ass and told her or asked her out. He finally did so last night while it was his turn to play a game of pool against her (we were on a rotational circuit... player wins, loser racks, new player goes against winner, repeat).

When he told me about it and repeated to me what she'd said, my reply was, "Okay... so she was flattered... buuuuut?"

"No 'but'," he said. "She just said that she was flattered."

So that's neither good nor bad. He didn't ask her out, but he told her that he was attracted to her. So I was free to make my own move now, right? I mean... I did say that until he got off his ass and said something, I would keep my distance. So, later, she and I were playing a game of pool (it was her turn to play against me) and I mentioned it to her. Her face fell, looking not too happy at the prospect of his attraction. I asked her how it made her feel when we got to the cafe and there were fewer people around to overhear the conversation. She was silent for several long seconds.

"Flattered? Awkward? Uncomfortable? Happy? What?" I asked.

"Flattered that he's attracted to me; awkward because I don't want him to; uncomfortable because I know that if I don't do something soon, I'll end up hurting him and he's a friend and I don't like hurting my friends; happy because, well hell, doesn't every woman like to feel attractive? I don't know... this is a sticky situation that I've been in before and it always ended badly."

"I see," I said. "Well, would you like me to talk with him? He's one of my closest friends, first and foremost. If you feel awkward about talking to him, I can."

"Well... what about you?" she asked. Of course, she knew that I was attracted to her. I'd said as much, but I was far less involved with my feelings about it get weird over it.

I smiled and shrugged. "Let's jump off that bridge when we get there," I said.

She was thoughtful for a moment. "No," she said. "I'll deal with it. It's my problem, not yours."

Fine by me, I thought. While I have no personal problems with telling a friend bad news, I knew very well that it would be 10 times more awkward for me to tell him, since he knew that I would take a shot at this woman next. And so I did, just as I was leaving the cafe. She and I had left at the same time, she going for her car and I going for mine. I called across the parking lot, "What're you doing tomorrow night?"

"Uhm... nothing. Why?"

"Want to have dinner with me?"

"Sure... when?"

"The usual time. Seven or so. Let me get your number..." I reached into my trenchcoat pocket for my cell phone.

"You've already got it," she said, closing the gap between us. I now had my cell phone in my hand and raised a curious eyebrow at her. I had never asked her for her number, so how could I have it? "While you were playing pool against someone else I took the liberty of putting my number in there for you."

I smiled again, this time with admiration and appraisal. I really, really, really like women who know how to think ahead. She'd anticipated me asking her for her number long before I ever got around to doing it. Clever girl. I began to scroll through the list of numbers. There was a new name that I didn't recognize listed: "Love Kitten?"

She blushed.

"Right, then. Very well. Drive safely. What time do you normally wake up?" I asked.

"Around noon," she answered, pulling out her car keys from her hip pocket.

"Great," I said, putting my cell phone away and reaching for my own car keys. "I'll call you tomorrow and we can set up a time and meeting place. Start thinking about what you'd like to have for dinner. Have a good night, sleep well and I'll talk with you tomorrow." We waved good night and that was that....


On the way home, about ten minutes after we'd parted ways, I called her from my car.

"Hello?" her voice said to me over my cell phone.

"Hi," I said. "It's me. Now you have my number, too. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?"

I heard her giggle through the airwaves. "Certainly."

"Damn straight it is. Good night." She replied in kind and we hung up.

Today I woke up and tried to call her. Apparently, her phone was off from 2 PM till around 4. She called me.

"Mother Nature's being a bitch," she said to me. "You know how I'd mentioned last night that I was worried if I could even get home because of the rain, how the bridge on my street floods easily?"

"Yeah...." I said, somehow knowing where this was going.

"Well, I can't leave. This sucks. I mean, at least with snow I can go outside and play in it. Rain's a whole other story. I'm stuck here and can't go out. I tried using Dad's big-ass truck, but the water's too deep and it keeps stalling. Can we do this tomorrow night?"

I was already at the cafe, sitting in front of my laptop, and dressed for a night out on the town. To say that I was displeased over this would be an understatement, but what could I do? Complain? What would that have done? Nothing, except make me look like a whiney bitch. I sighed into the phone's mouthpiece. "Tell you what... if you want to go out tomorrow night, you've got my number. Call me tomorrow at any time. Sound good?"

"Yes," she said. "I'm really sorry about this."

I shrugged, even though I knew she wouldn't be able to see it. "No problem. I'll do what I do every night, no big deal. Try to have a good night, okay?"

"You, too... I'll call you tomorrow."

"I certainly hope so. Bye."

And, so, that was that. Not exactly stood up, but not exactly hooked up, either.

At least I was able to use the time productively.

Sitting here at the cafe with nothing much to do allowed me the time to give my computer's GUI a face-lift. LiteStep has been making some good progress over the last 2 years. I'm quite pleased with the new look.

So the day wasn't totally wasted, was it?