The other night I met Jon. He emailed me on the Nerve personals. In his profile, he said that he had a girlfriend but that theirs was an open relationship. This made me think of Tim and Amanda. His photo, from what I could see of it, was cute. It would be a new experience for me, so I responded to his wink.
After much back and forth, including his invitation for me to meet him at his apartment (No, no, no) it was agreed that I’d stop by the bar he works in on Tuesday night. I thought this wasn’t a great idea, since I figured it would be crowded, he’d be distracted, and I’d feel surplus to requirements. Nonetheless, what the hell.
I went to the bar, which was not at all crowded when I got there just before 8:00. He’d told me he was a bartender, and he’d be the only one there, but when I arrived I thought perhaps someone else was working instead of him. The bartender didn’t really resemble Jon’s picture at all, at least what I’d seen of it. He was short and stocky, with close-clipped dark hair and several silver rings on his fingers. I sat at the bar. “Hi, Lily,” he said.
“Hi Jon,” I said.
“You want a Cosmo?”
He was all right. He had a moderate Philadelphia accent and a huge chip on his shoulder: he’s a not very successful actor, poor man. Within twenty minutes of meeting, he’d managed to let it drop that he’d had three callbacks for this musical, that he was really artistic, and that, while his girlfriend tolerated his non-monogamy, she actually hated it. “But we’ve talked about it a lot,” her said, “And she knows that the only way for me not to feel trapped is to be able to have sex with other women. But she doesn’t want to hear about it.”
“Oh,” I said, thinking, I’m sure his girlfriend can do better. If she doesn’t like him sleeping with other women, why doesn’t she dump him? I don’t think I could be happy knowing that someone I was committed to was regularly bedding other women, or trying to. At this point, there was no way in hell I’d ever want to sleep with him, especially after he made a joke about “seeing if we’re going to bang.” Now that’s class. “I’m just kidding,” he added, anxiously. “You know I’m kidding cause I said ‘bang,’” I nodded, smiling politely. No way, pal, was my thought.
I felt sorry for him. He’s not particularly young, a bit burnt out from constant auditioning, and working as a bartender at a not very nice place. He seemed frustrated. I would be too, if I was a thirtysomething bartender struggling to get a break. Still. I’m not going to bang him, thank you.