On Monday night I had a date with Hot!Mark. I mean, Mmmark. After my classic exit line (“I enjoyed going down on you both!”) he’d sent me a nice email, asking if I wanted to meet for a drink. As the Brits say, "Ding dong!" Which is untranslateable, really, but you say it in a campy, theatrical voice and it means, "You lucky minx! What a hunk of man!"
We met near a bar on Sixth Avenue, and it was freezing. When he turned up, I was, again, taken aback by how good looking he was. I felt tongue tied, especially when Mmmark mentioned that he was going skiing next month. I’m not sure why his talking about sports made me feel so awkward. Possibly because I am so unathletic? In his wool sweater and red cheeks Mmmark looked really healthy and cool -- like someone who views sex as good exercise. In my quilted down coat I felt like a feeble urban wimp. Quite correctly, as a matter of fact.
We went to a nearly empty bar – it was early— and settled in with our glasses of Marker’s Marks (him) and Pinot Noirs (me). The music was almost entirely early ’80’s pop—obviously geared for old geezers such as myself: “Johnny Are you Queer?” came on, and this made us giggle, since it started just as we were talking about Jefferson and his parties.
I had assumed that Mmmark was older than I am, but when I discovered he was almost three years younger I felt a bit more relaxed. When I know that I’m older than someone, often the traits that seem intimidating become endearing instead. And Mmmark, instead of being this totally alien hot guy, was still hot, but more approachable. Not the stud I’d encountered in Jefferson’s blog, nor even the really hot stranger from an orgy, but instead a nice Midwestern guy in a wool sweater.
We talked and drank and drank and talked and I noticed he resembled not Chris O’Donnell, as I’d previously decided, but Patrick Dempsey. We agreed that it was only a matter of time before New York Sports Clubs starts offering sex fitness (“Participants must bring a towel …. No, it’s three thrusts and then a deep breath!”) and discussed the neighborhoods we’d lived in. Mmmark used to live very near Jeremy, which gave me a pang. He’s been to some of the same restaurants Jeremy and I ate at. It occurred to me that although I’d forgotten to bring my list of questions and that I was opposed to sleeping with someone I’d met at an orgy, I would nobly forgo these scruples if Mmmark was interested. Then Mmmark said he had to be home at 9:00 for 24. Dissed! Don’t you want to have sex with me? I thought, forlornly, as I emptied my second glass of wine. Then I went to the bathroom and lectured myself on the futility of assumptions. It did not cross my mind that perhaps Mmmark was likewise wary of having sex with someone he’d met at an orgy outside of said orgy. Though he did say I was the first person he’d ever had a date with from one of Jefferson’s parties. Flattery will get you everywhere, baby, I thought, and gave him a big smile.
But we ended up with our hands clasped, and my fingers stroked his palm casually. Though I didn’t feel casual, I mean, each time I touched his fingers I wondered if he liked it or what. But apparently he did, because eventually we started kissing and he asked if I wanted to come over to his place.
“I can’t stay long,” I warned, because in addition to feeling uncertain about the wisdom of sleeping with a man I’d met at an orgy—or perhaps, more importantly—I was wearing jeans and hadn’t brought a change of clothes for work in the morning.
“That’s OK,” said Mmmark. “We can just cuddle on the couch.” A man after my own heart. Obviously, he was skilled in appealing to scaredy-cat girls. He glanced at his watch: “It’s already after 9:00,” he said. “You made me lose track of time.” I smiled.
We took a cab back to his place and there we settled on the couch in front of the TV. Mmmark tried to explain some of the intricacies of 24’s plot to me, but I was more interested in the fact that both Chad Lowe and Peter McNichol were on the show as bad guys. Wimpy bad guys! This segued into an argument about Peter McNichol’s television credits. I have a distinct memory of Peter McNichol as a series regular very early in the run of Law and Order. Mmmark disabused me: “I have seen every episode of Law and Order,” he declared, “And Peter McNichol was never an Assistant D.A.” A Law and Order fan! Big points on the Geek-o-Meter! Hot. I launched myself at him.
We made out like kids: fully clothed, me lying on top of him on the sofa. He smelled delicious and it was just dreamy. By dreamy I mean thinking about it now, I feel literally sort of blurry and swoony. It was super nice and look at my vocabulary! Super nice! Lust and romantic good will have turned my brain to mush. I must say, it’s a pleasant feeling.