Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yesterday and the Wry Smile

As some of you may remember, when I was single in summer of 2006 I decided to Put Myself Out There. And I don't necessarily mean put out, though there was enough of that going on to keep me occupied.

No. I decided that if I thought someone was cute, I would tell them so. Or ask them out.

It was a successful experiment, all in all. I had some fun with various boys and girls. There were a couple people who turned me down, but generally, I chose pretty wisely, figuring that if I felt a vibe, it probably wasn't one sided. It was a much needed ego-boost.

The echoes of that experiment have been very interesting. Whenever I run into The First One, I still get a big grin and a hug. The Great Dater and I are on more reserved, but similarly friendly, terms. As for the others, I generally get a nice hi hey how's it going.

Which brings me to yesterday and the wry smile.

One of the biggest chances I took back then was on a boy I'd seen around the edges of the music scene I'd been in. We'd chatted at shows a few times, always smiled and said hi. We became Myspace friends. It was back in the day.

One day, early August, let's say, I got Myspace bulletin announcing he was leaving Ottawa for good and throwing himself a going away party. Now, it crossed my mind to go, but I didn't know his crew too well, and I was busy anyway. Without thinking, I replied, made sure it was going only to him and told him that it was too bad I never asked him out for a drink because I always thought he'd looked like a good kisser.

Now, normally I am not so brazen. Bold, maybe. Certainly impatient. But I figured what the fuck, not like I'm ever going to see him again, either way. He's a nice guy, so I figured if he thought I was a loon, or creepy, or a creepy loon for writing that, well, he probably would just never answer and what do I care if someone I'm never going to see again thinks I'm a crazy loon?

Well, he didn't think that. And did write back, though scheduling dictated it went no further than a couple emails.

The next time I saw him was maybe a year later, at Westfest with a ladyfriend. We chatted briefly, he hadn't enjoyed his new city, he missed Ottawa, moved back. I raised my eyebrows in the direction of the pretty girl beside him, but politely didn't ask if her company was a factor. Every 6 weeks or so, there he is again, standing on a corner talking to friends, or running his errands in the same circle I am, but in the opposite direction.

We always say hihowareyou, the finegood tossed over our shoulders as we keep going. It's always pleasant, there's always a smile. But his smile isn't the open grin of TFO.

I would describe it as wry and leave it at that, but the word lacks the breadth to pinpoint what's behind the small twist I'm picking up on. Trying to find the words for it has been scratching at the corners of my brain for some time.

It's like the old projected good kissing is a small dense weight sewn in just below his lower lip on the right side, pushing the left side up just a titch higher than what might be natural. Those emails are in his eyes, contracting the muscles around the sockets into a thin mask.

If I were to give these muscle twitches a name, I might call them regret. Or whatever is one step back from embarrassment, a psychic pink halo around his ego, for having admitted something he maybe wouldn't have 'fessed up to otherwise.

1 comment:

coyote said...

psychic pink halo
of regret, drunk,
even in small sips
even occasionally
still, each time,
puckers his mouth