Last minute plans always seem to work out better for me. Having an after work drink with my friend Flip, I noticed Kel was online early. A few texts, and we were set. In an hour, Flip was headed home to partner, and I was headed downtown for a beer with Kel. I had only had two beers, so driving wasn't an issue, and it was early enough, I was GOING downtown, and the traffic was leaving.
First time meetings are always a bit scary for me. It's best for all to have them under circumstances that allow either of you to exit gracefully...just in case things don't work out. Last night I was parking near his building, and we were going to meet there and walk the three blocks to a local bar. If he was a troll, I would be stuck...and he would too.
As first impressions go, it wasn't great but it wasn't regrettable. The usual chit chat ensued for the first 15 minutes as we were a bit challenged walking in the 95 degree Richmond heat and humidity to get to that bar. Actually, I was the one challenged as I struggled to keep up with him walking up hill in this weather with flip-flops on. Was he just a fast walker or was he trying to stay as far away as he could?
The bar was pretty packed, so we went to a game bar they have on the lower level, and found a couple of seats at the end of the bar. I then realized that I really didn't remember much about Kel. Where was he from, what did he like? Top or bottom? Did he tell me? Sports fan? What work does he do?
Damn, why didn't I re-read our IMs before I got here!! But, despite feeling a lot ignorant about what I really should already know, we seemed to get along.
For the next two hours, we talked about a lot of things--work, play, the Patriots (oh no, a Boston fan), the guy at the bar with the scruffy look. As we talked, I started to feel a lot better about him...he is a genuine nice guy, with a sarcastic, sharp tongue at times, very punny, but likable.
Time was not on my side last night, I had a commitment to my daughter and had to exit early. But, I set it up so he knew I wasn't bailing; we had just spent a lot more time than I expected at the bar, and really didn't have any time to play. So we walked back toward my car and his condo. Oops, past his building..."I'm walking you to your car." Oh, OK.
Before I get in the car, I look over to him in the middle of downtown Richmond, in the middle of a brightly lit sidewalk, and he has his arms spread for a hug. I gave him that hug, and a big kiss too. Damn it felt good. -in the middle of downtown Richmond -on a brightly lit street -I kissed a guy -without any regrets.
Dinner tomorrow? Yeah, call me.
And I sure hope to end up like these guys.