Monday, March 16, 2009

BEING BORING

"Show some emotion. Open your heart. Set free emotion. Only a feeling can save us now." -- Celine Dion, "Show Some Emotion"

Last night it finally dawned on me why I had absolutely no desire to see him again. He couldn't hold my attention. It wasn't that there were so many better-looking guys in the room (and there were). Being around him was just such hard work. Not because he didn't speak a word of English. I thought that was the reason. But it wasn't. The source of my discontent: He never said anything. Ever.

When he came up to me at Ambar la Fox, he stood there looking at me like he was expecting something. It was a repeat of the scene two weeks earlier when I ran into him at Plop. I knew what he was thinking: that I was giving him "bola." I'm still not sure what "bola" is, but when he said that he thought I was giving it to him at Plop the day after our encounter there, I got his drift. I hadn't been so successful at hiding the fact that I had wanted to be anywhere but there, standing in front of him.

The morning after we met three weeks ago, he left my apartment and went to an art exhibit in Recoleta. I was impressed when he told me this the following evening on our first proper date. He must be an artist, I thought. My heart sank just a little bit when he told me that he wasn't. Oh well, I figured, at least he loves art. That's good enough for me.

And it was, for exactly one and a half more dates. But somewhere between Friday morning and Friday night when I saw him at Plop, something shifted inside of me. His long silences went from being kind of sexy to kind of annoying. It might not have happened so quickly had I suspected that he was just a contemplative person and was perhaps mid-existential crisis, conducting some inner dialogue about the meaning of life. But I had a feeling that he wasn't. He was sweet, attentive, affectionate and the worse thing a date could possibly be: boring. For all of his kind words when he did bother to say anything, there was no passion behind them, nor behind his eyes, nor behind his sad, tentative smile.

We got together one more time, and then I started to avoid him. Last week, with my huge workload and personal travails, I actually had a valid reason. But last night when I went out to let off some steam, I had to face him, and several minutes into our one-sided conversation, I decided that the time had come for him to face my cold harsh truth. The horse and pony show was over. I wasn't going to continue humoring him, trying to come up with clever things to say just so he wouldn't think I was giving him "bola."

"Cuidate," I told him. "Me voy a mis amigos."

Translation: Hasta la vista, baby.

Now I'm not the kind of person who needs to fill empty spaces with idle chit chat. For me, small talk is deadly. There's nothing uncomfortable about silence. In the best relationships (and the only kind worth having, as far as I'm concerned), two people can be happy together saying nothing. But silence is defeaning when someone is standing there looking at you like he paid for Phatom of the Opera tickets. The boring one may not have been saying anything last night, but the implication was loud and clear: Here am I now. Entertain me.

Not tonight.
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