Thursday, September 13, 2012

Can You Judge a Guy By the Way He Packs for a Sleepover?

Apparently, I'm ridiculously out of practice. So much for life in the fast lane for this "happy bachelor" (as my brother Alexi once called me). Lately, this swinging single has not exactly been hitting them out of the ballpark.

I can actually count the number of dates I've been on this year with one hand. Don't cry for me Argentina (or anywhere else I've lived recently): It's been mostly by choice. I've been too focused on other things -- writing a book, enjoying my solitude and the silence -- to spend my time wading in the dating pool. But if the depth of one's commitment to romance depends on the number of overnight bags he packs, even before my recent dry spell, I was biding most of my time in the shallow water. If I spent the night, it was usually unplanned. It's been five years and five months since I've actually prepared an overnight bag before meeting up with a guy.

Yes, I'm truly out of practice.

Recently, for the first time in 2012, someone grabbed my attention. Suddenly, it feels like I'm 16 again. Not because the crush glow has returned all of my youthful vigor. If anything, I worry that my worrying over whether I'm doing everything wrong has added years to my appearance. I'm fairly certain that I'm doing it all wrong. I'm flubbing most of my lines, sweating too much, and over-examining everything to the point where I sometimes feel like throwing up my hands and heading to the nearest Buddhist monastery. (Orange really is my color!) Butterflies are beautiful and free, so why do they feel so ugly when they're locked in your stomach?

It's not him -- it's me. I'm so out of practice that I can't even get it right in my sleep. Last night I dreamt that I was packing to go over to the apartment of some undisclosed guy, not the one with whom I've been embarrassing myself, someone in a land far away from Bangkok. I'm not even sure what city I was in, but it felt like somewhere in the middle of the United States. I could tell by the fact that I was watching American TV without subtitles, and I was going to have to drive to get to his place.

You'd think that I was packing up for an extended holiday to the moon or someplace equally faraway and exotic the way I kept tossing things into the bag, reconsidering, and pulling them out. Several times I thought about calling the whole thing off. Maybe if I just didn't show up, he wouldn't even notice.

When I woke up, I think I was just remembering to pack my nasal decongestant, which is strange considering that I haven't used it in nearly two weeks now. First Klonopin, now Dexalergin. I can still kick a bad habit's ass, but apparently, in my dreams, I suck at that, too!

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