The Artist — Part 3, The Bar

On Friday I go to the outer mission with my friend Paul. A gay San Francisco resident who I've grown close to. He's a mix of Janet Jackson and Blanch from The Golden Girls. We arrive in our Uber and the first person I see is the Artist.. Outside smoking his usual hand rolled cigarette talking to a girl. 

 I am not someone who will walk up to a guy to announce my arrival. And since he didn't notice me walking up to the bar my initial reaction is to be annoyed. And that is what set the tone of my mood for the rest of the night.

Paul and I go inside. We meet our friend T and her boyfriend who's also doing a DJ set. We drink, catch up and have our usual bitchy banter and laughs. The artist finally realizes I've arrived. We greet each other awkwardly because I'm already sitting down. Am I supposed to get up and hug him? He can come up to me. I can feel all the eyes of our company watching us interact. He tells me I look nice. He's so cute. Even though he's in his thirties he has this boyish charm about him. His smile is honest and real. He talks to someone else.

As the night goes on he barely pays any attention to me. I mean, I get it, all your friends are here to support you you have to talk to everyone. But I didn't come all the way out to the outer mission to some bar I never frequent to be ignored. I drink more, I get more annoyed and more sassy. He goes outside to smoke and I join him for air. This is the first time we chat privately of the night. He asks me how I am we have small talk. However, it feels forced and he looks nervous and intimidated. I can't tell if this is his way of showing he's nervous or if he feels scared. The first night we ever met I told him I thought he was scared of me. I can be intense and very straight forward when I want to be. He tells me no. I tell him I feel like he hasn't paid any attention to me. We also talk about how he doesn't like to text because he values actual communication. I can feel my eyes start to squint at him. He then says, "I mean, I'd like to flirt with out consequence." 


What the fuck does that mean I thought to myself. Flirt without consequence. Why flirt then? If he's using it in the normal context like I consider flirting. And does he mean flirting with me or does he mean he wants to flirt with everyone? Does flirting mean flirting to him or does it mean friendly chatting with friends. I feel like since he's an "artist" our lingo doesn't match one another and we're often lost in translation. He then tells me he wants things to be casual. I can feel the rejection coming on to me.. All I can hear is that he wants to flirt and mess around with me but he also wants to talk to other girls too.. 

So then I blurt it out before thinking.. "I AM keeping it casual I have a boyfriend."

I don't think I'll forget the way his face looked when I said that. The rest of the night at the bar is a blurry black memory with flashes of images and moments of arguing, laughing, yelling, and trying to get each others attention. It's last call and he asks if I'm going home with him with his cheeky smile. I agree. I don't know why he wants me to come over, everyone watched me be so mean to him. Yell at him. I don't know why I agreed.

We get to his place. We make out. He tells me I'm biting him too hard. I pull away irritated. We argue. I think we argued on the walk back. We lay in bed and argue more and talk about me having a boyfriend. He brings it up. I pore my feelings out about being stuck in a relationship with someone that I don't feel like I'm ready for. I get emotional. I explain to him that normally I wouldn't have told him about my boyfriend but I wanted to be honest with him because of this strange connection that I feel. I tell him he's one of the most interesting people I've met in a long time. I tell him how refreshing he is because everyone else is absolutely boring and he's not boring. I tell him that other men have wanted to spend time with me while my boyfriend has been away and how I've always declined and never thought about it because before him I'd never wanted to get to know someone more. I was a good girlfriend. He wraps his body around mine, brushing my hair out of my face and we fall asleep. 

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