The next day, I was sitting in my room, watching a movie, when I noticed the cellist's business card on my desk. 'I might as well call him', I thought. 'What's the worst that could happen?' He answered his phone.
"Hi, this is Anna."
"Oh, Anna! I'm so happy you called me!"
"Oh, well, that's good."
"What are you doing?"
"Watching a movie."
"Oh, well what are you doing tomorrow? Have you ever seen the original Dawn of the Dead?"
"Um, no. I haven't."
"Do you want to watch it with me?"
At this point, I still thought he was homeless, so I cleverly asked "Where do you live?"
"In an apartment by the Iron Horse."
"Oh, okay. Cool."
"Do you want to meet me somewhere tomorrow? What time works for you?"
"Around 2 sounds good to me."
"Okay, well, let's meet at Liquid Planet (a coffee shop downtown), is that okay?"
"Yeah, sure. I'll see you tomorrow."
"It's so good to hear your voice, you sound just as beautiful on the phone."
"Um. Thank you. Bye."
I hung up, and thought about for awhile, weighing my options. I decided to go through with it, and made a plan with two of my friends that if I sent them a text, they would call me and I could leave gracefully.
The next day, I put on a sweatshirt and jeans, and went to eat breakfast. Then I called my mom, and she was convinced that I was going to get raped and murdered and left in a dark alley. I laughed it off, and told her I would call her after to prove that I was still alive and well. As I walked to Liquid Planet, my mom's warnings started to seep into my head.
What if he is a rapist? Or a kitten molester? What do I know about him, really? Is this a good idea, watching a movie with someone I hardly know? What if he tries something? I'll knee him in the liver and poke his eyes out and run like hell.
I almost turned back twice, but I eventually made it to the coffee shop. I saw him sitting outside....and oh shit.
He had shaved his beard off, cut his hair, was wearing a really nice purple dress shirt and nice dress pants. I looked down at my red hoodie and jeans. Granted, there weren't holes in the jeans, but they were still jeans. I get to him, and the first words out of his mouth are "Hi Anna. Wow, you look so beautiful."
I thank him, and he asks if I want something to drink. "No thanks."
This is not a date. This is not a date.
We start walking, and he says "Tell me something about yourself."
"Okay, well, I really love Harry Potter."
"I hate Harry Potter."
"Um. Okay. Well, have you read the books?"
"Why would I want to read that crap?"
"Allright. Well, have you seen the movies?"
"I've seen 5 minutes of the first one, and it was just awful. How can you like that god-awful stuff?"
"Well, I do. I grew up with the books."
He then asks "Have you ever read His Dark Materials?"
"The Golden Compass trilogy? Yeah, I read them last year. My family was badgering me to read them for forever, and I finally did. I thought they were pretty good."
"Pretty good? What were you reading? They're the best books ever written."
I jokingly said "I don't think I'd go that far, but it was fun to read."
"Didn't it make you examine your beliefs about God? And life?"
"No, not really. I cried when Lee Scoresby died."
"You cry when you read?"
We get to his apartment, and go inside. He opens the door for me in this run-down apartment building, complete with peeling paint and lots of weeds in the front yard, and we go into this dark, musty smelling hallway. He leads me down the hallway past the staircase to another door, and opens this one for me as well.
I unintentionally wrinkle my nose at the smell, like socks and dirty laundry and some sort of meat. He apologizes for the mess, DVDs are everywhere. He moves some clothes off the couch, and invites me to sit down as he checks the kitchen. He comes out, and says "well, none of my roommates are here."
"How many people do you live with?"
"Five? Okay, and how many bedrooms are there?"
He sits down at the opposite end of the couch, and asks excitedly "Do you want to watch Children of Men?!"
I reply "Is it going to depress me?!"
"I would rather not."
He puts on some other DVD, and in the first five minutes of the movie, the guys onscreen are talking about "eating someone out" in more vulgar words. Yikes. That offends my delicate female sensibilities, but I don't say anything.
He looks at me, and goes "So tell me, Anna. What else do you like?"
"I really like Disney movies."
"Really? Really? You realize that Disney is destroying the world, right?"
"He is. Princesses and princes? Those don't exist. Do you want to live inside your mind?"
"Not all the time, but the movies are a nice escape for me."
"It proves that romance wasn't always dead, and that good things can happen."
He stares at me and says "That was a shit answer."
"Well, it's how I feel."
We sit in silence for a few minutes, and then he suddenly asks "Is this is a date?"
"Well, I'm just going to imagine it is one" he says as he closes his eyes.
He opens them a little later, and says "Anna, you're really beautiful. How would you feel about dating me?"
I stare at him. "Well, how old are you?"
Oh my god.
"Okay, I have a few problems."
"Well, you're 11 years older than me, to start with."
"It's only 11 years! If you were 18, that'd be a big difference. But you're not."
I stare at him again. "Dude, I was 18 two years ago."
"Well, do you have a job?"
"No, I spend six days a week perfecting my art."
Oh my god.
"What do you do on the seventh day?"
"Yeah, I'm trying to save up enough money to buy a car."
"You're 31, and you don't have a job or a car?"
"Life isn't about material possessions, Anna."
"What other problems do you have with dating me?"
"I've been hurt a lot in these last few months, and I'm trying to protect my heart."
"Don't worry, I won't do what those guys did. I'm different."
I stare at him again. "You don't even know what they did!"
He then asks, obviously trying to change the subject "Hey, can I play my cello for you?"
"Oh, no, I'm too nervous."
"Well, I have some of my compositions on my laptop. Do you want to hear those?"
"Yeah, I'd love to."
"Oh, but I don't have good speakers, it would sound all awful and tinny."
Then why did you offer?
He then starts rubbing his arms and saying "I'm really hungry. Are you hungry?"
"No, not really."
"Come on, you must want something to eat. Aren't you hungry."
"I told you I wasn't, but if you want to eat something, I guess I'll go with you."
"Ok, great! Where do you want to go?"
"I don't care, you're the one who's hungry."
"No, really. Where do you want to go? Where do you want to go? Where do you want to go? Where do you want to go? Where do you want to go?"
"I don't care."
We leave his awful smelling sausage fest of an apartment, and start walking. I'm not thinking, and I say "Yeah, Wednesday's my lazy day."
He looks at me and says "Today's Sunday."
"Yeah, that's what I meant."
"Well, why did you say Wednesday when you meant Sunday?"
"I have a huge geology test on Wednesday that I'm really stressed about. I have to go study for it." I really did, I got a B+!
"Aw, are you sure you don't want to eat with me?"
"Oh, I'm sure."
"Well, let me walk you to the bridge."
"...You really don't have to do that. You must be hungry, go get food."
"No, I want to."
We're walking towards the bridge, and he asks where I grew up.
"Colorado," I say.
"I hate Colorado."
"Well, I loved growing up there."
"How could you? It's such an awful state."
We finally get to the bridge, and I say "Okay, bye! Have a good day."
He puts his hand on my shoulder and says "Anna, I just want to tell you again that you're really beautiful, and if you ever change your mind about dating me, you know how to get ahold of me."