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6:34 a.m. - September 16, 2003
The dinner with Ryan
When nice things come my way, I respond the same way I do when asked if I want to hold a baby: What do I do? since both babies and good feelings are foreign to me.

Last night's dinner went well and I laughed often when Ryan took over the cooking duties, an amusing juxtaposition of the days I'd invite Dana over with the promise of stretching my cooking skills, only for her to end up preparing the meal. We talked for hours and I find him fascinating and so far, I can't think of a but. Maybe I'm not used to nice guys, but I kept waiting for snarky comments and I realized I'm conditioned to Spec's put-downs and disapproving looks when I did something wrong. I was hesitant to give Ryan a tour of the house and didn't say anything about the closets other than a Guess you don't like closet doors in a non-judgmental, non-laughing way. For that alone I'm going to be more open. And despite his being so much bigger - he towers over me (six-three-and-a-half) - I didn't get that jittery feeling when he stood right behind me, far closer than I prefer. Good signs, all.

He's from Michigan originally, played basketball for his college team, and has been in California for two years; his favorite color is crimson (he knows colors, another reason to keep him), he eats a lot [note to self: Next time, cook enough for four] but has great table manners, which means he doesn't chew with his mouth open. He does the dishes. He is the youngest of 3 brothers and still-married parents who know he's gay and are supportive, but worry; he is 28 years old and has never been in a long-term relationship (six months). He served in the Army, and we have the same middle name. Normal, folks, the man is normal. I like that.

As for me, he quickly found out I don't share much or easily and so asked direct questions - always preferable than expecting me to share freely - though I avoided some of the more personal ones. Told him a bit about Spec, how I bought the house, where I grew up - you know, basic, foundational getting-to-know-you-shit. I think he's far more perceptive than he lets on.

I'd like to keep him as a friend, not just because he's also into hockey. He's into hockey! I got excited and started talking about teams and players the same way others rattle off football stats and I know I earned bonus points. The only awkward part was two-fold: He brought a DVD with him and I thought again? - is this what people do? Watch movies together? Every day? - and the television set is in my bedroom, not the living room. I ran back to unplug the unit and smiled, said You don't have to worry I won't fit on your bed. I already tested it out and I had to laugh because it was true, he had, but I wasn't sure if it was a signal or a presumption or an invitation to watch TV laying on the bed. Brought it out to the living room and he took the couch and I the loveseat - again, I don't know what's presumptuous or not. I mean, do I sit next to him? Does having had oral sex on Saturday set up expectations of at least physical-proximity intimacy? - and in a little while he got up and we ended up spooning on the small couch. I like how he's silly-playful.

I already like this guy quite a bit. We didn't watch the movie but spooned and talked and when he whispered Are you a bottom, Jason? I blushed and he laughed. We didn't do anything sexually other than he grinding his crotch into my butt on the couch while talking, and I liked that. He stayed until 1:30 and then left (should I have asked him to stay? offered the spare room? my bed? what? I just don't know).

Ah, might as well say it: I like this guy a lot.

I could go on but why ramble like an adolescent girl?


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