“Do you ever read The Times?” I asked.
“Um, yeah of course,” my quasi-date answered.
“Which section?” I asked cautiously.
“Yeah, their news stories. Sometimes their sports section, but I like the Post better for sports. Oh, and obviously the Sunday Real Estate Section.”
“And The Arts?” I said.
“Hmm. Yeah,” he said and paused. “Well…” he started.
“Uh huh,” I said and looked him over from head to toe. I didn’t think he was a gay boy, but my gaydar had been seriously off as of late. He wore a white v-neck t-shirt with an Adidas track jacket over it; his jeans were normal, nothing crazy designer and his shoes were plain white Converse–but John Varvatos for Converse. Hmmm. He was either a butch gay boy or from Westchester.
“Okay, I lied. I just said that to make myself look cool,” he said and grinned. He sipped on his pumpkin spice latte and looked at me. Did straight guys drink such a fussy coffee drink? It’d been too long since I’d be around any.
“I have one final question. And you must answer me honestly–no matter what you might think I will say or do,” I instructed.
He cocked his had back and his eyes narrowed. “Wow. This is pretty heavy for ‘just a coffee,'” he said.
An almost date. Ugh. I hated myself for calling it that when he suggested we get together. I’d already put restrictions on it before I left my apartment. I even suggested Starbucks–how very unorginal–but safe.
I didn’t know him, and furthermore I didn’t want to end up in someone’s freezer.
But sitting here looking at him– THE HOT SUBWAY GUY— with the rain pounding down on the glass outside and sipping on my latte–it felt almost too good.
“Do you read The Style Section?”
He stared at me long and hard. “Why do I get the feeling that this is a loaded question?” he asked.
“Because it is. Now, answer me. And remember, TELL THE TRUTH.”
“You’re quite a character Farrah,” he said.
“And you’re stalling,” I said.
“No, I don’t read The Style Section. Has that taken me out of contention?” he asked and laughed.
Had he said yes, I would’ve known I was dealing with a closet case, and frankly that role has already been filled by many a wife and girlfriend. Paging Dina McGreevy?
“You’re still in the running to become America’s Next Top Model,” I said in my best Tyra.
“Oh my God. You really are straight!” I blurted out. Foot, meet my mouth. I’m sure you two will be fast friends.
“The last time I checked I wasn’t into man-ass, but that could change at any minute.”
“It’s just that had you known that was a line from America’s Next Top Model I would have doubted your heterosexuality and frankly I’ve dated enough gay boys to last me a lifetime, and as lovely as you may be I’m not taking any applications for my gay posse.”
“I’m sorry, your what?” he asked.
Before I could answer him, my phone rang. “Oh. I’m sorry. I normally wouldn’t answer that, but maybe something bad happened.” Hot Subway Guy shot me yet another peculiar look. “Hi Carrie. Something bad happened?” I said in my most worried voice. Hot Subway Guy’s eyes widened. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” I said before hanging up.
“Is everything okay?” he asked in a tone mixed with apprehension and fear. “Is your friend alright?”
“You’re three for three!” I said excitedly and smiled from ear to ear.
“That was from Sex and The City,” I said.
“Another one of your tests?” he said this time sounding more irritated than anything else.
“Well, I should get going,” I said and latched my purse.
“I thought you said that I passed your test,” Hot Subway Guy said even more confused than before.
“Oh. You did! Yay!” I said and buttoned my jacket.
“Okay…” he said.
“It’s my friend Christopher. I told him I’d run to Barney’s with him to pick out something for his NY Times wedding photo. He and his boyfriend are getting married in about eight months.” I stood up and grabbed my umbrella.
“Very cool,” he said a little dumbfounded. “Wait, so that’s it?” he asked and stood up.
“Well goodbye,” I said. “Thanks. It was fun.”
He stared at me in stunned silence before he said, “That was definitely… Yeah, that was definitely something.”
“We should do this again sometime,” I said and walked toward the glass door.
Before we could have that awkward, should we or shouldn’t we kiss goodbye, I leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. It was safe. Oh screw it. Who am I bullshitting?
It was lame.
“You’re quite a character,” he said and lifted his jacket over his head to block the rain. He darted out of the Starbucks before I could say another word.
I’m going to be single for the rest of my life.