I don’t even trust myself anymore. Why I thought I’d get along with someone who hasn’t had a job since June, I will never understand.
We spent a whole evening together. I wanted to go to the Oakland Zoo for the last night of their special holiday ZooLights event. They deck the zoo out with lights and play festive music. I thought it would be fun and cute and romantic. It was totally lame. We laughed about how lame it was, but underneath the giggles, I was embarrassed about his constant ‘poor me’ stories. He meant them in the best possible way. Like how he had become a fantastic frugal chef, cooking leftovers and scouring his pantry for seasoning.
I cringed when he added, “Yeah, this whole poor thing is getting really old.” The ‘old’ me popped back into place and I rolled my eyes. Get a job. Any old fucking job. Go wait tables, cashier at Trader Joe’s. Move out of your $3,500 sprawling one-bedroom in Pacific Heights.
We went back to my place for drinks. Why would we go to a bar? So I could pay the tab?
Jackets off, he settled himself on my couch and I surveyed my wine collection.
“Catherine, please don’t open a nice bottle on my account.”
I quickly smirked, “Oh you don’t have to worry about that. I’m looking for the cheapest bottle I own.”
He laughed. I wanted him to leave.
We drank and drank and that didn’t make life any better. I thought if we kissed things would improve. So we did. We had never kissed before. It didn’t matter if he was the best kisser in the world. I couldn’t stand him. I felt disgusted being that close to someone who had no gumption to find a job and be financially stable.
A realization saved me.
I bolted vertical. “You’ve got to leave! You’re parked on the side of the street that has 6am street sweep cleaning on Mondays.”
“Are you sure? We can check the parking and transportation site online.”
“No, I know. I just realized. No wonder there were so few cars parked on the street.”
“Are you sure it’s 6am? Catherine, I can move my car and come back. How about that?”
I shook my head. “You should move your car and go home. Sorry, you should just go.”
Disgraced, he left. I was relieved. Promptly the next morning, he sent me an email. I was too scared to check. I knew I’d led him astray. I could already see the swear words loud and clear.
Not until two days later did I read his email.
“Hey Catherine. I had a wonderful time hanging out with you on Sunday. You were right! Street cleaning at 6am. Unbelievable. Hope to see you soon. xo.”