The Problem With First Dates (Or, How To Really Really Really Not Get Laid)

Paolo Raeli
Paolo Raeli

The first problem
is that we are at Tony Roma’s.
Don’t get me wrong,
I will eat the fuck out of some ribs,
but every person in this room
looks exactly like my dad, &

The second problem
is that I have not had sex
since the first Twilight movie came out,
which means that a fictional Mormon girl
has made out with a vampire,
made out with a werewolf,
thrown herself off a cliff,
gone to Italy,
gotten married,
and had a demon baby
claw its way out of her vagina
since I last had an orgasm
with another person in the room,
and now
there are a hundred of my dad
staring at me,
slurping shrimp cocktail
and I need to say something.
“Did you know that whales
can only have sex
in groups of three?”

The third problem
is that I just said,
“Do you know that whales
can only have sex
in groups of three,”
and he says
…what…
and I say,
“YES! Because
they can’t actually swim and fuck
at the same time,
so a third whale comes along
to hold them aloft as they do it,
like a blubbery sex table!”
and this
is really where the date should end,
because,
blubbery sex table,
how do you top that?
Don’t worry,
it’s by pulling out my phone
and saying,
“Look! I’ll show you!”

The fourth problem
is that Googling “Whale Sex Groups”
will not yield the results
you were looking for.

The fifth problem
is that when I drink too much,
I start thinking about a man
I haven’t spoken to in two years.
I used to think
being in love with someone
meant being the person
they were going to grow old
at Tony Roma’s with,
but I was wrong.
Being in love
is so much easier
from across a room.
Or a small town.
Or two years of radio silence,
and I sometimes wonder
if this way of loving someone
is my best way of loving someone,
with miles and miles between us,
like how you can still find
the North Star every time–
you never wonder
if it can pick you out of a crowd,
or if it still remembers all the words
to the first Stones song
you ever danced to,
you just want to be able to see it
from far away,
knowing that if you got any closer,
odds are you’d catch on fire.

He has a wife now.
She has his last name
and a house with a fireplace
and when he comes home from work
he goes to sleep in a bed
that is Their Bed.
And three weeks after
he cut his losses,
I traded our bed in for a single
because it felt more like a choice,
like I was choosing to go to bed alone
rather than trying to fall asleep
with the entire night sky next to me,
beckoning me to fall back into it,
because I lied,
before,
when I said it was easier
to love someone from a distance.

It isn’t easier.
It is just smaller,
more convenient to fit
into a back pocket,
or a time capsule,
or that place
between the bed and the wall,
that place you’re still afraid
monsters will crawl out of,
like he left a piece of himself with you
and you are terrified
he is coming back for it;
Or he left a piece of himself with you
and you are terrified
he is not coming back for it.

The sixth problem
is that when a new man tells you
he likes you too much
already,
it doesn’t sound like a promise.
It sounds like a smoke alarm,
warning you to get out fast–
If you hurry,
you might miss the worst of it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This post originated here.

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