Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Fifth Day I Knew Andrew

This is the email message I sent to my friend after my fifth day with Andrew. As is clear, I was responding in part to a message from him.

Silvio, Andrew called me on my cell phone at 7:00 this morning. "Don't forget to bring your books today" he said. "I knew I had to call you early because you have a 7:30 seminar." Silvio, he remembered what I told him about my schedule today. He remembers everything I tell him. That's surely a good sign.

I did go over to Andrew's at 12:45 today, as arranged, and we did have lunch, alone, and he did show me around the campus, including the library--about which he said to me, "Look around. You will no doubt be spending some time here".

Afterward we went back to his place and I stayed for dinner, seeing his roommates again, and then we went back to his library tonight. He sat across from me again, and, like last night, he would often glance up and look at me and smile.

At the library, we had to walk up three floors to the main study area, which is the quiet zone, and on the way Andrew stopped to talk to several people he knew and in each case he introduced me, and he introduced me the very same way each time: "This is my friend, Joshua." I don't think he realized that there is a connotation to that introduction, and I don't think any of his friends took it that way. Nevertheless, his introducing me to people he knows at school made me feel like a heel--I did not introduce him to anyone at my library last night, and I have not even let him meet my roommates yet. Yet Andrew has introduced me to his roommates and to some school friends and even to some friends of his parents. Silvio, am I an asshole or what?

Silvio, I think Andrew IS shy about making the first move, but my instinct says the first move should be his. He's older than I, he's taller than I, and it has been Andrew who always asks me, at the end of the day, whether and when I am free on the following day. Thus far he has always taken the initiative--even if he has been very subtle about it--and I think I should continue to let him take the initiative. HE HAS NOT FAILED ME YET on wanting to get together and spend time together each day. If he does fail me on this point, then I will seize the initiative on this point myself.

We were alone in his apartment for an hour at lunch and for about an hour again this afternoon before his roommates returned, but he did not touch me. He talked to me the whole time as he was preparing dinner--we talked about some books, and we talked about the world situation--but he did not use these opportunities to make private talk, if you know what I mean.

When we were touring the campus this afternoon, I did allow my shoulder to touch his shoulder when we stopped together at a crossing, and this did not seem to bother him and he did not seem to be in any hurry to move forward and cross the street. However, at the next crossing he did not duplicate what I did at the previous crossing.

He always is looking at me, right into my eyes, constantly, and his eyes are so beautiful I can't help but look back. I try to read his eyes, and I think they are smiling, but I probably think that because he also smiles when he looks into my eyes.

I don't know anything about Andrew's relationship history, but I would not be surprised if there were no history at all and, if forced to guess, I would guess that he has never dated anyone. I have noticed, on the two occasions that I have been in his apartment, that his roommates seem to be very protective of him, as if they are aware of his innocence. I have only heard one off-color joke in the apartment, and that was tonight at dinner. One of his roommates joked, very gently, that the girls at school all want to have Andrew's babies. Andrew turned crimson and did not say anything in response.

Therefore, for now, I think my best option is your first option--hang back, and let Andrew make the first move. I do not want to come on too strong or scare him off. If this "no touching stage" goes on too long, however, then I will have to change tactics and move on to your numbers two, three and four.

And what I did today at the crossing was sort of engaging in your recommendation three--casually touching him. I wanted to do it again tonight at the library, allowing my leg to touch his leg under the table, but the library table was too wide to do that subtly.. I would have had to get under the table to do so!

Tonight, when he walked me back to his place, I thought he was going to kiss me outside his house. He stopped, and looked right at me. But instead of kissing me, he asked me if I had to study tomorrow night. I said "no", and he asked me whether there was something I would particularly like to do tomorrow night.

Silvio, I started stuttering--I couldn't think quickly enough of a good thing to say that would involve us being alone--and I was about to say "We could go to a movie again" when Andrew said, "Well, think of something you might want to do and let me know. What time are you free tomorrow?" I blurted out "2:00. I'm free Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:00, and you already know I'm free Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30." (Real subtle, right? I deserve an award.) So Andrew said the same thing again: "Well, think of something you might want to do and let me know. I'll be home at 2:00, so call me and let me know what time you want to get together. OK?" I said "OK".

Now, Silvio, I know Andrew will agree to do whatever I want to do tomorrow. I know this in advance. He always asks me what I want--for instance, he let me pick the movie, he lets me pick the restaurants, he lets me pick the games we play, he let me tell him what I wanted to do on Sunday morning--and he always readily assents to what I want to do, no comment and no argument.

Now, what is the best thing to do tomorrow afternoon and evening? Your suggestion that we walk around Dupont Circle may not be that good of an idea, but only because it is supposed to be cold outside. Your suggestion that we go to Kramer Books is good, but we cannot spend an entire afternoon and evening there, and I do not want our time together to end early. I don't want to go to a movie because we can't talk there.

The best thing I can come up with is to have him come here in the afternoon and play handball at American. Why? It is a one-on-one sport, I can find excuses to run into him as we play, and I will get to see him naked again in the locker room and shower. Then, because Andrew is such a passionate lover of classical music, have him take me to Tower Records on 21st Street and have him talk to me about his favorite pieces. Then go to Georgetown again, and walk around and look in stores, and have dinner at a quiet place. However, this is not very imaginative, is it?

This seems to be the best I can come up with, given the cold weather.

I hope you had a good day, and I really appreciate your good advice about touching. I think you are right on the mark, and I DID try your recommendation three today, but only one time. I think tomorrow afternoon and evening I will try your recommendation three about five different times, and see if Andrew responds in kind.

Silvio, you want to know something really funny? Early this morning, when Andrew called me about bringing my books over, I thought to myself, "Gosh, this is the first time Andrew has ever called me on the phone. And this is only the second time we have ever talked on the phone. This can't be a good sign."

And then I caught myself, and thought "What an idiot you are! Ever since Friday afternoon at 2:00, you have either been asleep, in class or with Andrew. When could you have possibly talked to him on the phone?"

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