June 2009: Paul Asplund Meets My Friends

That thing that I wrote about Paul not being funny, I am beginning to think I may have got wrong. But of course, because I am the micro-managing control freak that I am, I had to have my friends take off my blinkers.

Paul and I were hanging out one day in Venice. Well closer to the point we were hanging out in my apartment. Our relationship had yet to evolve beyond the physical stage, with plenty an excellent pillow chat about the state of the world. Those news sites that I was cramming down every chance I got were starting to pay off. I wouldn’t say I could keep up with all of Paul’s conversations, but I could limp along behind fairly well.

I hadn’t studied this hard since college and the fact that I was doing it all to impress Paul hadn’t actually occurred to me.

So there we were on a Saturday afternoon getting up for breakfast and walking around the hood. This is kind of a strange feeling. When you have a relationship that’s usually defined in a bedroom surrounded by four walls and the night time meeting and eating that precedes it, it’s weird to be walking around in full daylight. To just, walk. And spend time with a person.

So there we were, walking, and talking and looking in windows when all of a sudden, coming the other way down the street, are Dano and Lenny. I feel the white sheet of panic rise. I look everywhere for an exit, an excuse, a hole in the ground to open up.

I love Dano and Lenny, they are two great friends in LA. And the fact that have just run into two friends in LA is a miracle on par with the parting of the Red Sea. No one runs into people here unless it’s at an “event”.

No, the part that had me sweating was that they were about to meet Paul. My friends were going to meet the man I’m sleeping with, and I have absolutely no control over how and when this is going to happen. The universe is only supposed to do what I tell it to.

Like a slow motion train crash, me and Paul and Dano and Lenny meet on Abbot Kinney and we do the introductions. Paul genially shakes their hands.

Dano: So you’re Paul…

Dano does a sly once over and smiles.

Dano: Nice to meet you.

Lenny smiles, nods and deadpans.

Lenny: Hey.

Dano: So we’re going to the ‘Fish, you wanna come?

The ‘Fish is the Roosterfish, the one gay bar in the whole of LA on the westside. And it’s right in my hood. I love that place; gay and lesbian and straight, black and white and latino and asian, young and old and in between. Any excuse to go. But not this one. From being slightly out of my control to wildly tailspinning into oblivion, this day was slipping away like a pack of greasy pigs.

While I’m trying to think of some excuse, Paul says;

Paul: Oh that sounds like fun, shall we go?

No.

Me: Sure.

As we walk to the door of the bar, all I want to do is grab Paul and run while screaming, “I’m not ready!!!! I’m not ready!!!”.

So into the courthouse we go, where my friends are going to meet Paul and judgement shall be passed. I don’t know why this conflux of personal and private lives bothers me so much, but it does. I think it’s because I’m such a mono man. I do things well, one at a time. With people; I have friends and I have people I know and everything in between. And this isn’t a problem, I can be friendly with anyone and I never have to wonder, gee, are we friends or acquaintances?

In my personal life, it’s a lot more black and white. I have fuck buds and I have boyfriends. The messy in between stuff I don’t dig.

And I know that the rest of the universe thinks about this in exactly the same way I do, because it revolves around me.

So there we are in the back garden of the Roosterfish, having a few drinks and talking away. I watch Paul like he’s a six year old about to bang his head on a cupboard door. And I think my friends enjoy watching me squirm a bit. It seems to be going well, but I know I’m over thinking this.

Here’s the conundrum; I’m really starting to like Paul, but he’s not that funny. And I need funny. It’s crucial. And my friends seem to be liking him too. What’s not to like? He’s a sweetie.

In my fog of confusion I go to the bar and order a round of drinks. And as I return to the table, I get the greatest shock. Paul has them all laughing. He’s telling some story and they all giggle away.

Hang on. Is he funny? Did I just not get it?

I set the drinks down on the table and take a seat and watch the banter go back and forth. If he’s funny with them and not with me, maybe I’m boring. Maybe I’m not funny. Maybe I think too much. Is my over analysis of everything acting like a magnifying glass on an ant?

We all take our drinks and then Dano leans in quietly.

Dano: He’s cool.

Yeah, you know what Dano, I think you might be right. I think you might be right.

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