Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Beautiful Piano Player

We went out for three weeks and I can't remember his name, but I do remember how beautiful he was. He played piano and sang in the lobby of one of the fancy schmancy hotels downtown. I think he was an acquaintance of one my friends so one afternoon we descended upon said hotel lobby for some cocktails and to pretend we were very fancy schmancy too. The first thing I said to my friend as I leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Damn! He's cute! Is he single?" It turned out not only was he single but told my friend later that I was "hot". That's all I needed to hear. I got his number from my friend and called the piano player for a date. We decided on dinner somewhere local—most likely it was this great Italian place in the ground floor of a brownstone with a few tables outside and booths inside. We settled into a booth and did the small talk thing. He was trying to become an actor and was playing at the hotel lobby just as a way to pay the bills. Ultimately, he wanted to move to California and try his luck there. I couldn't keep my eyes off his face—light brown hair, very blue eyes, beautiful smile with white, straight teeth and great skin. The date went well enough and soon we were at his apartment, a converted brownstone that he shared with a female roommate. The place was decorated in the "starving artist" style, which meant everything was secondhand and had a funky, offbeat feel to it. He put on a Michael Franks album and to this day I still think of him when I hear "Popsicle Toes". We had some wine and talked a little and I could tell he was falling for me. I was having a good time but there were no fireworks going off in my heart, still, I didn't object when he invited me over for dinner a few days later.
Wednesday night arrived and I showed up at his apartment a few minutes early. He told me to come in as he was just finishing up in the bathroom. I assumed he was still fussing with his hair or something so I walked in to say hello and instead found him applying the finishing touches to his... foundation. I guess that explains the great skin. I wasn't too shocked as this was the middle of the eighties and even I had experimented from time to time. The date was more of the same, even more Michael Franks. I don't think he played any other album. I ended up spending the night and found out he was another bottom boy hung like a mule. Not that I objected but it always struck me as such a waste. The next morning I awoke not very refreshed as we had slept on a pull-out loveseat. Not a whole lot of room, especially when someone is trying to cuddle with you all night and the mattress was uncomfortable. While he was making us breakfast, it became more obvious that the beautiful piano player felt much deeper feelings for me than I did for him.
Every relationship that I had up to this one, usually ended abruptly as I would very suddenly lose interest in them. This was almost always preceded by the oddest physical trait: I would be laying in bed and from nowhere I would shudder as if I suddenly had the chills. It was almost like my subconscious was trying to send a message to me, "Get rid of him!" And soon, without fail, all the cute little habits began to get on my nerves. I would find an increasing number of flaws and weaknesses. I was tired of listening to him talk and hear about his plans and ours. Most obvious, I lost all sexual interest. It wasn't long until I was giving him the "it's not you, it's me" line and hopefully extricating myself from the relationship. Often there was anger and confusion, sometimes tears.

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