One thing I've learned in my dating trials and tribulations is that things can go wrong at anytime. Sometimes, things go wrong from the start and you are fighting before the waitress arrives. Sometimes it takes until dessert. And sometimes, for some reason, things go inexplicably wrong before a date even has a chance to occur. Sometimes, something ...clicks...and suddenly you both know: this is not going to work. It's not even worth trying. That's how it happened with Eric.
When I met Eric, dating did not even occur to me. He was just some guy who played guitar. I had gone out with my friend, Katie, to see her boyfriend's band. I hadn't been expecting much. I had been on THAT night out before. You know, the one where some horrible band is making a racket while your friend bats her eyelashes at a mohawked and tattooed disaster with a microphone? Ugh. Happily, that was NOT the night I experienced. The band was actually good. And her boyfriend had only one tattoo.
We had a table with 6 girls and a bottomless pitcher of beer. The music was good, the crowd was friendly. After the second set, the band came over to the table to say hi to Katie and her friends. I said hello to her boyfriend (the singer), the mohawked and tattooed disaster (the drummer), and the guitarist (Eric).
"Hey!" I said, "Was that a Duran Duran riff that I heard in the middle of a Metallica song?"
He literally picked me up and spun me around! "I have been doing that for 2 years and NOBODY has noticed!"
"It sounds surprisingly good!" I said. (Who'd have thought that juxtaposition could work?)
He ran back to the stage and returned to thrust a CD into my hands. "Here's my CD. Listen to it and tell me what you think."
"Sure, I'd love to."
The next time we went to see the band, I told him how I LOVED the CD. It was the first one I loaded onto my new ipod.
He looked at me blankly. He clearly had no idea who I was. Apparently he whips those CDs out left and right at anyone who happens to be within range. (It would probably be more financially sound to SELL the CDs, but what do I know? I'm just some chick with a jeep)
Somebody else may have been insulted by his lack of recognition. Not me. I thought it was funny. Occasionally, I'd see a gleam of remembrance in his eyes. Not often, though.
Once, at a show at the British Ale House, Katie told Eric "Oh, Shannon says hello."
"Hmmm" he said. "Shannon. Shannon. Shannon."
Katie huffed in frustration. "Tall, thin, red hair? Came to see you every Thursday for 6 months at The Full Sail?"
"Yeah. So...is she cute?"
"How old is she?"
"She's 26, Eric. Why?"
"Oh, that's too old" he said. "I like 'em 21 or 22."
I decided to jump in on the conversation. "Old enough to get into bars but not old enough to know about you musicians?"
"Yes!" he exclaimed. "Exactly!"
"Well," Katie replied "in that case, I'm really over the hill."
"And I have one foot in the grave" I added.
"Why?" he asked "How old are you?"
"I'm 38." I said.
"Really?" He looked me up and down in that musician-y way: "That's kind of hot."
"Oh, go play your guitar!"
to be continued....