Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Crossing the Line

But now I've had enough of playin' it safe
I wanna go too far, I wanna go too fast
Somebody draw the line so I can blow right past

I'm the one they all depend on
Sensible, predictable, and strong
But every now and then, I feel like I've played that role too long
I need to rock the boat,
I need to speak my mind
Just this once let it all unwind ....

It was about two months from the beginning, a couple weeks after meeting Kate, when Tracey pinned down a Sunday evening date for a football game. I let her pick the place, something I regretted because she picked a place close to the city I work in. Because my church is of the mega variety, even though this is a metropolitan area, I will nine times out of ten have to greet people I know in restaurants and bars. I let the place stand because I didn't want to explain anything, I just wanted to have some fun.
Right before it was time to leave, Tracey called me and said she would be a few minutes late. She also told me that if I wanted to see a picture of her before we met, she had a website I could look at. She sounded nervous about the meeting, so I reassured her that I didn't need to see a picture to go watch some football on TV with someone. At that point we had many IM chats and phone conversations and I felt totally comfortable meeting in public. She seemed to push it, so I agreed to look and promised I would still show up no matter what.
I already knew what she never mentioned in our conversations on the phone, that she was African American. Out of curiosity I did look at her pic, but didn't give hesitation. If there was a problem it seemed to be hers.
As I was driving I got nervous about the conversation aspect again. At least this time I would be able to talk about the game if nothing else. I didn't have the other fears I had with Kate because I didn't reveal anything personal, the comfort aspect wasn't there, and Tracey didn't have any feelings toward me that I knew of.

While I was walking up to the door I glanced down at my coat and said to myself, " you dressed really fucking conservative tonight, what the hell were you thinking." Gretch loves the look, she thinks I look classy when I dress in my black upper knee dress coats, but it wasn't right for the occasion. I made a mental note to remember the classy black leather jacket for occasions such as these. I was such a geek.

As soon as I walked in, I spotted tracey at the bar looking very nervous. I walked up to her, said hello, and immediately told her everything was great. The look of relief being noticeable, I smiled and asked her what I could get her to drink. This was the one and only time I took the reins in our relationship. That nervous girl who stood in front of me just seconds before was gone forever.

We grabbed a table on the side of the bar. There was a rather large group of men who were together for the big game so it was noisy.
It was dark with the only light coming from the big screen TV. I felt totally comfortable, like being with my athletic friend as I had done many times before.

I was starting a very bad habit of ordering a beer when meeting people for the first time. I am not a person who drinks much. I should have just been myself in that aspect and made it clear from the start. Gretch always teases that one of the reasons she fell for me, was for the very fact that we would be sharing many bottles of wine over long romantic evenings. Uh, sorry.

So , tracey and I were having a great time for the first hour, talking, eating some popcorn, and laughing. As time progressed she brought her chair a little bit closer than the other side of the table. She told me she was having a great time and asked what my schedule was like for the week. She asked if would have dinner with her midweek.
Then, without warning, she leaned over and told me I had amazing blue eyes. My heart skipped a beat, and not knowing how to react to this comment, I said thank you and smiled. Of course I was thinking that maybe personal ads were never about friendship. Exactly two weeks since meeting the last person and now I quite possibly had someone else interested in me, and not for friendship. I did say ok to the dinner later in the week, thinking that I could be once again a total jerk and back out over email. The difference though, was that I really enjoyed being with trace, she was attractive and what could it possible hurt to have dinner.
We set a date for Thursday evening of that week. When we left, she gave me a hug in the parking lot and I was totally excited about Thursday.

Over the course of the next couple days, I tried to be more honest about where I was coming from. I detailed a little more about my relationship history, but not much.
The only girl relationship I had was in college and it was like maybe cuddling and sleeping in the same bed every night. We were very young and had no clue about anything sexual with the same sex except kissing and some touching. Tracey didn't in any of those phone, or online conversations ask for elaboration. So she didn't know even those details. I though I had time for that info, I had no idea how fast I was going to let this develop.


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