“I’ll need a place to crash,” he said, “I can pay you back with food, beer, or sex. Personally, I’d pick sex.”
We hadn’t talked in a couple years. After I had graduated and moved back to my “hometown,” we had lost track of one another. But then, there he was, in my email. He assumed, because we had partied together throughout university, that I had the lock on where he and I could find a good party for the Memorial Day weekend, should he come into town for it.
Plans changed and he ended up back with his old band to play a birthday party for the guy who owned the bar where they had played while we were all still in school.
I didn’t hear from him again for a couple months.
And then another couple months after that.
The pattern was bizarre but I rolled with it. I was on the uphill climb from what had been a soul-crushing break up and the idea of rebound sex wasn’t even remotely unpleasant. Especially rebound sex with Cameron. Considering Israel had been, in a way, revenge sex while I was still into Cameron (the first time around…).
So, I let him shoot me a random email every once in a while and tried to fight back all of my old feelings. Rebound sex, I kept telling myself.
“What’s he doing in L.A.?” My Little Sister had taken it upon herself to stalk his social media as I told her about what had been going on.
“Yeah, it says he lives in L.A.”
And just like that, a complicated situation got 1000% more complicated. I swept it under the rug, figuring it was probably something I should have figured out sooner and bringing it up this late in the game might seem a little weird. And we were talking, now, with a fair amount of regularity. Three or four nights a week, mostly through an instant messenger but we had exchanged phone numbers as well.
“What’s up?” A standard “I’m bored, let’s chat” opening text message.
“Nothing. You?” You, not U, because I have never gotten on board with text speak.
“Just hanging out at a bar. Bored.” He’s texting me from a bar. On a Saturday night. In Los Angeles. He’s not bored, he’s hooked.
I let it go for a few days.
“What are we doing? I’m not pushing anything, I just want to make sure everything is out in the open.” Following Saturday’s text message, I had a good idea what we were doing, but I wanted to hear it from him. “Are we just talking about something physical, or are we looking at something more?”
“I hadn’t thought about it.” He admitted. “I guess we should try the physical, first. If that doesn’t work, will ‘something more’ really work? With the distance?”
This came close to a year after his initial offer of sexual favors in exchange for a place to crash after partying with me. Looking back on it, and on the revealing Saturday night text message, we had already progressed to “something more,” we just hadn’t had the conversation.
The strange song and dance that was our relationship continued for another six months. We talked almost daily, about everything. Music, recalled things that had happened while we were in university – a lot of which was him telling me things I would have never known otherwise – the standard “how was your day?” conversations, just to say we had talked that day. And we talked about sex. A lot.
“I got your email.” He had been logged in to the messenger we used, waiting for me when I got there.
I replied with a wink 😉 and asked him what he thought.
“I opened it at work.”
I was intrigued. “Did you read it at work?” I imagined him in the back office of a Los Angeles location of a major musical instrument retail chain, a noticeable bulge in the front of black slacks.
“No. I closed it when I figured out what it was.”
I was disappointed. “But you read it later.”
It was his turn to wink. “I did.” He told me he couldn’t wait to try some of it out.
Thanksgiving was coming soon. He had made plans to return to Colorado to spend a week with his family. His sister would be home on leave from the military and he wanted to spend time with her. But he wanted to spend time with me, too. We set it up. I had a four-day weekend from work. He’d come up Friday and spend Friday and Saturday with me.
A week left to go. After 18 months of talking about all of the things we wanted to do to one another, we were a week from doing them.
“I have to ask you a question.”
“If we sleep together, are you going to go crazy?” Those were the last words Cameron, the gorgeous, intelligent, talented skateboarding guitarist accountant, ever had the privilege to say to me.