He Wins…Again

Toward the end of April I matched with a cute military guy on Tinder. Unfortunately we were no longer in the same vicinity by the time we got to talking, as he is stationed on the West Coast – California to be exact. Drats. But somehow, although we established the long distance aspect pretty quickly, we just kind of kept up intermittent conversation over the course of the next week or so. And then I asked him if he had Snapchat and he added me.

I was still talking to and highly interested in Dale then, but I wasn’t feeling the most encouraged about that situation so this guy seemed like he would be a good distraction in the meantime. We shall call him Rusty.

Rusty and I started chatting through Snapchat. And I noticed eventually that a fateful gold heart appeared next to his name. I found out that meant that we Snap each other the most. I thought that was kind of cool for some reason – it made him seem like he’s not a total manwhore.

In early May we got around to exchanging numbers and texting. Again, I was still highly interested in Dale and he was my “front runner” but I started taking a liking to Rusty as well. Our senses of humor and general political and life philosophies meshed well. But of course, there was still the fact that he lives in California and I reside definitely not in California. There was no immediate discussion of anything concerning if and when we would ever meet, but I just went with it, as I do most things in life.

There would be periods of several days where I wouldn’t hear from him and I’d think perhaps he’s grown bored or started dating someone, and I would lament it for several seconds and move on, but then out of the blue I’d get a text from him again. Some time in mid-May, he was drunk texting me and telling me he couldn’t wait to meet me. We made super tentative plans for me to come out there the weekend of June 15, but never discussed it after and it didn’t come to fruition. Funnily enough, he actually flew out to my area that weekend to pick up something from when he was stationed over this way, but I was out of town at the beach.

BUT, as the weekend before happened to be when Dale and I imploded and I was feeling kind of down, as it happens I had actually made plans to travel out to California at the end of June anyway. Not for the purposes of specifically seeing Rusty though…I didn’t consult with him beforehand or anything like that. I learned my lesson from Japan and definitely did not want to come out there *for* him specifically, but I did let him know I’d be out there the week of July 4 and down to hang out if he would be around. He seemed amenable to it.

I didn’t really hear from him the week before my trip. We had talked extensively the weekend before, but then contact fell off. I didn’t know what to think, but I again reminded myself that this trip was not about him – I’d either see him or I wouldn’t. But I definitely did not want to plan around him.

I only texted him the Friday before to remind him I’d be out there and see if we were going to get drinks, as previously discussed. He said “Of course.”

I woke up bright and early the morning of June 30 and headed to my local airport, landing in California in the early afternoon. I texted Rusty while I was on the way to my hotel. He texted back immediately to get specifics about the area I was staying in. He said he was working on his house, going to a cookout, and then game to hang out.

We ended up meeting up a little before 6 PM at a spot he suggested. He got there a little before me and directed me to him. I was able to spot him right away and we settled in together like two old pals. We talked and drank and seemed to warm up to each other pretty immediately. We were at the original bar for maybe an hour, and then he suggested another one right on the next corner, so we left and went there. At the second place, the conversation and warmth continued effortlessly. We even started making friends with 2 guys sitting next to us. It was also particularly flattering that one of them felt the need to remark that although I am not ordinarily his type (demographically), he still thought I was really attractive. It never hurts to have a stranger innocently dote on your looks in front of your date, of course.

At one point when I leaned toward Rusty a little bit, maybe to hear what he was saying or something, he took the opportunity to kiss me very sweetly. I thought that was cute.

After a while he said that we were going to go back to the original place – some of his friends/colleagues were coming out and we would meet them. But when we got back there, they had scaled things up for the evening I guess, because they wouldn’t let him in with flip-flops on. Luckily there was a shoe store right down the street that was still open so we hurried there to get an appropriate pair of shoes for him. On the way, he grabbed my hand to escort me across the street and to help me keep up with him as we dashed along to make sure we made it to the store before it closed. He scored the cheapest pair of shoes there that would be acceptable (which still ran him 55 bucks), and I put his flip-flops in a nylon shoulder bag they gave us and carried them around for him for the rest of the night. How sweet I am!

We were able to make successful entry into the bar the second time around and meet up with one of his friends and friend’s girlfriend. Rusty made the introductions, we got drinks, and we maintained for the next couple of hours as more of his friends and their significant others showed up. His friends were all nice and fun to talk to. We ended up going elsewhere eventually. Maybe one or 2 places within walking distance. Dancing…drinking…fun times had by all.

Rusty playfully pulls my hair at several points. We make out some. We pull an Irish Goodbye on his people and end up at a pizza place to soak up some of our drunkenness. I find $20 on the floor of the establishment that belongs to no one in there, so I use it to buy our slices of pizza and I let them keep the change. We Uber back to my hotel. We make out some and pass out.

The next morning we wake up right after dawn and start making out some more. I’m glad we didn’t do the drunken sex thing, but we finally get around to it after he gets a condom. It’s decent – not mind-blowing, not horrible. Just that “first time” kind of sex. We lie back down and sleep for a little while longer. He’s clearly not eager to get up and go, so I find that encouraging, but he is uncomfortable because it’s a little hot in the room. I find out I don’t have the A/C completely on so I adjust it to try to make him comfortable. We switch places in the bed so he can be nearest the unit. We lie for a little while longer and then he says it’s time for him to start his day.

I ask if he wants to hang again at some point before I leave – “of course.” He says he can’t hang out that night, but the next night (Monday) he’s down. Awesome. We get up and dress; I want to get downstairs to the lobby to get some of the continental breakfast. He puts some water in his hair to tame it and smacks me on my ass playfully before we leave the room. He orders an Uber and then we both have some juice during the quick wait. When it’s there, he kisses me goodbye.

I mostly chill throughout the day with a little day drinking intermixed throughout. I’m determined not to initiate contact with him. I want to wait it out and see. If I don’t hear from him, then I’ll just have to chalk it up to it being that one-time rendezvous. That afternoon he texts me to see what I’m up to. He’s been studying and working on some home projects. We chat some and I eventually ask if I will really see him the next day and somehow I confuse him telling me what he’s doing that moment (studying, home repair) to mean that he expects that he will be busy the next night, so I take him to be blowing me off preemptively. Stupid, tipsy, me rereads eventually and see that I mistook things, so I apologize. He laughs it off.

The next day I entertain myself by venturing out to a mini amusement park and getting on some rides. I text Rusty sporadically throughout the day with random banter, to include a picture of me and a stranger I crossed paths with who happened to be from my state and other assorted tipsy ramblings as more day drinking ensued (I mean, it’s vacation).

A little after 7 PM, Rusty texts me that he’s almost done with work. I acknowledge. Close to 9 PM, he texts me that he’s finished. I acknowledge and ask what the plan is, in so many words. After half an hour goes by with no response, and I do start getting a little antsy, I admit. I’m still on an east coast timeline, so my internal clock thinks it’s nearing midnight at this point. I’m getting tired. Not understanding why he’s not hitting me back. After a while I tell him I suspect we’re not really going to hang tonight so I guess I will go to bed. But then I decide I really don’t want to waste a night, so I decide to go out instead. I try to call him before heading out in case it turns out he’s driving or something and can’t text. He doesn’t answer. I head out to the popular neighborhood bar.

Since I’m getting a bad feeling about this whole thing and thus starting to feel crappy, I drink quite heavily. Maybe an hour into being out I send him a few texts, just kind of wondering aloud what was going on. I did remark that if he didn’t want to see me again, he didn’t have to say he did. Then a little while after that I started giving him the benefit of the doubt and apologizing for making assumptions. Stupid, drunken texts. I think I did call him a couple of times as well, but he didn’t answer.

A little after 11:30 PM, I look at my phone to see that I had a missed call from him a few minutes before. I call him back – no answer. I text him – no answer. Really, at this point, and probably because I’m intoxicated, I really don’t know what to think. But I actually start to legitimately wonder if something happened. Is he okay? Is he in distress? His behavior is legitimately becoming unsettling to me. So I did call him quite a few times over the rest of the night. But he never called back and I never heard anything from him. I sent another text near the end of the night to ask him why he was acting like this. Nothing.

The next morning I woke up to see that he still had not made contact over the night, but he finally wrote around 9 AM to exclaim that I am “cray” (modern vernacular for “crazy”). I exclaim that he said he was coming and did not, wtf. He said work ran later than expected and then I went “cray.” He followed that remark with laughing emojis, so I thought he was only about half serious. I apologized, said I didn’t know what was going on and I had gone out drinking and acted stupid – sue me.

Then for the rest of the day I proceeded with intermittent bantering texts like normal. I didn’t think anything was a big deal, but I did take care to apologize again for my antics the night before. I knew he was working and probably wouldn’t answer immediately, but there came a point that evening when I realized I didn’t really know if he had been serious about me being “cray” and blocked me, was just ignoring me, or was just working. Or maybe all at once. But I started to get a nagging feeling inside of me. Why no response at all?

I tried calling that night when I thought he might not be busy with work, just to say I’m sorry again. And also that I had decided to extend my trip until Thursday (was originally supposed to leave on July 4th, but decided to hang around to attempt to see my brother) and that maybe we could get together at some point before I left. No call back…no text…nothing. I went to sleep kind of bummed.

I only realized the precariousness of the situation on Wednesday morning when I found that he had deleted me from Snapchat. Really??? We never talked through there anymore anyway, but it was only then that it became clear that he was genuinely put off and he took Monday night more serious than I thought. Ruh roh!

The rest of that week, and the past few weeks in general, have pretty much been an adventure in befuddlement and frustration in terms of trying to understand his odd, intermittent responses and general stonewalling and callousness. I guess I can gather, overall, that he was put off by my antics that Monday night, but given that he would bother to throw out brief, apparently mocking, snippets every once in a while, and even to proceed to make moves in a current Words With Friends bout we had going (that had started before my trip), I still really don’t understand what went on here.

But in terms of the daily play-by-play…

Wednesday: I called and left a voicemail in the morning trying to apologize once I discovered the Snapchat deletion. I wasn’t really sure at this point what to think and even thought he may have actually blocked my number since he never said anything past his cryptic comments the morning before. It didn’t seem like he blocked my number though, because from what I could research, when I called it would’ve just rang once and went to voicemail. It rang like normal before going to voicemail – there was just no answer. Nevertheless, I never heard anything back. I went on that day and night to run around and try to enjoy the holiday, but I felt kind of bummed that he was obviously peeved with me and ignoring me.

Thursday: No response from the day before. I proceeded to the airport mid-morning for my afternoon flight only to find out my plane is already 40 minutes delayed from wherever it was coming from. My layover between connections was only 59 minutes as is, so they were trying to reroute me to another airport an hour from my house. No thanks. I just had them change my ticket to the next day and they put me up in a hotel for the night. I kind of felt that this might have been a moment of pure serendipity – maybe my flight cancellation would provide me an opportunity to make up with Rusty. But somehow I just felt too self-conscious to contact him at this point. If he already thinks I’m crazy or whatever, I didn’t want him to possibly get the impression that I changed my flight on purpose and was stalking him or whatever. I dunno, it just felt like it might seem TOO coincidental and that I was that eager or pressed to try and see him. So I left things alone and went off to enjoy my last night in California.

Friday: I woke up and just suddenly didn’t feel like leaving. I figured I already had taken the full week off now anyway between staying purposely until Thursday and then my flight being cancelled the day before, so I decided to make another weekend of it and changed my ticket to a Sunday flight out and booked my hotel room for a couple more nights. I went out day drinking. Got to texting Rusty eventually, trying to apologize. I didn’t bother to let him know I was still in the area, again feeling self-conscious, but I still wanted to try to make up. He answered eventually only to say I went “cray” and then said “too late” when I asked him to stop. Nothing else. But to my surprise, he has started making moves against me in the Words With Friends match we still had going – wtf?

Saturday: I woke up that morning and suddenly felt like trying to reach out again, this time letting him know everything that had happened with my flight and asking if there was any way he might see me before I left for real. It felt crappy that we were within a single digit mileage of each other, and he’s giving me the serious cold shoulder. So that morning I did break down and let him know about my cancelled flight and deciding to stay the weekend. And that it would be nice to see him again before I leave. No answer. That evening I found myself back at the strip of bars that we had been at together the weekend before. I let him know that I’m there and said maybe we can meet up if he’s nearby. No immediate answer, but half past midnight he sends this: Chuck Norris Watches Despacito. I’m too tipsy to attempt to interpret what that means at that moment, so I don’t answer.

Sunday: I’m in more of a sound mind to try to interpret what he meant by sending me that link. Was he trying to make me laugh, like old times? Was he telling me I’m annoying and he’s tired of me? I had a feeling it was more of the latter. I went down to the hotel bar that morning to have some mimosas and reflect on this and then somehow managed to figure out that it’d be cheaper to fly home the next day instead of that day, so I changed my ticket to Monday and booked my room for another night. I didn’t answer him until that afternoon, telling him I get it – NO DRAMA – and trying to be conciliatory as usual. I didn’t tell him I was staying there another night. But he didn’t respond back anyway so whatever.

Monday: I finally flew home. But not before texting Rusty that morning to let him know I had actually stayed Sunday and to tell him I hoped he won’t always be mad at me, and that his friendship kind of does matter to me. Nada.

Thursday – Sunday: I made it through most of the next week being okay with everything, but then I started texting him again that Thursday. After all, he had continued against me in our Words With Friends game throughout the week, so wtf? So I was trying to be “normal” and flirty. Hoping he will at least throw me a bone and be willing to talk now that I am home and officially out of his hair. Nothing. On Sunday, he pulls off a surprise victory in Words With Friends with some obscure ass word that I’m 97% sure he cheated to come up with. I text him to tease him about that. He answers eventually with “I win…again.” I answer with various remarks from addressing his gloating to trying to address the elephant in the room. No response. I swear him off from that point on.

And was doing quite well for a little over a week until I cracked this past Tuesday afternoon and then just asked him to please just tell me why he got so freaked out. I explained that I was not trying to come off, in my behavior that night, like I thought we were suddenly a couple or anything. I let him know that his behavior was really bothering me and I wish he would just simply discuss things with me instead of being so stone cold.

NO ANSWER. SURPRISE!

Yesterday morning I decided to just swear him off for real now (again). I had challenged him to a Words With Friends rematch, but I resigned from it and just took the stat hit (so you know I definitely meant it), and I deleted his number from my phone, along with a choice few other jackasses that it’s just time for me to be done with for good.

I don’t think I’ve really ever had anyone approach things quite in this manner, so I guess that’s what irks me more than anything. It’s not that he thinks I’m crazy or whatever he wants to think of me, it’s more so really just the obvious lack of respect or consideration from a person who genuinely seemed into me the faintest bit. It’s not like I thought I would leave California having met him and with us suddenly being an item, but I thought he at least had respect enough for me as a person and a friend and that we could build from there. He DID in fact spend over 2 months entertaining me before even meeting me – there must’ve been something he liked about me. He did definitely enjoy my actual company in person as well, it seems.

It bothers me to have thought I had even the littlest bit of a connection with someone and for him to be so mean, really. Someone who brought me around his friends…held my hand…spent the night with me…hooked up with me…gave the appearance of genuine interest in me even post-hookup…yet stonewall me after the littlest hint of trouble. Or 95% stonewall me then 5% answer me just to fuck with me. Who the fuck does that?

The only things I can think are:

1. He was in fact legitimately freaked out by my drunken antics. I mean, that’s certainly a possibility, I just feel like my behavior didn’t really rise to the level of actual “cray” or whatever he wants to call it. I’ve said things before to people, when I was more immature, that I could objectively look at afterward and say “Yeaaaaah, that was a little psycho.” I just don’t think this was it. We’d been in near daily contact for 2 months previous to meeting and I’ve been plenty of drunk before and have said outlandish things to him. I know there is a difference between *fun* drunk texting and *freak out* drunk texting, but it’s not like I lost my temper and was rude or belligerent or cursing him out. Or like I started being super clingy emotional and emoting about feelings and shit. Everything I said was basically along the lines of telling him that if he didn’t want to see me again, he didn’t have to say so, and then kind of wondering aloud (as I got drunker) what was going on. Did I overdo it with the phone calls? Sure. But I was drunk, and honestly legitimately concerned. It just doesn’t make sense to me that he would really be startled by any of that. Especially since he clearly hadn’t blocked my texts and then later on went on to finish our Words With Friends game. Why not not just go scorched earth on all forms of contact since he felt the need to delete me from Snapchat? We hadn’t even talked on there in a while and he barely posts anything.

2. Convenient excuse. Maybe he really did intend for it to be a one night stand, but felt a little bad about cutting me off cold turkey after, so kind of played along and then ducked out when I gave him the ammo to by being “cray.” Again, it’s possible, but still doesn’t really feel right to me. Why start texting me on Sunday to see what I’m up to then? Why start texting me in the evening on Monday and lead me to believe hanging out is imminent only to then fall off the face of the earth? What did he really think anyone’s reaction would be to being legitimately stood up?

3. Found a better deal. It really doesn’t make sense to me that he texted me on Monday night and said he was done with work, then the next morning claimed work ran later than expected. So you don’t know when you’re done and not done? It wouldn’t surprise me at this point if he actually had a date set up with someone else and opted for her instead of me. And maybe they hit it off and so he just started giving me the cold shoulder to get rid of me.

4. He actually is attached. I know he’s not married. And he swore he didn’t have a girlfriend. And I don’t really see a guy who does have a significant other taking me out around his town and around his friends. But who really knows. He is in the military, so maybe it’s like Ben’s kind of deal where there is someone somewhere, long distance.

Very odd. Or maybe he’s just a damaged individual. Maybe you get that way when you have had both a wife and a fiance break up with you via email, as he has told me has happened to him. Maybe since he felt like he mattered so little to people he cared about, he really has no compassion or empathy for other people in turn. We’re all disposable beings, aren’t we?

I Tried

Well apparently I jumped the gun on axing Ben. I just assumed, since he had clearly read my diatribes yesterday morning and hadn’t responded, that that would be all she wrote.  Because I certainly wasn’t going to say anything else and I figured that was his standpoint as well.

Yet in the late afternoon he finally replied: “Me too.” I prodded because I had no idea what that meant as a response to the thousands of things I said. He was referencing the statement I made about having been looking forward to our rendezvous. And added on that he had also been excited about seeing the new boobs as well.

I responded that maybe one day the timing will be right. He wrote “K” then proceeded to delve into conversation about how my healing is going. And from there we made friendly intermittent chit chat like normal. He even coaxed the conversation on at certain points, which he usually doesn’t do much of.

So, I don’t know. I get the feeling he wants to keep me around somehow.

Besides that, a few updates on some oldies, but goodies:

Blaze

I hadn’t spoken to him since the random text he had sent me last year, which I found strange given that he was engaged. But I actually ended up running into him at the beach back in August. I was at a bar alone fretting over another jackass, and I turn around and spy my good old friend, Blaze. We drank and talked and hung out together for a little while. No hard feelings; no love lost. We parted ways amicably and he got married last month and good luck to him.

Chester

We had been in contact pretty regularly over the past couple of months. I forget who initiated this round, but when we started talking again he was mourning the loss of a girl he really liked but screwed up with because apparently he had kind of overlapped her with a previous girl, and previous girl wasn’t having it. When she found out about the second chick, she got in contact with her somehow and blew his spot up. Second girl cut him off and didn’t look back and he was upset because he had been into her.

So we started off pretty wholesomely chatty at first yet at some point he started sending me selfies and various other pictures and the general tone turned more flirty. Then he eventually started his usual BS of hinting around hanging out, or wanting to hang out last minute. I just blew him off on those occasions.

But then the Saturday before last, he out right asked if I wanted to hang out with him at a town near me. He was going to meet up with a female friend and her boyfriend. I accepted and he came and got me. I can’t remember the last time I saw him…I feel like it’s not been since we originally talked. But he looked good. And he was the perfect gentleman in getting out of the car to open my door.

The friend wasn’t out yet so we stopped at one spot and had a meal and drinks on our own. Then his friend instructed him to go to another spot, so he paid and I said I’d get our drinks at the next place. The friend and her boyfriend joined us maybe 30 minutes later. She was nice and so was the boyfriend – nice to the point where, when we decided to hit another spot, the boyfriend paid the whole tab…meaning he paid for the drinks Chester and I had even when they weren’t even there yet. We implored him not to, but he insisted. And then when we were done at the next place, he claimed that they “know him” and had comped him and so we didn’t pay a cent yet again. I’ll allow it.

I had told Chester earlier in the evening that he could crash at my place if he needed to, and that’s what ended up happening. But sleeping is not all we did, of course. The next morning we got a second round in and then he drove me to McDonald’s for greasy hangover food and left.

The night before he had told me he would be back in that same town the next weekend for a wedding. I had plans for dinner with Hannah as a preliminary birthday celebration in said town as well. He said “maybe” (as in, he wanted us to) we would cross paths. But apparently he was going as a female friend’s plus 1, and I checked to make sure I wouldn’t be interrupting a date. He assured me that said female is a friend from college who lives out of state now but comes back to attend a wedding every once in a while, and he just kind of her standing wedding date on those occasions.

So we ended up meeting up out on the town last weekend. Not until about midnight, though. Hannah and I met him at the bar they were all at. I was pretty tipsy by then. I met his female friend; she was nice. Hannah’s husband came to pick her up not too long into it, so I figured I’d either just Uber back home or possibly crash with Chester. Unfortunately he was sharing a room with his friend, so that was a no-go. And I feel like we might’ve not gotten along so well somehow – I think maybe I said something drunkenly stupid about us dating or something. I can’t remember.

I eventually Ubered back home safely and woke up to a text that he sent me at 4:25 am asking if I made it home okay. He texted me a little bit later when he got home and I asked why he had been up that late/early…he didn’t seem to remember it being that early.  But that was really the extent of the conversation and I haven’t heard from him since. So I can’t decide if we got into it or not because I figured he wouldn’t have texted me. But then again I haven’t heard from him like I normally have been. I don’t care either way.

Adam

So when it came down to it and we finally got around to talking about expectations, it turned out that Adam still didn’t see us as a dating thing, but was interested in exploring other options, such as a FWB situation. I tried it; he came over a couple of times, just for kicks. But just like he told me that time that he doesn’t think about me when he gets a spare moment…I don’t fantasize about him when I get a spare moment. And thus it doesn’t interest me to maintain any sexual relationship with him at all. He DID look pretty good when I saw him for the first time after a year, though. I’m not usually a facial hair fan, but a beard on him makes him a little hotter. But still…eh.

Japan – Day 3

So where we last left off, I had just come back from my impromptu late night jaunt with a complete stranger while Reed slept peacefully and probably never even knew I was gone. It was approaching daylight by the time I was back and I wasn’t tired so I figured I’d just get ready for the day so the bathroom would be free for him whenever he woke up.

When he did, I think I mentioned that I went out for a little bit but I don’t recall telling him the extent of my adventure.

Our plans for the day were to first get some breakfast and then to take a tour of some old castle he wanted to go to before we left Osaka.

We went downstairs to in the hotel to eat and while things were quiet I tried to make a joke of the night before, how we were really drunk and wandering around trying to find the restaurant that we never did. It was supposed to be in a “ha ha, wasn’t that hilarious?” kind of way. He completely failed to acknowledge me when I said it though, and it was in such a way that I knew that he was pointedly ignoring me. So I said it again.

He responded with, “WHAT, ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE FUN OF ME BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE I WAS GOING?!”

Oh, good Lord.

No, Reed, I explained, I was not making fun of you…we were both drunk and had no idea where we were. I just thought it was funny. That’s all. Excuse me for breathing.

The rest of the breakfast was eaten in pretty much an awkward silence akin to the walk to the bar the day before.

When we were done eating we went to check out and to have the front desk hold our bags until we got back from the castle.

I truly forget if we had to take a train one stop or two, or if it was walking distance, but we got there successfully and by the time we were on the path in, he had apologized for being a dick at breakfast. But it was already becoming apparent by these sensitive outbursts of his that something was seriously awry here.

Anyway, pics from the castle…

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What’s a castle without a moat?

It was pretty much like a museum inside, with cool artifacts and what not.

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Osaka Castle history, for anyone interested.
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Mr. Sensitive

We stopped at a restaurant to have lunch afterward and then when we were done we retrieved our bags from the hotel and got back to the bullet train for the 2 or 3 hour or whatever it was journey back to Tokyo. I fell asleep for most of it.

We got back to his house without incident and he fixed us a frozen pizza for dinner. We were both beat and he had to work the next day, so sleep came pretty easily for both of us.

And thus concludes Day 3.