Monday, November 2, 2015

stories from the past - part 1, john from philadelphia

I've decided that some of my posts now will be about things that happened in the past (stole that idea from Reese), because honestly my life is pretty boring right now. I'm married, I work from home, and all my embarrassing drunk moments happen at home. I'm not going to write about things I regret specifically, but things that had a huge impact on me at the time, for whatever reason.

In December 2009, I was 21. It was my senior year of college, and I lived in downtown Frederick in this sweet bachelor-chick (I hate the word 'bachelorette') apartment. For the past 2 years, I'd had this boyfriend, Taylor, but we'd broken up in August and that was kind of the beginning of some of my more 'questionable' years. I think before he and I broke up, my number was like 7 or 8.

Anyway, I had just started dating Patrick. We had this super meet cute at a toga party (he was there on a date with the hostess and I was shameless because he was brutally hot), and we'd started seeing each other a few times a month. Most of the time, we'd go out dancing/grinding on each other to indie-pop and then go back to his house and have sex for a few hours. We always had this really raw, intense connection and I was pretty obsessed with him. He lived about an hour away, so it wasn't like we'd bump into each other unless we had plans together, which made it kind of hotter. He was like my secret hot not-yet-boyfriend that lived in DC, except I had calculating plans to make him my boyf and then eventually marry me and buy me a house with his fancy advanced degrees.

I was pretty young and naive, and Patrick was unlike ANY of the other guys I had met. He was so considerate and genuinely nice (he's from Iowa), but he was also super sexy and a really good cook and could talk about beer and wine, plus he was a few years older. I was hooked, pretty much instantly. I started falling in love with him after like, the second time we'd slept together and I had it so bad.

Patrick had been dating this other girl in Frederick (the girl who hosted the toga party, Amanda) and he kind of wanted to keep it on the sly that he and I were seeing each other. I claimed to not mind this, but one morning, we went out on a rare post-fuck quest for bagels and she must have seen us, because she called him about thirty seconds after we stepped outside.

"Hey there, Amanda. Oh, yeah, well I'm actually not in Frederick right now. I'm getting ready to fly out to Iowa, for Christmas."

They talked for a few more minutes and he did a piss-poor job of convincing her that she hadn't just seen us, and then he hung up. He gave me this weird face, and said: "she wants to 'talk' to me later,"

"You're so dumped," I said, in this really happy tone because I hated Amanda. "But seriously, did you just lie about being with me? That's very not cool."

"Yeah," he looked sheepish. "I'm sorry, I just thought it would be for the best, because she hates you and everything,"

I had this massive pit in my stomach. "Don't even with that right now. I can't believe you lied!"

We stood there for about ten minutes in the freezing cold, and I tried not to cry. Then he bought me a bagel and we went back to my apartment. I was going into Baltimore that night, my friend Janelle worked at the Walters Art Museum and she was taking me as her date to this really swanky Christmas party.

I made Patrick watch as I curled my hair into these giant barrel curls and did a really dark smoky eye, wiggling into a black bandage dress which I knew made me look super hot. He looked kind of bummed out, but he was probably just thinking about how to take my dress off.

When he left, I knew I wouldn't see him for a couple of weeks because of his Iowa trip and that he was going straight from my place to Amanda's, to "talk". We hugged for a long time and then I drove to Baltimore, crying and listening to Neutral Milk Hotel. I had to redo my makeup when I got there, but the Christmas party wound up being really fun. They had ice sculptures shaped like famous artworks! And also lots of free wine. But I couldn't stop thinking about Patrick, and I know I probably talked about him the whole time. I was so desperately early-twenty-something-in-love with him and his big dick and fun brain, but also super pissed and hurt that he'd lied to me. I was feeling really vengeful, which wasn't like me at all. Normally, I can only stay mad at people for like two seconds, but this time around felt very different. I wanted to make him hurt the same way he had hurt me.

After the Christmas party, it was starting to snow so I said goodbye and headed back to Frederick. My best friends at the time were out at this bar, dancing, and they said there was a really good band, these bluegrass/folk/rock dudes. I sped all the way home and then ran out to the bar, without changing out of my bandage dress or spiky black platform heels. The snow was getting pretty slick at this point, but I figured it would just be a few inches, and I only lived three blocks away from the bar.

The band was actually really good, and I proceeded to get massively drunk on gin & tonics. The double bassist was sooooo cute, he had this crazy brown wavy hair swooping back off of his face and big expressive eyes with killer brows and a little beard. We kept eyeing each other and grinning while he was playing, and he was so sexy I wanted to go over and bite him. There were a bunch of people dancing, so I got up and joined them when one of the bartenders came up and poked me on the shoulder.

"Hey!" I recognized her, I went to this bar almost every night. I was actually 'friends' with the owner, Dave, which I'll have to tell y'all about some other time.

"Hi," she hugged me. "John thinks you're really cute," and she pointed at the bassist. My eyebrows went up, because I turn into Scarlett O'Hara when I've had a few drinks.

"He's really sexy," I said. "And I'm single!" I added, helpfully. She gave me this 'duh' look, and then informed me that he was going to buy me a drink.

"So maybe you'll want to go thank him," she said, before handing me another drink and disappearing.

I walked up to him and introduced myself when they took a break from playing, and he said hi, and then when we were going in to shake hands, he wrapped his arm around my the small of my back and pulled me close and kissed me right on the mouth. I think I saw stars; it was like the most cinematic moment of my life thus far.

"Stick around after the show, okay, beautiful?" He whispered, kissing the side of my neck. I felt my legs turn to jelly, and I nodded. Then the other band members came back on stage, so I went back to the bar with my friends. My friends were a little judgmental and upset about the whole thing, so I laughed them even though my friend Devin rightfully pointed out that I'd been upset over Patrick not fifteen minutes ago. I laughed at her, too.

Since I'd been reminded about Patrick, I once again couldn't stop thinking about him. This was before the age of ubiquitous smartphones, so it wasn't like I could send him a cute selfie (or a pissed off selfie.) Thinking about Patrick was making me vengeful and mad again, but I didn't want to fuck up and text him, so I texted this other guy, Billy.

Billy was also super hot, in this jocky way. He'd played rugby in college, and had this longish blond surfer hair and a really toned body. He was pretty much the reason why I'd broken up with Taylor, and we'd dated for a few weeks earlier in the year but still slept together occasionally. He was probably a little freaked out by how weird I was, but he didn't really show it, and we hadn't really "broken up"--more like just stopped talking to each other.

My friend Devin grabbed my hand and said: "Oh my god, Lauren, it's Billy!"

"I texted him," I laughed, downing the rest of my drink. Devin's face looked stormy.

"What? But you just kissed that guy? And what about Patrick?!" She looked really mad.

"I'm sorry," and suddenly I was laughing too hard to speak. "I know!! I fucked up!" I couldn't stop laughing. It was the funniest thing in the world.

"Lauren that's really not nice," she said, shaming me. I stuck out my tongue at her and then went over to see Billy. He was standing in a corner of the bar, looking kind of uncomfortable and sober.

"Heyyyyy boo!" I threw my arms around his giant neck, and he patted me on the back.

"Hey there, want to leave?" He sounded amused, but not particularly tolerant of how much fun I was having.

"What?!" I was confused. "No!"

"Lauren, there's a blizzard outside. I won't be able to get home."

I dragged him over to the window, pointing at the snow. "That's fine, don't be a pussy! You'll be fine!! You live right down the street!"

"Well, I don't really feel like being out right now. If you want to hang out, let's go to my place."

When I was putting on my coat, I had second thoughts about leaving. The band was really good, after all, and it was so fun and warm there. Plus, the cute bassist! But I'd already called Billy, so that was probably lost and gone forever.

We bought a bottle of wine on the way back to Billy's apartment, and then I passed out on his couch after he told me he wouldn't kiss me until I brushed my teeth.

When I woke up in the morning, Billy was hopping around on one foot, tugging on long underwear.

"What are you doing?" I rubbed my eyes, my head was killing me.

"I have to go into work," he whined, pulling on pants and thick socks. "No one can drive in, so I'm just going to walk over."

I furrowed my brow. "Wait, how much snow did we get?"

"Over three feet. Listen, do you want to go?"

"Yeah," I tugged on my jacket, over my bodycon dress. "I'm leaving now."

It took me an hour to walk home in the snow, in my black high heels. It was up there with one of the worst walks of shame I've ever taken. Nobody was out to see me, but my feet were frozen and I wound up walking barefoot because of the ice. Plus I was incredibly hungover, and the blinding white outside was killing my head. It was also still snowing, and I had no idea what to do the rest of the day. I knew my friends were pissed at me, so I wasn't exactly about to call them, plus they all lived too far away to really get together in the snow.

I wound up sleeping the rest of the day, after taking a hot bath. When I woke up, it was dusk, and I had a bunch of messages on my phone from an unknown number.

"Hi, this is John. We met last night, Dave gave me your number. Call?"

"I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be creepy, but I'd love to see you again. We're stuck here in the snow."

"We're playing another show tonight, can you come back? I promise I won't text you again after this."

I could not believe my good luck. It was like getting a Get Out Of Jail Free card, only for hot men.

I immediately texted him back and said I'd be there, to which I got a smiley face (ew).

This show was much quieter than the previous night's; the roads were impossible to drive on, and they hadn't been plowed. Someone actually drove down the main street of the town in a pickup truck pulling a kid on a snowboard behind him. It was like a fucking fairy tale.

I sipped only a few drinks while the band played, and I was relieved to see John looked just as foxy as ever. He didn't take his eyes off of me as they played their last song, and I immediately went over and hugged him when the music stopped. It was like we were old friends.

"This is Hoots, and this is Hellmouth," he gestured to his bandmates. "This is Lauren," he said to them, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. Every time he touched me I felt this electric bolt fly through my body; I was already thinking about when and where we could make out. It felt like the connection I had with Patrick, only better, because I wasn't currently pissed at John.

They smiled at me in the blithe way that guys' friends' do when he introduces a new girl, and they know he's a major Lothario. It didn't bother me. I didn't exactly have any pretensions about where this was going to lead.

The owner of the bar, Dave, invited us all up to his loft. He passed around bottles of beer, and we built a fire in his fireplace. The loft above the bar was this incredibly gorgeous space; it was all panelled in dark wood with a high cathedral ceiling and vintage stained glass windows. One of the band members took out a joint and lit it, and we passed it around without talking.

Dave put on some music, and I pulled John up and started dancing. He sort of walked me back into a corner of the room and started making out with me, and I practically wrapped my legs around his waist. He was an insanely good kisser, tender but very deep and not too messy, and he smelled like delicious boy-mixed-with-cologne.

"Let's take a walk," he whispered, and I went to get my coat. When I came back into the living room, I was surprised to see that all the guys had their jackets on.

"Frederick never gets snow like this," Dave said. "We're not missing out."

We left through the bar downstairs, and Dave grabbed a bag full of beer bottles for us to share on the walk. We all cracked one open, and made our way through the ridiculous amount of snow to the creek, where someone pulled out and lit another joint.

It was an insanely magical moment; I was standing in the snow with this amazingly sexy guy, smoking, drinking delicious beer, and feeling incredibly reckless because of the combination of everything. It was so beautiful out, it looked like a completely different place and time.

"This is so cool," I said into John's neck, and he turned around and started kissing me again, gently licking my bottom lip and nipping at me with his teeth.

"Can I stay with you tonight?" he asked, wrapping his arms around me. I nodded, and then found out that the rest of the band and Dave had mysteriously walked off. "We slept on his floor last night," John reached up to rub his back. "And it really didn't do great things for my neck."

"I have a bed," I teased, grabbing his butt. "But who said we were sleeping in it?"

We went home and had this amazingly magical sex, it was the rare perfect first time with someone when it's not awkward and fumbly, but everything just felt charged and so good. He was such a thorough lover, and I couldn't help but hope that maybe, I would be able to see him again.

"How old are you?" he asked, playing with my hair as we lay sweaty and naked in my bed.

"Twenty-one," I admitted.

"Wow, that's uh, younger than I thought," he ran his hands through his hair and sighed. "It doesn't matter, you're mature,"

"Not really," I wrinkled my nose. "I'm pretty horrible sometimes,"

"I think you're pretty cool, I like you," he said in this reassuring tone, and pulled me closer. We fell asleep and spooned all night; it was the first time I remember cuddling with someone and liking it.

He had to leave the next day; he lived in Philly with the band and worked as an architect during the day. We texted for a few weeks, and once he seemed to understand that I wasn't going to go crazy and stalk him, he started opening up a lot more and telling me he wanted to see me again.

But, by that time, Patrick and I were in a 'better' place--he'd stopped seeing Amanda, and been a lot more honest with me. We still weren't monogamous, but neither one of us really slept with other people anymore.

John came back to visit in February, after the snow all melted. It felt awkward, and really weird; the magic or feeling or whatever was completely gone. I had bronchitis that weekend, so I didn't feel like going out. We sat on my couch and watched a movie and then went to bed and had pretty unremarkable sex. It wasn't bad, but I don't really remember it. I really wanted that feeling to be there again, but it wasn't, and I think it's because I had already sort of moved on from Frederick--I was spending so much time with Patrick by that point, and I was almost done with college.

Then, about six months later, I saw that the same band was coming back to the bar. I went that night, but it was a different bassist. Hoots & Hellmouth both recognized me, and I asked about John, and they said they'd kicked him out for smoking and drinking too much.

But the really weird thing is this: my husband reminds me exactly of John. That's why I named him John in the blog. They look almost exactly the same (Real John was taller and skinnier), they're the same age, they have the same delivery and manner of speaking, same type of dating history. It's fucking spooky!


  1. Love hearing old stories of yours, we are the same age and it brings back so many memories!!

    1. doesn't it seriously feel like a million years ago? :(

    2. Oh yes! Especially now being married with children! I sometimes forget I had a wild side!

  2. I super love your blog! Unlike other blogs (which I also love) it's not just a story. It's real life experiences. Some I relate to, some I don't... Some I learn from and some are just so damn entertaining. I love it. Thank you for sharing so much.

    1. Thanks! :) That means a lot, I'm especially glad you dig the ones you don't relate to.

  3. this reminds me so much of myself. I love the flashback posts! I want more! hoots and hellmouth, though lol. i laughed out loud.

    1. they both had these giant hipster beards and glasses, too, lol. it was so funny.