“How do you be?”
With that as my opener, I was doomed to fail miserably.
Tipped on a mere three bottles of Pale Ale, I had gained the liquid courage I felt necessary to approach a guy in a club. I sauntered over to him under the darkened confines of the bar, my body throbbing to the pulse of neo-electronic-dance-house beats, emerging from a sea of men, my eyes set upon him with a misguided determination.
Sensing I was somehow worthy of being in this beautiful man’s presence, I approached him. Then I uttered those cursed words.
I did not say, “Hello, I’m Trevor.”
Nor did I say, “How are you tonight?” or even the delightful cliché of “So, do you come here often?”
I suppose what came out of my mouth wasn’t so bad. Hell, in retrospect, it could have been downright adorable. However, the vacant look of incomprehension that greeted my line made me want to take it all back and retreat far from the glow of his radiant charms.
It was too late, of course. I had already put myself out there and there was no way of turning back. Or was there?
I stood before him, any courage I was able to muster quickly evaporating when I realized this guy could tell I was trying too hard. I needed an out; a refuge from the embarrassing predicament I had put myself in.
So what was my next move? I smiled. I looked into those brown eyes and simply uttered, “Well, see you ’round!”
Then I turned my back on my failed conquest and never looked back.
The whole sordid affair actually began a few months ago. I work in a coffee shop downtown and the victim of my latest admiration first showed up in my life as a customer.
Every morning he would come in. I would make him a vanilla latte. I often contemplated just opening up and talking to him. Yet I would only make idle chit chat, dodge any prolonged eye contact and thank him for his patronage.
Working in a busy downtown establishment can be a rather frustrating thing. I come across a dozen sumptuous delights every day, but can never make significant contact and I lack the confidence to just flirt it up with any random bloke that walks in from the street.
Plus, my job description says nothing about skeezing on the clientele.
So I have decided that everyone is straight. This seems to simplify matters a bit. After all, I don’t want to be that fruit behind the espresso bar who watches and waits, trailing a predatory eye over the more handsome coffee drinkers.
I only gained the courage to pursue something more than a lingering look with Mr Vanilla Latte when I stumbled upon his picture on a personals website.
There I was in the safety of my bedroom, cruising through the list of profiles I had recently discovered on the Meet Market. When, what did my eyes happen to see, but the very object of my current infatuation.
I thought this was my in. A cosmic shift in my favour! The stars aligning to aid me in meeting this sublime creature!
I left him a message and eagerly awaited his response. What followed was minimal but highly appreciated friendly banter. Nothing too significant, really.
A little flirty on both our parts? Perhaps. Now, when he came in I could greet him with a smile instead of my usual stupefied grin. I felt I had permission to make his acquaintance.
A window of opportunity had been smashed wide open and now I could shamelessly flirt with this vanilla latte-consuming Valentino.
“How do you be?”
The words still haunt me. I can’t bring myself to so much as look at him now.
Every morning, I am faced with the dismal ruin of my inept crusade for his affections.
So how do I become a more confident salesman? How does one become a smooth operator?
I am reminded of that stupid Will Smith movie. You know the one in which he plays love doctor to distressed singles? I wonder if there is someone like that out there for me. I need a brisk bitchslap across the face and someone who can show me how to flirt with even the slightest hint of success.
As a gay man coming out of hiding, I need some intense help to find the confidence to just be myself.