Dateline: "He looks amazing, as usual, but I can see there's something on his face…"
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6:30 p.m. – I'm out to a sushi dinner with a friend on the Upper East Side, when I get a text: "Hey. What r u up to later?" It's Chad, my hookup buddy.
8:35 – I'm allowing appropriate lag time in between texts. We agree to meet at a nondescript neighborhood bar near my apartment, chosen solely out of convenience. Completing this plan has taken five texts and about two hours.
9:05 – I choose a form-fitting, strapless black dress and white cardigan. As I'm leaving my building, my neighbor — a forty-five-year-old doorman, who is coming back from work — tells me that I am "lookin' good." I am pleased.
9:40 – I arrive at the bar ten minutes late, just as he is getting out of one of those van cabs. I stand outside the entrance and watch as he crosses the street. He looks amazing, as usual, but I can see there's something on his face.
9:41 – I take in his outfit from top to bottom as he walks over. He's wearing a yellow plaid flannel shirt, designer jeans, and bright orange Nikes. His hair is a sandy blond, and he sweeps it to the side as he walks over. He has this whole California-surfer-meets-New-York-banker look that I really enjoy. Something about him looks different though, and I can't put my finger on it.
9:41:02 – He gives me a kiss hello. I can now see what it is. A mustache.
9:41:10 – He takes my hand and walks me inside, as though everything's normal and he doesn't have a mustache.
9:42 – We sit down at the bar. I turn to him and point out the obvious. "So, you have a mustache," I say. He explains that he and a group of coworkers grew them as part of a campaign for men's health. I tell him that sounds like a good cause, and then ask if he'll be shaving again soon.
9:49 – We talk. I start to get impatient with him not talking that much, and then talking about boring things when he does. I try to engage him by asking a few questions out of left field: what were his childhood dreams? Does he look more like his mom or his dad? Did he ever think he'd be famous? I receive relatively unsurprising answers to all my questions, except for that he looks more like his mom than his dad. This is interesting to me.
10:38 – There's a lull in the conversation and I look around the bar. There's a guy with leather pants and long hair drinking by himself and another who's wearing an old football jersey and has a chin piercing, talking to the bartender. It seems that these are the "regulars."
10:42 – Chad asks if I want another drink. I decide the mustache makes him look like the Cheshire cat.
10:44 – A middle-aged woman a multicolored rayon blouse — another of the regulars — is sitting at the bar on the opposite side of Chad. She decides to strike up a conversation with him. "I like your mustache," she says. "Thanks," he replies. She asks what he does in the city. Chad leans back in his seat so that she can see me. She quickly apologizes to me, and explains that she "wasn't hitting on him."
10:46 – I accept her apology but partly wish he'd continued talking with her, just to see what would have happened.
10:47 – She piles on the flattery, saying that we make a great-looking couple. I am unsure whether to take this as a compliment in light of, A, we're not a couple, and B, mustache.
10:50 – The woman goes back to watching television. Chad closes his tab and we head to my place.
11:14 – We start making out and get undressed. I feel his 'stache hair against my skin.
11:27 – He's on top of me and everything is like normal. Except for his mustache. It is staring at me. He's completely forgotten about it and is having sex like he usually would, with all the normal facial expressions.
11:28 – I find this funny. I'm about to start laughing but don't want him to see me, so I turn my face to the side and bury it in the comforter.
11:29 – I am doing a bad job controlling my laughter.
11:30 – He comes after literally three minutes of sex. I'm disappointed and question whether it was worth my drinking this much on Sunday night for such little sex. I bring up my concern with him.
11:31 – "Sorry, I haven't had sex in a while," he says. I find this hard to believe, but suppose that maybe the mustache wasn't doing the trick at normal bars.
11:32 – We lie in bed for a little while and I run my fingers through his stomach hair. I always treasure these moments because they're so short. He usually leaves about four minutes after sex.
11:34 – He gets dressed and gives me a kiss goodbye. "I'll call you," he says. I know he won't call, but I'm pretty sure he'll text.