While standing alone by the pool table at your favorite hangout, a random stranger introduces himself to you only to ask if he was in the right place, because he was supposed to meet some friends.
Taken back by his beautiful dark blue eyes, full red lips and intentionally messy auburn hair, you did not even realize he had asked you a question. And then his smile emerges as he repeats the question nervously. “Um yes, this is the place,” you reply. “Hi I’m Jake,” he says while still smiling. You introduce yourself and still you are taken back by how ridiculously attractive he is. “I just moved here a few weeks ago, so I am still learning my way around.” You already knew he was not from around here, because there is no way that that smile would have eluded you this long.
He thanks you and then walks off. For the remainder of the evening you find every opportunity to catch a glimpse of him. After about forty-five minutes, a miracle happens.
He and his friends come toward the pool table and it turns out that one of the people in his group knows you and decides to introduce you to him. You both smile and shake hands again as if it was the first introduction. As the group of friends begin to play pool, you both dive into intense conversation. He is witty, charming and his childlike humor quickly draws you in.
He then says, “I want to show you something” and then he stands up, lifts up his shirt and digs into his pants and your thinking, “Oh shit,” and then he pulls a book out. You laugh out loud but don’t reveal why it is you’re laughing. A strange sense of relief matched with a tad of disappointment fills you now that you realize what he was reaching for. He tells you that he takes the book with him everywhere, because it’s “hilarious” and he tells you that when you read about “Mr. Peepers,” you will love it. He then turns to a specific chapter and gives you the book. As you read it and find it to be as funny as he does, you get a sense of him and the lightheartedness in which he takes himself and the world around him.
After reading the chapter and returning the book to him, two commonalities emerge in your continued conversation. The first is that you both are candid about who you are and have no fear
in acknowledging your humanity or humility. The second, which is odder, is that you love to have someone read to you and he oddly enough finds pleasure in reading aloud to someone. It seems the strangest of things to create a bridge between two people. You manage to make it through an embarrassing attempt at darts, while having a conversation that was not based around Lady Gaga or bodily fluids and just as the interest heightens, it all comes to end by the closing of the bar.
One of the people in the group whispers into your ear. “Don’t get too excited, because he’s straight.”
Normally that would have been devastating news, simply because he encompassed so many attributes you found appealing, but then the strangest thing happens in your head. You think to yourself that even though any hope of dating or elevating to intimacy is not an option, you have just encountered one of the most interesting of persons. Remove sexual incompatibility, jealousy, envy or any of the elements that make being a boyfriend to someone complicated and you end up with something even better: a friend.
Who would have thought that a plastic parrot named “Mr. Peepers” would introduce you to what you hope will be a great friend. Damn, where are the crackers?