I developed a crush on Dinah in Los Angeles. She’s my type- dark, busty, funny, strange. We hung out, we went to party where I folded my arms around her waist and tried to kiss her. She wasn’t interested, but she didn’t push me away.
A week later I asked her out for dinner and drinks. She said yes.
At 6:00pm the day of, she texted me about the details. I told her to meet me at the Lush Lounge, a narrow, hi-ceilinged gay bar that straight couples favor. I memorized the address of the Korean restaurant we were going to. I wondered whether we should take a bus or a cab. I felt deliciously nervous, impatient. I ate ice cream and showered.
At 8:30 she calls, and says that she has to meet with her bandmates, that she was just called, and she feels she must go. She says we will meet for drinks afterwords. She says it won’t take long. The tension within me changes form; anticipation to a sort of hot regret. I wonder why I had gotten myself into this in the first place. I try to watch television but I can’t concentrate. I would characterize this time as a sort of tense boredom. I finally leave the house despite not hearing from her, bounding out in the middle of the episode. I decide to find a drink, but then think that I don’t want to sit in a bar by myself. I walk around. Waiting for the phone to ring.
Eventually it does; she tells me now that she and the others in Bridez are going to a noise-punk show at matador. I’ll meet her there. I call another friend and say that this date has totally aborted. I tell him I’m going to Matador just so things won’t be weird. Everyone in SF is really afraid of things getting weird, but it always is anyways.
Things get weirder. I arrive to find Dinah is there alone. Her bandmates had gone, and I wonder if this is some bizarro-land set up. My hopes buoy, but so does confusion. We talk a little; I buy her a drink when she tells me all she has is quarters. We make fun of the bartender. We watch the bands. They are from the circle of hell reserved for riot grrls. Mutual friends arrive. We split off from each other, hanging out with different people. It feels like a party. A friend of ours passes out vicodin.
An hour later the pills and liquor have kicked in. We decide (that is, the herd of us) to go hang out at a practice space. Dinah and I are drinking whiskey. I begin to wonder if things might work out after all.
Suddenly she begins to complain that she feels lightheaded and strange. A little farther and her large eyes get wider. We get to where we are going, and stand on the street. Suddenly she says “I feel sick. I have to go.” And she does. A few minutes later, stoned and frustrated I leave.
We continue to run into each other; one of the most brutal elements of dating in San Francisco is that the city is so small that you can’t avoid anyone. You have to be friends afterward. We never talked about that night, and we never re-scheduled, but it wasn’t awkward; it’s more like it never happened. A few weeks later I heard she was seeing some other guy. Questions are all that are left; did she know it was a date? Why did she say yes? How come neither of us proposed re-scheduling? What would have happened if we had gone to dinner? If I had picked Wednesday instead of Thursday? If she had not taken that vicodin? How much of dating is determined by chance?
She will read this article, so I suppose I might find out.
Dude, She’s Just Not That Into You.