Eventually it was obsessed with my neighbor getting boring – trying to plan a dinner with someone who found reservations “restrictive” and watching friends walk away as I complained, once again, about his cancellation.
I stopped leaving my light on all night, slept well, found a therapist, and opened up to the possibility of meeting someone else.
That someone was Henry, a friend of a friend I met at a movie screening. He had freckles all over his face and a wide, unconscious smile. He was British, like me, but the similarities ended there. He was obsessed with the outdoors, loved to cook, and drank moderately.
On the other hand, I envisioned a trip to Central Park on a hike, had my meals (sushi, cupcakes, pre-cut fruit) at the deli and was not moderate in anything.
I loved her instantly, but I didn’t fantasize about marrying her.
For one of our first dates, Henry made reservations at three restaurants and let me choose which one to go to. On another, we saw a documentary on the harms of salmon farming. In the months that followed, we met once or twice a week to eat, go to the theater or see an exhibition. There was no waiting for him, no will-he-won’t-come.
I used to take someone down like a gunshot, but with Henry I sipped. He surprised me with his juggling skills (he had been taught as a child to help with his dyslexia) and spoke about his role as a peacekeeper between his older brother and younger sister. He later told me about his friend who was killed in a hit and run during their freshman year of college, the shock and grief of it.