Heading home from my first test-drive, I notice a slip of paper with a hand-written note tucked under the windshield wipers of my borrowed car. Oh no, I think, what if someone swiped the car or I did damage to their car or some other wrong thing. I pull over to see that it says: "Your New Friend," with a number and name, in handwriting that feels like a smiley face. I'm walking in the world on very little sleep, but apparently that isn't affecting the mojo in the least.
By the time I'm home, I forget about the note and when I see it again, I intend to throw it away. Then I remember my commitment to synchronicity. The note has whimsy and intrigue and is way more appealing than the more forward notes with numbers that have been left under my wipers before. I never considered responding to those, but this time I pull out my phone and text the note-writer something simple. He responds warmly, immediately, delighted to hear from me and with high praise offered in a receivable way. Eventually, he explains he made a U-turn after he saw me emerge from the car and waited to talk to me directly but I'd already disappeared into test-drive zone.
We have a sweet text exchange, me engaging on a lark, with warm & straightforward banter. I ignore or deflate his questions of the hitting-on-me variety. When he asks if I want to know what he looks like, I say not yet, and really hope he doesn't send a pic - if so I'd bail and I'm enjoying the conversation. Instead, he sends a video of a gorgeous nearby oceanside park I've never heard of, and a photo of his hands holding a sliced open hot pink dragonfruit. I am not open to being woo'd but if I were, images of water-bodies and exotic fruit would be a great way to go. He invites me blueberry picking and to my favorite beach.
I'm about to head for soup at a Thai spot nearby. I think, why not, and suggest he meet me there. I figure it could be a fun adventure to share a short meal I was going to eat anyway, in a public place. I have absolutely zero expectation of connecting with him beyond soup. I arrive a few minutes later, he pulls up alongside me and waits by my car door as I emerge and ...
Holy sht. There stands one of the most physically beautiful beings I've seen. He towers over me, smiling down through pitch-black hair falling in waves halfway to his waist. Tattoos in a sacred language dance at the nape of his neck and along his arms, and he is rocking at least one piercing. He looks like he belongs on the cover of a romance novel and suddenly I again feel out of my depth. That lasts only a second though, remembering that this man, when I asked him by text if he leaves his number on lots of windshields, wrote omg no, I was so nervous, I was waiting for you to come back but you didn't so leaving a note was all I could think to do. I wrote a couple of versions. When you texted me, my hands were shaking as I typed back. You've made made my entire day.
Without thinking, I extend my arms to hug hello, he lights up and I chide myself momentarily for being as friendly as I am. I uncharacteristically don't say much at first, a bit astounded that this is my "new friend". If I'd known he was this resonantly hot, I wouldn't have been game to meet up. But somehow I have stumbled into an accidental half-blind date. Dating is not a thing I've done or do and I have no intention of starting now. But here I am, boundaries a bit boggled, with bright eyes beaming at me from across the table wearing a compelling combination of hope and desire. Breathe, Taya.
I eat from our shared appetizer with my hands and before I even consider that he might not want my fingers in our food, he follows my lead and does it, too. Turns out he works with one of my former housemates, and has mad skills as a sous-chef and we get all excited talking about blenders. He doesn't ask me why I'm not wearing shoes or warn me against glass on the ground. He is happy to learn that I, like him, don't smoke or drink. But wait - how did I end up on a date??! This is not my plan or my narrative and I do not accept it. But while I'm "only" open to friendship, I somehow may not explain that explicitly enough.
I journey with him up the hill as he guides us to a phenomenal spot overlooking the bay - entirely new-to-me nearby nature medicine. I desire to embrace the festival I'm walking inside of while keeping my super-clear-to-me-but-it-seems-not-yet-to-him boundaries intact. He wants future and way spicier things. I want to look at the lights shining all around us, share simplest contact in this moment and sing.