Sixteen

Underemployed AV Guy, 57

I was supposed to meet 16 last week, but it was May Day. “I don’t want you to get stuck if there’s scene,” he said. “Plus the weather … isn’t great.”

Huh. Thoughtful. Okay then. We rescheduled.

He’s tall, dressed head to toe in black, but worker black, not punk black. I think that’s a stage crew thing.

He’d caught my attention for a number things. He said the dogs in his photos were shelter dogs; he’d been volunteering. He told me he worked an Elizabeth Warren event during her campaign and then voted for her. On Cinco de Mayo he wished me a happy celebration of the day Mexico beat the French.

We walked the sculpture park, down to the water and back. He made a number of wry art jokes and made fun of himself for doing so. We talked about the stuff strangers talk about to try to find common ground — travel, our city and how it’s changed, this stupid pandemic.

He had no game. I didn’t feel like he was trying to charm or impress me in any way. The pandemic has him very underemployed, wondering what to do next. That’s weird, but I’m not judging anyone who’s unmoored from work right now. When I told him about my job he said I’d found the unicorn and congratulated me.

It was super low key. I didn’t think, “Oh, this dude is hot,” but I did think we had some things in common.

I have reminded myself of my new rule. “Don’t rush in, don’t rush out.” He said we should do it again. I said I’d message him my number.

If he asks, I will say yes.