Being in a five-plus year relationship, I have known well the great displeasure of the double date, and the double-date-esque situation, often taking place at a bar (always taking place at a bar), requiring significant others to briefly befriend the other significant other, even if that person is someone who, upon normal circumstances, you would not even exchange pleasantries with. This is no fault of anyone: it is what being an adult is about.
Being the new guy in a group linked by girlfriends can be a bit lonely. It was for me, at least: putting on my best self, carefully planning which Bright Eyes shirt to wear (I was only 19 when I started dating my current girlfriend and also Bright Eyes is still pretty cool, back off). The girls start talking, then it’s you and the other significant others, with a lack of common interests as well as a common lack of interest in each other. Sometimes I think about these men and how I have felt about them. Some have stuck around in my memory for years, although (for the same reasons) they are long gone from their significant others' lives. Today all that’s left are vague drifts of faces and names, these painfully missed connections.
Summer of 2011, McGeary’s Pub, Albany.
You sat there covered in the tattoos of your youth, a living childhood bedroom. Sorry that I obviously didn’t give a fuck about your mid-size city in upstate New York blog. You have other people, younger kids who want desperately to be part of a scene, who look up to you, and I congratulated you on that. Remember the time that you corrected my girlfriend for quoting Snoop Dogg as saying “na-na-na-na-na”? “It’s la-la-la-la-la,” you said, finding the clip on YouTube.
Winter of 2011, Professor M. Barley’s Pub, Albany.
Sorry I said your band sounded like Thursday. But your band sounded like Thursday. You were a nice guy, but you really thought your 100-piece “orchestral indie rock” band was the next big thing. But they sounded like Thursday. Which isn’t a bad thing. A lot of people like Thursday. Why aren’t you one of those people? From the sound of your band, you should be.
Summer of 2009, Troy, N.Y. area backyard.
You put the Grateful Dead on the boombox. I cringed. My dude, being rich doesn’t make you any better of a drug addict. In your defense, listening to a band called the Disco Biscuits probably requires getting high on nitrous. I hope you're not in jail.
Summer of 2010, Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
I have to confess, I was terrified of you that night. S, you were the type of man who could crack me in two, twirl me like a baton and throw me the length of a football field. You had a good heart and a rage problem. I think that the last I heard you were a dad, which is cool. That night in Saratoga, I thought you were going to fight a lot of people. I always tell people I have their back. You didn't know yet that that means I’d probably close my eyes and fight the wrong person. I’m sorry the tone of my letter is so violent, but you just bring those feelings out in me. You’re my “secret of the ooze.”
Winter of 2014, Union Pool, Brooklyn, N.Y.
You were appropriately described as “tidy.” When our eyes first met, I thought, “Yes, he is very tidy.” Although our time together lasted only a couple hours, you seemed interesting enough. I couldn’t really hear you for most of the night, so I smiled politely, kind of just nodding in acknowledgement of what we were here to do. We were both polite. I definitely know you’re a dad now, and I definitely know I’ll never see you again. Please, be a good dad, and please take care.
An intense year, in a lot of places.
I related to you. We both lacked motivation in attempting to enter creative professions, and we met at the perfect time for that; we were just barely 20 years old. I considered you a true friend, and still do. I hope everything is great. Let’s hang out sometime.
Patrick Kearns is a New York-based sportswriter. He is the New York correspondent and columnist for the Fourth Period Magazine.
Previously: "The Pickup Artists of PUAHate"