i have this friend named aaron. you may have heard me speak of him before as he is always a good source for a story.

aaron isn’t easily rattled. he’s seen shootings, stabbings, rapes, suicides, people dead after weeks of decomposing. he’s dealt with people who use words that even i, at my worst, haven’t ever heard of much less used. he’s seen the worst in humankind, and he wouldn’t so much bat an eye at the sight of someone that blew their head off with a shotgun. aaron, in a lot of ways, is callous.

driving home late from school the other night, we were catching up. i only had a few items to tell, and one of the less exciting things i had to say stupefied aaron to silence. when he gathered himself enough to speak, his only response was “oh my god. are you serious?”

don’t worry. this has nothing to do with dead people.

i went on a date not long ago. this date was enough to make me not want to go out on dates ever again. and at present, i haven’t. i’m retracting myself from the dating scene.

i met a guy, whom i didn’t really know and wasn’t attracted to, at a club near my house. i figured i’d give it a shot since i told myself a long time ago to give anyone a chance who asks me out, unless i might be in fear for my own safety.

we sat in a u-shaped booth and had a drink. we started chatting about whatever came to mind. mainly what came to mind for him was himself. he might as well have said, “okay, enough about me. what do you think…about me?”

the entire conversation was what he did and what he knew and what he liked. he likes this kind of music, and he has gotten this far in his career, and he has visited wherever the hell. i tried to unconsciously coach him by asking him questions about himself and then offering information about myself.

it didn’t work.

i am very careful about giving people the wrong signals (even though i’m a vicious flirt.) but if i’m on a date, and i’m not digging it, you can tell. i sat at the table politely with my arms crossed, elbows on the table. by the minute, he inched closer and closer to me until his arm was resting on the booth above my shoulders.

somehow the conversation turned to scars, and he pulled up his sleeve to just above his elbow to show me a small, linear scar about 2 centimeters long.

i can’t remember *how* he got his scar, because right after showing me, he leaned into me, looked me in the eye and said, “you know, i just pulled up my sleeve so you could see my guns.”

alright, lame. it happens on first or second dates, or when you’re nervous or interested.

instead of laughing politely, i felt my mouth widen into the kind of smile you get when you’re concentrating on not letting your eyes roll back. the shrug that says, “yup dude, that was as lame as you think it was.”

he crept in a little closer to my face at this point, and with all the seriousness he could muster, said “no, really. do you want to touch it?”

no trace of sarcasm whatsoever.

after a not too unkind “no”, i excused myself to the loo. looking in the mirror, i was very happy with how i looked. sexy, a little messy, a sweet dewy glow to my cheeks. and i realized — i wasted the pretty.

i told him i was tired, and exited. he walked with me, and it seemed as though he was finally getting it. he did lean a bit toward me at the end. i’m not sure whether he was testing his courage for a kiss, but i’m glad he second guessed himself.

i walked to my car feeling like i just saw one of those face-sliding-on-pavement sports bloopers. i shuddered a little and then stopped. i stood up perfectly straight, feet not scraping the pavement, and strided to my car, getting all i could out of the lip gloss and eyeshadow before i went home to sleep.

just then, date-boy was involved in a horrible driveby and consequently riddled with bullets from a 9 millimeter.