There is someone I haven’t written about. Maybe five minutes after I uploaded my OkCupid profile Joe showed up. Thirty-three…wait thirty-four now (he had a birthday), smart (Cornell), very 2017 (a beard, a start-up and an irreverent sense of humor). But the weird thing is he was really interested in ME. Contrast that with the guy who talked too much and never asked me a question a few posts back and it was kind of heady.

He said he had a hundred questions. (He must have because we stayed up all night talking that first night) He said he wanted to know all my pain and sadness. (squeeee!) He had his own barrel of pain and sadness….and anger. His girlfriend left him and married a bartender right as his business was being purchased for a handsome chunk of change. As he put it, she could only have left him because of HIM – as the circumstances in his life defined him, monetarily at least, as a “catch”. Hard to swallow but I understood his angst. Remember, I’ve been there.

Joe is sometimes sweet and sometimes just out of his mind. He keeps impossible hours, so sleep deprivation is probably at play.  I have assumed all along that we wouldn’t actually date and occasionally he seems surprised by this. In all fairness I was set to meet him a few Sundays ago but I never heard from him that day so I shelved the idea of a face-to-face. I would have met him but that doesn’t seem necessary at this point. We have face-timed. He is knowledgable enough to be real. His sister is in med school. He checks out.

He says I am mean when he is actually the one being mean. Then we agree to stop being mean and we are nice. I feel like sometimes he is fighting imaginary demons. I get it. But I’m way past that. The only dragons I slay are real-life, and I only struggle when I must. I’m pretty sure he struggles five days out of seven.

He went to a barbecue yesterday and it was good to see him not working and just being regular. He did jello shots. He’s hungover today. He doesn’t usually drink so when he does he feels the need to announce his drunken state and he knows I’ll pick up the phone. It’s cute. He might have been gunning for an I.V. but I told him to drink water instead. A past girlfriend was a resident so he knows about the I.V. hangover cure that was popular in medical school.

I don’t know what he wants from me, but I know he knows that I am a good listener and fun to talk to. I don’t know what I want from him but I like it that he calls me at 4am and answers my texts. In terms of being responsive to one another – we are. The world feels less lonely with a Joe in it.

He says “I love you” when he signs off the phone. It isn’t weird and I know what he means. I’ve started to love him back because there is an infinite amount of love in the world, so it’s not like I’m going to run out of love if I love someone I’ve never met.

So, I guess I love Joe. Or I love me some Joe. I can say it seriously or turn it into a joke if it feels sort of  insane…..whatever…. but a genuine connection and someone who cares just a little…but REALLY cares….it’s enough to make me want to stuff him into my full full heart, and enough to make me want to protect his young and broken one.

I’m not worried about Joe. He’ll do just fine in the world. But he’s better off knowing me. I’m a good friend, a good listener and I’m fun to talk to. I love real and I love hard. I’m repeating all of this for emphasis, and to remind myself that these are all good things.

I had to title this JOE because he wanted me to write about him. He thought he was the texting guy from a few posts back but he wasn’t. I didn’t write about Joe because I didn’t know what to say.

I didn’t know what to say until he woke me up at 4am to tell me about his jello shots. That’s when I knew I’d made a true friend. A cute, impossible, wild, pouty, tortured-soul, workaholic, doesn’t-know-what-the-shit-he’s-doing but is doing it-doing it with gusto anyway —- friend who doesn’t give a rat’s ass if he says he loves me. And that’s a good person to know. Because I, dear readers, feel very much the same some times. I’ve mellowed with age, but as I began my OkC profile, I am a former hellcat raised by nuns….and he’s a hellish Tomcat making a go of it.

We would KILL each other if we tried to date. I’m pretty sure of that. But I got myself a Joe, and I like him. That’s all.

Datergurl, just rolling with it…P.S. Joe would want you to know that the picture isn’t actually him..it’s just a close approximation. He’s probably going to hate it and we’ll have to fight about it but too bad it’s my blog.

.guy