The Back Alley Guy

I actually enjoyed getting to know this guy.

This was a no-nonsense Tinder date where the guy clearly didn’t want to go back and forth with texting.  Thank goodness – I don’t need a pen pal.  The first couple of texts demonstrated to each other that we each knew how to spell and use punctuation.  He said he wanted to meet up.  I agreed.  This is how its supposed to go.

We decided to meet at a brewery to grab a beer and gab for a bit.  It was one of those fun breweries where they make the beer on site, have plenty of space to play board games, and have a variety of beers available.  This particular brewery had a couple of uhm… creative, names for its signature brews.

I arrived first – 5 minutes before our agreed upon meeting time.  Needed to make a decision: sit at a table (will I seem anti-social?), sit at the bar (will I seem like an alcoholic?), or just stand at the door (and be flat out awkward).  I choose a seat at the end of the bar where there are a couple open seats on either side.

The Back Alley Guy comes in and looks much better than his online photos.  Yay for me!

We engaged in typical first date banter and decided to order a sampling of beers.  He orders the drinks the bartender has recommended as the brewery’s most popular – “The Hooker” and “The Mistress”.  Literally, these are the names of the beers.  I take his lead as well as try a couple I’m interested in.

We spend an hour chatting and are about to finish up when he says, “Let’s try another brewery.”  To put this in perspective, we are in an office park after dark on a Monday evening in February.  I had never been here before.  There are a couple breweries nearby; however, I have no idea how close they are, where they are located, etc.  Naturally, I’m a little on guard.

Him: There is a brewery around the corner, but it’s faster to walk to than drive to.

Me: Okay, let’s head on over.

Him: We just have to follow this trail down here (as he is looking at the GPS on his phone).

He is walking very quickly down a pathway towards the back of the buildings in the office park.  As I’m scurrying after him (why is he walking so fast?), I quickly realize the pants that I’m wearing are clearly becoming too big for me and are sliding down my hips as I walk.  (Note to self: Yay for gym time paying off, but time to retire these pants.)

Me: Okay, so, stranger I just met, let me follow  you to the back of the office buildings where there are a ton of trucks and windowless vans.

Yes, I literally said what I was thinking out loud.  He pauses.

Him:  I never thought of it that way.  (He chuckles and refers to his phone.)  It says if we walk down that path over there a red light should start blinking.

I pause.  I look at him.

Me: So in addition to being in an abandoned area behind office buildings, we are going to set off a trespassing alarm of sorts?

He chuckled.  He seemed nice enough.  So, although the alarms in my head were saying be cautious, I followed him anyway (mom, rest assured if I really felt danger I wouldn’t have proceeded).

We continued our conversation over another beer and chatted with the owner/bartender of the other brewery.  We chatted about foreign travels, tasting olives directly from the tree, and wood carving… the topics bouncing around like a bee trapped in a box.

We shut that place down (it closed at 8:45 pm), and again quickly walked back to the flashing red light, pass the unmarked white vans, behind the back alley of the office buildings, and back to our cars.

At the end, he said, “Well, I would like to do this again sometime.”  Uuugggghhh… In other words, the ‘it was nice meeting you, but I don’t want to see you again.’   The classic closing line.

And for those of you saying, ‘Don’t worry, he’ll call!’  It’s been a week.

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