The Pedant continues to baffle and infuriate.
I was thinking our relationship (or whatever you’d call it) has been deepening lately…the way he consistently does sweet, domestic-flavoured things for me and seems loath to leave my apartment at the end of a visit feels more like “dating” to me than something totally casual. And yet, he only wants to see me every two or three weeks, and I can’t help feeling like someone who really digs me would want to be in my company more often than that.
So now in true ninth-grader fashion I’m analyzing every damn thing about his behaviour to try to figure out whether he likes me or likes-me likes me.
Tonight I went clubbing with my friend The Social Worker and some people he knows. The Pedant was at the club, as I suspected he might be; I pretended not to see him because I wanted to see if he’d make a point of saying hi to me. He did, sidling up to me by the front door and catching me somewhat by surprise (it’s really dark in there and he was in all black so I really did lose sight of him for a minute). Our hug hello segued into us standing close with one arm around each other as we made small talk.
Ever since the talk where The Pedant said he’d prefer to see me every three weeks (and I’d been thinking I’d like to see him more like once a week…) I’ve been self-conscious about seeming too clingy, so when my friends headed for the other room, I wound down the small talk with “Okay, well I’m gonna go catch up to my friends.” I added “…You coming?” so as not to seem like I was excluding him; I assumed he’d want to roam around and do the social butterfly thing, but was open to him treating the evening as though we were there together. He said “I’ll be around,” so I gave his arm a friendly squeeze and walked over to find my posse – only to find that The Pedant had followed me and was kind of standing on the fringes of our group. It occurs to me now that he may have stayed on the fringes because I’m a dork and forgot to introduce him to anyone so things were a bit awkward for him (although he did know The Social Worker already from the last time we were at a club).
The Social Worker and his friends started taking all kinds of pictures of each other (a practice I don’t entirely understand – why do we need photographic proof that we were at a nightclub? But whatever); TSW asked to take a pic of me and The Pedant together and he submitted to it with a minimum of snark.
Then The Pedant briefly went and danced…I haven’t seen him dance in a while and had forgotten how good he is at it. I pretty much wanted to throw him down and fuck him then and there. Instead I kept hanging with my friends and surreptitiously ogling him from afar.
He came back to the fringes of my group before the song was even halfway over; then one of my people said she saw a free table and we should go sit. It was still unclear to me whether I should be acting as though The Pedant was a free agent or part of my crowd. I ambiguously told him “Okay, I guess we’re sitting over there now,” gave his arm a little squeeze and headed over to the table; The Pedant ended up drifting off elsewhere.
My group and I danced a bunch (and it was awesome btw…really good tunes tonight!). Then The Social Worker and I needed a break and sat on the sidelines for a while. I started getting antsy, wondering where The Pedant was…I was feeling fiercely attracted to him and wanted to be close to him and maybe kiss him, if he’d let me. I didn’t see him anywhere, though.
Finally I saw him cut across the dance floor to the washroom. When he came out again I went to intercept him with a hug, and there was an awkward moment where just as I moved in I realized that he wasn’t cutting back through the dance floor to go elsewhere, he was actually about to dance, and I ended up putting my hand on his back just as he was launching into motion. The Pedant, reasonably enough, assumed I must have something to say if I was stopping him from dancing, so he was like “what?” I was like “Ummm they’ve finally started playing songs that I recognize! This is awesome!” and then began to dance, myself, to cover my gaffe.
My friends decided to check out the other room of the club and see what music was playing there, so I went with them. Everyone seemed to groove on the tunes there but me, so I sat on a couch on the sidelines. After a while The Pedant came into the room and seemed to be surveying it. I thought perhaps he was looking for me, but didn’t want to flag him down or go up to him in case I was mistaken. I already felt like enough of a dumbass for accosting him on the dance floor earlier.
I did, however, get up and dance (despite not especially liking the current song) so as to be more visible. Sure enough, The Pedant materialized beside me and told me he was off to meet a friend at a different club. We hugged, I kissed him on the cheek, and then he left.
A while later my group and I were in the first room again, dancing, and I thought I saw The Pedant in my peripheral vision. I didn’t take a closer look because I didn’t want to seem overly needy and anyway my mind was probably playing tricks on me. It was him, though; he came back up to me and said his friend had cancelled on him so he came back. It would be nice to think he returned partly to spend more time with me, but I’m not holding my breath.
The Pedant vanished again (he knows everyone in the goth scene, it seems; I think he generally goes to clubs alone but does the social butterfly thing all night). The Social Worker told me he was getting tired and would be leaving soon; I didn’t much feel like staying out without him, but was also feeling kind of emo and didn’t want to wait for the bus by myself (TSW and I live in opposite directions). The Pedant fluttered by at that point, and I asked how long he’d be staying; he said maybe another 20 minutes. He does live in the same direction as me (but further) so I said “I might come with you. It’d be nice to have company while I wait for the bus.” He nodded and fluttered off again.
The Social Worker left; soon after that, the rest of my crowd did, too, because they wanted to go to another club. I stayed where I was and kept dancing. The Pedant danced too, for a while, and although we stayed separate (no grinding) I…kind of think he was dancing with me? In the sense that he was facing me and seemed aware of my presence, anyway.
Then he went off elsewhere again. It got to be last call and I figured I should hit the coat check before the rush. Also, I suddenly got paranoid that maybe The Pedant didn’t actually want to travel with me but was too polite to say so. And then I got paranoid that he’d think I was waiting around for him to be like “okay, I’m ready to go now” – like I was incapable of leaving unless he came with me – and I didn’t want to give that impression.
So I found him and said “I think I’m gonna bail.” He replied “I’ll get my coat.” I guess his coat wasn’t in the coat check because he didn’t follow me there. Actually it took him forever to come out, possibly because he was saying goodbye to a thousand different people and/or trying to find his black coat in the very dark club. I stood awkwardly in the vestibule for a while waiting for him, then switched to standing awkwardly outside. I began to wonder whether he was actually intending on coming with me. Could “I’ll get my coat” mean something other than “Your leaving is my cue to exit, too, so we can travel together?” People’s statements confuse me.
I pretended to be checking something on my phone so that I wouldn’t look like too much of a dork. Finally The Pedant emerged…and immediately started talking to some chick who was smoking by the front door. I continued re-reading old texts, waiting for them to finish talking, and then I couldn’t stand it anymore and left, giving The Pedant a friendly nudge on my way past.
He quickly caught up to me, and indicated that he’d been talking to that girl because he was waiting for me to be done with my phone. I guess I read that one wrong…I thought he was just socializing and not giving a shit about me.
We couldn’t see a bus anywhere on the horizon so we walked for a bit to kill time. The Pedant talked about…I dunno. His conversation style usually involves launching into a big diatribe about something I don’t actually care about, and he doesn’t seem to expect me to contribute anything but the occasional “mmm-hmmm,” so I tend to phase out and just let the sound of his voice wash over me*. The rhythms are comforting when he’s speechifying.
Oh, he got to talking about his past relationships for some reason. He hasn’t droned on about other women in a while…I can’t say I’ve missed it. It did come up that relationships tend to be on an even keel, for him; he doesn’t feel super-excited and infatuated in the beginning and therefore his feelings don’t settle down or mellow out a few months in. He’s “settled” from day one. I actually find this kind of sweet. Or maybe I just like it because I can rationalize to myself that maybe he does feel really attached to me, despite never having seemed crushy and delirious.
The entire time The Pedant was talking, I was feeling madly attracted to him – and not really feeling anything back. Other times that we’ve been in public I’ve felt a mutual pull with him, and he’ll lean on me or brush his hand against mine or whatever; not tonight. Tonight was all business, aside from that lingering hug at the beginning. My tentative guess on this is that being around people he knows put him on his guard a little bit; I think he kinda wants to keep our dalliances secret for whatever reason. So maybe he put his feelings in lockdown.
Nonetheless, I wanted to touch him so badly it was almost a source of physical pain, and so during a break in the conversation I said “Hey – c’mere” and pulled him toward me. We kissed a few times – warm but brief smooches with no tongue and an air of finality – and then kept walking. It was clear to me that The Pedant would not be initiating any gestures of affection that night.
Once we finally got on the bus, it was packed and we had to stand. I have shitty balance and was exhausted from dancing so at one point I kinda leaned my torso against him for a minute; I’m fairly sure I felt an answering pressure from him. I didn’t push my luck by staying like that, though.
The Pedant (who lives way the hell out in the suburbs) pouted that he would probably end up falling asleep on the bus and being carried way past his destination. This may have been a hint that he wanted to crash at my place; then again it may not have. I’m trying to maintain a structured schedule and not be too much of a pushover for him, so I didn’t offer (although if he’d asked outright to come over, I might have caved and said okay).
When we parted company, I went to kiss him goodbye and he turned so that it landed on his cheek. WTF?!?
The events of tonight would normally make me think that The Pedant was souring on me for whatever reason. Yesterday, though, he asked me what my schedule is like for the coming week so he can come over – which is significant not only because he wants to see me but because I’d asked him to initiate plans more often and he’s clearly making an effort to do so. I don’t think he’d be consciously working at making me happy if he were on the way out.
So, I dunno…weird night.
I know this post is totally inane and ridiculous, btw. I’m mostly just writing these details down so they’re not obsessively running through my head anymore, and because when someone’s behaviour confuses me I find it helpful to keep a record that I can search through for patterns later on if need be. But feel free to contribute your Pedant-related observations and insights if you’ve managed to get this far.
*I like him because he brings me chocolate and helps me with household chores and has good physical chemistry with me; in some ways his actual personality is entirely beside the point. One more reason I know I’m just infatuated and not in love.