Movie night with The Pedant was good; I just got back.
As often happens, there was no physical affection when we first met up, possibly because we’re both unsure of what the other wants and are waiting for each other to make the first move.
I was still kind of rattled from feeling like I may have been embarrassingly effusive with him at the club the week before; I don’t want to seem too eager. And so when we sat down in the theatre I held back and waited to see if he’d make an effort to be closer to me. The movie began; five or ten minutes went by without The Pedant touching me in any way.
That’s when I got into a silent argument with myself that went something like:
“Okay, this is ridiculous. Just make the first move yourself.”
“But I want him to come to me!”
“Yeah, well, maybe he doesn’t know what the etiquette is. You know half the time when you make that first move he immediately jumps on it like he’d been waiting for it.”
“Maaaybe. But…the club night was so awkward…I felt like I was all over him that night and he didn’t necessarily want it…what if he’d rather I wasn’t affectionate with him tonight, for whatever reason? What if he wishes I’d back off a bit in general?”
“Then he’s not the right person for you anyway. And the fact remains that you’re sitting here mooning over this boy when he’s right…fucking…next to you. Just take what you want.”
The Pedant was sitting with his hands on his thighs. I decided to kinda sidle my hand over and brush up against his hand so I could gauge his reaction. I nonchalantly put my arm on my armrest so I could easily accomplish this…and my fingertips draped over the front of the armrest and accidentally landed on The Pedant’s knee.
It was only a light touch, but the second I made contact, The Pedant leaned into me and caressed my hand. A minute later he put his arm around me and pulled me against him, and I could feel his chest hitching against my shoulder as though he was panic-breathing. Could it be that he did want this contact – was waiting for some sort of go-ahead from me – but was nonetheless a bit scared to initiate? Did putting his arm around me feel risky to him?
At any rate, we spent half the movie with his arm around me. Then perhaps the position grew uncomfortable for him so he withdrew the arm and we sat apart again…and I deliberately put my hand on the armrest, close to his, to see what (if anything) he would do. Once again he didn’t make a move until I touched him; as soon as I allowed the back of my hand to brush against his, though, *pow* – engulfed like a bug in a venus flytrap. For the rest of the movie my hand was in his lap either sandwiched between, wound up in, or caressed by his.
Sometimes there’d be a lull during which we just sat still, but every time I moved the tiniest bit – even just taking a deep breath or shifting in my seat to get more comfortable – it seemed to kind of goose The Pedant back into action and he’d caress me some more. It intrigues me that he was so tuned in to everything my body was doing. That can’t possibly be a bad thing, right?
Now, remember, I’m severely sleep deprived right now and this brings out my depression and paranoia. So I found myself second-guessing everything – like wondering whether The Pedant was only being physically affectionate with me because he thinks that’s what you’re supposed to do during movies. Maybe this was another one of his autistic faking-the-responses-he-sees-neurotypical-people-having things.
Then I remembered something a friend once said to me. We were discussing a movie we’d just seen and she brought up some symbolism; I was like “Oh, I saw an interview about that; the director didn’t mean that to symbolize anything. It’s just a coincidence.” And my friend said they taught her in university that when you’re analyzing a book/movie/whatever, it doesn’t matter what the creator meant by it; all that matters is what’s actually there.
Transferring this idea to my evening with The Pedant, what was actually there was a boy who was acting warm and affectionate and touching me in ways that I liked. Is it possible that he was feeling something other than warmth and affection? Sure – but I can’t be expected to know that. If he’s giving me mixed signals that’s his problem.
And really, what good does it do to second-guess him all the time? If he’s sincere, then I’m ruining perfectly nice moments for myself with all my overthinking. If he’s not sincere – if for some reason he’s acting fond of me when he really isn’t – it’ll come out eventually and I’ll deal with it then.
I’ve noticed that I tend to worry about completely conflicting things at the same time. Like lately with The Pedant I simultaneously worry that he’s gonna drift because I’m too effusive with him, and that he’s gonna drift because I’m not effusive enough. Clearly, these thoughts can’t be based on actual evidence; so it must be my anxiety disorders fucking with me.
From now on I’ll try to be more in the moment. I really don’t think The Pedant is some kind of Machiavellian figure, anyway; I’m fairly sure that between him being a dude, not having anxiety disorders, and being autistic, he’s not putting nearly as much thought into every tiny interaction we have as I do. I suspect he’s a pretty face-value kind of guy.
On our way to the bus stop after the movie, I asked if he wanted to come home with me; he said he couldn’t because he’s got stuff to do tomorrow. He asked me if I’m still up for an overnight on Thursday, though – a plan he’d instigated a while ago. I’m pleased that tonight’s outing didn’t cancel that one out – he’s not so sick of me that he needs to bail, or anything.
When the bus got to my stop, I leaned in for a goodbye hug and he kissed me on the mouth – fed me a sassy little bit of tongue, even. I believe that was his tacit apology for accidentally turning last time so my kiss hit his cheek. I accept and appreciate this apology.
He’s a good boy. I really think so. Let’s hope I can uphold my resolution to take his actions at face value.