“I think I need to write a best seller,” I reply. “Several, actually.”
We’re standing atop one of the many terraces that comprise Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, the admission to which has been my “birthday surprise” from Date #7, and I am suffering from a serious bout of rich-people envy.
The desk on the third floor alone is enough to send me into a tizzy—how could one fail to write the great American novel with such a view?—and each terrace is bigger than the last.
“You could host some really great parties here,” I muse.
Date #7 just nods and I surmise that he’s probably not the party hosting type.
At the conclusion of our tour, he leads me down the path to a clearing in the woods that offers the best view of the house. Once I’ve snapped my fill of pictures, he hands my camera to one of the guides and asks him to take our picture.
This is the first time in the history of my Great Date Experiment that a man’s wanted to take his picture with me. I’m relieved—he does like me—but then I find myself almost reluctant to allow him to fold me into his arms. It seems such a “happy couple” thing to do and even in my limited years on this earth, I’ve become wary of older, seeking-their-soul-mate men who want to commit me to film before I’ve quite made up my mind. The last time this happened, it did not end well.
Of course I want Date #7’s picture, of course I want to pull out my phone the next time I’m with my girlfriends and say, “Look! Look! Look what I have!” but for every lovely moment we share during my time in Pittsburgh, there’s another that leaves me wondering “What the f*ck was that about?”
I wish I could explain what it is that Date #7 does for a living, because so many of the things I’m not writing about would make more sense in light of his career—his silence, his seemingly absent sense of humor, his monastic tendencies and his ignorance of what I consider to be normal long distance dating protocol— but I’ve never disclosed the occupations of any of the men I’ve dated (at least not intentionally) and I certainly don’t intend to do so now.
Nonetheless, he is a man who is very much defined by his work and although his work is in many ways very similar to mine, it is also quite different—so different, in fact, that I wonder if we could ever actually make each other happy.
Upon returning to Philadelphia, I found myself lost in that very same Avril Lavigne-quoting funk that followed my last visit with Date #7. I cried myself to sleep (what else is new?) and spent the following afternoon recounting bits and pieces of the weekend to my mother.
“Have you seen his interview?” she finally asks.
“No. What interview?”
“On his website.”
Right. I’d left his name and address just in case of an emergency and my mother, diligent cyber-sleuth that she is, took it upon herself to Google him.
“He likes to be alone,” she continues. “He’s solitary—you can tell just from listening to him talk about his work. Do you… do you realize that?”
(By which she really means “Do you understand what you’re getting yourself into?”)
“I didn’t,” I confess, “but I do now.”
(And now I promise to stop writing about Date #7, at least for the next 24 hours. We’ve finally spoken and that’s all I’m going to say about that for the time being.)
PS: Don’t forget to cast your vote.