Last Friday night Holden Caulfield invited me to go to a Rutgers University football game on Saturday. He said he needed to pick some things up at his dad’s house then we could head to the game.
Me: We’re going to your dad’s house? Does that mean I’ll meet your dad and step-mom? . . . (I felt very hesitant about this. . . )
HC: Well, they probably won’t be home. It shouldn’t be a problem.
. . .
. . .
He is right, it’s not a big deal but not something I expected to do the second time I hang out with HC.
It a bit of a last minute invitation and had some things planned for my Saturday so after some thinking I decided to go. Why not?
He went out for a friend’s birthday on Friday night so he asked me to give him a wake-up call a half hour before I was going to meet him.
He offered to pick me up again, then drive into NJ. I reassured him I could make my way over to his apartment early in the morning (9:30am). But, I did think it was sweet that he offered to pick me up. I just thought it didn’t make sense logistically. (See? I can be very sensible. The guy I dated over the summer told me this all the time.)
The next morning I was obedient and called him at 9am. He was still sleeping and my call woke him up.
I got to his place. This is the place he told me he was moving into, a couple of entries ago.
Total bachelor pad. Probably about half the size of my apartment and my apartment is 700 sq ft. Not all moved in, stuff still in boxes. Two large TVs mounted on the walls of his living room and bedroom. Half of a sectional, a partial delivery. (I take a deep breath)
So I thought to myself: “Ok, I’m going to be open-minded. Afterall, didn’t I offer to help him decorate?”
I couldn’t help but note the 10 year age difference in many instances. While I was sitting in HC’s apartment, he showed me some things like his TV and some other electronic gadgets.
HC: [as he shows me. . . ] That’s so chill isn’t it?
Me: Yeah. [Very emphatically, nodding my head, even though I have no idea what exactly “chill” is slang for. Is it “cool”?]
Additionally, I looked at what he was wearing and he is definitely of the next generation: his jeans were tighter than guys in my generation. A tell-tale sign.
Later in the conversation at his place. . .
HC: What time did you get up this morning?
Me: Early. Like 7:30.
HC: Oh. Like old people get up early. [Smiling at me]
First old joke of the day. Zing!
Siiiigh. This is going to be a long day. Plus, I wasn’t feeling completely recovered from the cold I came down with the day we went out for our first date.
On the car ride into NJ, we talked about a bunch of things. Family, etc. It came up that his dad is a guitarist. (Wow, cool!) But, he also has a family busy. (Also, cool. Wait, I mean so chill. . . )
He asked me if I played any music.
Of course. I’m Korean American: the piano. I can strum the guitar. Then, I reciprocated the question.
HC: I play a little of this and that. I played a little clarinet. I little of other things.
He told me more about his dad. How he traveled the world, touring for his band, and how HC went to different countries to see his dad’s band play.
This sparked my curiosity. . .
Me: So, what band is your dad in? [Inquisitively. And I am scouring my brain to think of NJ bands that are popular enough to tour the world and would be in his dad’s age bracket — Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band? Bon Jovi? Nah, they are too young. No others come to mind.]
HC: He was in a band called the ____. They played at Clinton’s inaugural balls, here, here’s what they sound like.
And they are blues cover songs and music but it is good. I’m still impressed. I love musicians.
. . .
As we drove into NJ, HC was a great tour guide. He drove through Rutgers, wait, New Brunswick (right?), and showed me things. The places he lived while he was in college, old bars he used to hang out with. So, so sweet. I love those things. Nostalgia. I can tell HC is a sentimental person and I definitely appreciate that because I am too.
We stopped at a cute breakfast place he used to love in college and had a quick bite to eat. We parked in his usual spot and had to walk about a bit to the stadium. He told me we had to walk into the next town. Parsippany? P_____? Not sure.
It was a bit of a walk, but it was such a nice fall day, I didn’t mind.
HC bought some tickets off some scalpers and we were all set to watch the game.
HC: Did you know that Rutgers is the birthplace of college football?
Me: No, I didn’t!
HC: Yeah, they even have a place where it says it in the stadium. [Ok, if you say so. And indeed, it is true. They have those exact words painted in the stadium.]
On the walk over to the stadium, HC was an incredible gentlemen. We had to walk closely along the side of the road and he quickly made sure I was on the inside. All through the day, HC made sure the temperature was right for me in the car, that I had enough water, that I wasn’t hungry or needed a coffee.
As we were walking, he looked over at me, took a deep breath, exhaled, and raised his eyebrows, and said, “It’s going to be a long game. You got your Depends on?”
Sigh. Second old joke. But don’t worry, HC makes jokes about how young he is too as he tells me about his college town and says it was just last year these things happened. [OMG please don’t tell me it was last year! — Don’t worry, it wasn’t last year]
Me: It’s a good thing you have good delivery. Otherwise, your ‘old’ jokes would suck.
We found our seats and HC asked me if I brought my shades. I told him I left them at my sister’s and didn’t have them on me so he insisted I wear his. Especially since the scoreboard was in front of the sun.
Me: No no no, you wear them! It’s ok. I can deal.
HC: No, it’s ok! I have thick eyebrows. [That made me smile]
There was a little bit of back and forth.
Periodically, I tried to give back his sunglasses and he always refused. Later, the sun hid behind the clouds and I gave back his sunglasses and he accepted. Then, the sun came back out and he immediately made me wear his sunglasses again.
It was 4 minutes until halftime and the Scarlet Knights were very badly losing (38-7) so HC wanted to get outta there.
We split. Got to his car then headed to his dad’s house to pick up some things.
We got there and there was no one home. Thank God. Holden Caulfield showed me around. Showed me the expansion they did, the deck he helped install. I love these things.
HC got me a water and we had a seat in the living room. Since his dad is a guitar player so there are a ton of nice guitars around.
HC picked up a guitar and started jamming on it. He’s a great guitar player.
Me: Why didn’t you list ‘guitar’ as one of the instruments you play?!
HC shrugs his shoulders. Smiled.
He keeps jamming and jamming and I can’t help but fantasize about singing to songs he is playing on the guitar. But, I didn’t say anything about my love for singing because I was afraid he’d put me on the spot. But I suppose I could have brought it on. No, I know I could have.
Eventually, his step mom came home. We shook hands, blah blah. She was a really nice woman.
Then, his dad comes home and he looks like an older version of HC. And I couldn’t help but think that they are looking at me and thinking, “Why is this old girl interested in our son??”
His dad was really nice. Started immediately playing the guitar too. I thought that was so sweet.
And eventually, HC got the things he came for. And showed me the basement where the band practices. It’s like paradise. I would love to sing with their band and rock out with them.
We left the house and said our salutations and pleasantries.
As we drove back, we were clearly tired. HC — because he didn’t sleep much last night and me, because I am feeling under the weather. I fell asleep in the car for a few minutes and he sweetly encouraged me to sleep more. I can’t help but fall asleep in moving vehicles. My brother likes to tease me about that.
We got back into the City and Holden Caulfield was trying to think of the best way to drop me off at home but he was in a rush to meet his friend back at his place and eventually his dad and step-mom because they were going to a concert. (He goes to concerts with his dad :))
I told him not to worry about me that I’d make my way back home from his place via subway. That is normal, after all, but I appreciate his gesture of taking me home.
We arrived at his place. We got out the car. His friend had driven up right behind us. We gave each other a kiss on the cheek and I went home.
When I got out of the subway, I got this text from HC: “:) 🙂 🙂 :)”
I got home and felt terribly lonely. HC is 10 years younger than me. This will never work out. And I couldn’t help but cry a little about it.
. . .
. . .
I’m just going to pretend I am this glass globe: