It always starts the same

Digital to Physical
  1. Just a name on a screen
  2. And a picture or two. That's it really takes. A name and a picture.
  3. And I click the heart.
  4. And then 2 days later, maybe a match.
  5. Then 2 days of radio silence.
  6. A badly placed pun, a genuine question, maybe just a "hi, how are ya?"
  7. I have endless topics to talk about. And I can even feign interest in a billion things. Talking is easy.
  8. Moving to texting isn't...
  9. But it happens. More often than not.
  10. Now begins 2-3 weeks of half interest, intrigue, mystery, & flirting. The long-con.
  11. Hints. So many. Some that aren't even subtle.
  12. Family. Homelife. Friends. Past. Future. Favorites. Jokes. TV. Movies. Travels. Food. Cooking. City. Wine. Tasting. Styles. Chefs. Neighborhoods. Past again. Future again. Hometown. Flavor. Culture. Authenticity. Date?
  13. Dinner. Nothing crazy. Just a meal. I pay. Always.
  14. A walk. Through the park. My spots. My late-night writings. My pictures. My vulnerabilities. My past. My future. My wrongs. My rights. My bridges. Burnt and built.
  15. Repeat steps 10-12. Prod for dinner again.
  16. Dinner (again). With drinks. I pay. Again. Always.
  17. I joke about making a move. But don't.
  18. Home. Nothing happens.
  19. Repeat steps 10-12. With links and sharing and jokes and plans and questions and concerns and playful interrogations and sports and teams and loyalties.
  20. Dinner 3.
  21. Rahul's.
  22. Things change.
  23. Intimacy.
  24. Try to repeat steps 10-12. Show more interest and willingness to hang out and meet and talk and laugh and walk and joke and tease and grow.
  25. Then she disappears.
  26. And I don't know what happened. Or why.
  27. Confusion for a few weeks. Justify by blaming yourself. Hoping you'll figure out what it was. Only way you'll know is if you get back out there.
  28. Get back out there.
  29. Rinse
  30. Repeat
  31. Wait till steps 10-12.