The last time I got hit on in a non-gross way
by a man out in the open was at the opening night of the Queer Film Festival back in April. I was standing with a group of friends - including my sister - introduced himself and asked to buy me a drink. It was bizarrely forward. I’d seen him looking at me and I’d made eye contact once, which I thought like, no way is that cause for approach. In any case, I was minding my own business and all of a sudden there was this weirdly familiar, taller-than-me dude standing next to me asking to buy me a drink. Considering the only other couple of times that’s happened - I don’t know if I’m unapproachable? I don’t think I would be - it’s been by gross people, and my self-esteem was low at the time, so I was like, “Yeah, okay!”
The dude was pleasant. He was up from Sydney and with a friend of his (which made it weird, like, he asked to buy me a drink and I went to the bathroom, came back, and he was chatting to his friend so all of a sudden I couldn’t tell if they were trying to just befriend me or if the one guy was hitting on me or if both were or if maybe I was being sussed out to join a cult). I think he might have been a teacher? Or like, studying to be one? I don’t really remember because he was a bit bland. To his credit, he liked The Simpsons and could quote it to some degree.
He asked where was good to go out in Brisbane, and I told him about the four dedicated places there are for homos. At no point was I flirty or anything, but nor was he really. Apparently his name was David, I just remembered that. In any case, a friend saw that I was kinda floundering, most likely because of the pointed looks I was making about it, and we all kinda suddenly bailed for a gay bar. He knew where we were going, but my sister and her friend were left behind talking to him. He asked her what his chances were, and she said, “Yeah, I wouldn’t bother.” Which was true. I was never interested, but he was gentlemanly, and who am I to turn down free booze?
So we got to The Wickham and we were chatting at a table outside, when suddenly, David and his nameless friend turn up! And come over to us. Augh. Come on, man? Cue twenty minutes of heinously awkward conversation. I went out to be with my friends in the first place, and I left to go to a bar with my friends so I could hang out with them, and despite a sage warning not to, he came after me anyway.
Admittedly, I felt bad. He wasn’t mean or particularly ugly (just a little bit). He gangled too much, where I like some meat on dem bones. I felt bad because I took the free drink from the guy - he asked if I wanted another and I was un-dickish enough to say no - and kinda maybe led him on a little bit.
But sometimes you just stop feeling bad really easily. Because finally, after they left and I mistakenly, without thinking, gave him my real phone number, I realised that I did the right thing. Doo-doo-doo! My phone buzzed and emitted its familiar tri-tone notification. I looked at the preview of the message on my screen. I saw nothing but the individual use of the letter ‘u’. I put the phone down. I no longer felt bad.