Bruni in the City: The Kiss
By Christina Bruni
I kissed a guy. He leaned in. It took years to get to that kiss.
The guy I liked didn't like me. He couldn't reciprocate even though clearly I had signaled my interest. It was a soft spring day two years ago and we walked in Prospect Park. I wore my low-cut inspi(RED) tee shirt and a black skirt. We parted ways at Union Street and I smooched him before departing for the F train. I felt giddy, then deflated when he turned away.
That was bakery line guy #87. Number 88 is at the counter: and holy cannoli he knows what to do. He leaned in. He thinks I'm cute. He tells me I'm skinny so I know he's not blind.
How do you get experience? I've been on the dating website for people who have diagnoses, and it doesn't thrill me so I closed my account. I feel I don't want to have to be a caregiver to someone who doesn't take his meds, like the guy who messaged me and said he refuses to ingest poisons, yet believed ghosts were singing in his attic. He sounded proud to be mad.
To manage my own life is about all I can handle on most days. So I turned instead to a networking service that requires peers to be actively engaged at a job, in school or via volunteer work. It was there I met my match.
Forgive me: I kissed him goodbye.
We had a lovely time at MoMA. We sat in the cafe at the bar looking out on the street. I ate the three-cheese plate with olives, flatbread and fruit chutney. He said, "You Italians know how to indulge." I turned and flashed him a smile that could light up the room.
It's funny how easy it is to be relaxed when you like someone and they respond so you can be yourself. I walked close by his side through the rooms. We browsed the Music 3.0 exhibit. I told him I played Run DMC on the radio when I was a disc jockey and quoted their song lyrics in my memoir. He told me he saw them in concert back in the day.
I'm 46. I recommend a mid-life boyfriend. Women get bolder as we get older, the result of a scientifically-proven chemical thing that happens in our bodies. We've come to a point in our recovery where we have nothing left to lose. We've already lost our minds so there is nothing else we could ever fear losing.
This motivates me to take risks that other people wouldn't dare take. Rejection and stigma and failure don't carry that kind of weight for me.
Mr. Right Now is a smooth operator. He's cool, warm and funny. I give a guy credit for having a sense of humor and effortlessly deploying it. It also went swimmingly on our other dates.
I don't have a crystal ball so can't predict the future, yet I know one thing: I want dessert.
Life is sweet.