Bryan seemed relatively normal when we began talking on POF. He was tall, athletic, and Catholic. We shared a birthday, he had family in New York, and seemed interested in finding someone. That “someone” should have been a mental health professional.
When we met, I was a little thrown because he looked different. He was not 6’3- more like 5’11, and unlike the cute buzz cut from his photos, he had a greasy combover. Bryan had on his Sunday best: a red Coca-Cola t shirt and a sweatshirt. He also had a serious case of red face (my friends pronounce this “red fahs”). After a quick hug, we sat down at a table at a seafood restaurant- think more child’s section at Red Lobster than Blue Water Grill. The crab and lobster motif highlighted his red fahs nicely.
The guy looked obscenely nervous, and it seemed up to me to make conversation. The little he did offer was related to the menu, from which he “usually chooses lobster because his dad takes him there and pays.” I decided to move the conversation from bargain seafood to work. We had a mutual acquaintance, so imagine my shock when my question “So how do you know Josh?” led to him twitching, turning deep maroon, and then bellowing “I WENT TO HIS REHAB, OKAAYYY!??”
When he began sweating profusely (are you quite sure you’re sober?), I decided to transition away from people and into a happier place. I asked about his career plans- he had been a paramedic in LA, a firefighter, and was now in global sales. Clearly the wrong way to go, I watched the blood once again creep into his ears as he began stammering “What is this….a fucking interview?” He accused me of being career-obsessed [sidebar- I have been called this before since coming to OC. It means you have goals] and kept repeating that he felt awkward. When he began pounding on the table like a caveman I decided to leave. Not to be undone- he leaped up and sprinted past me and out the door, combover flapping, not bothering to pay for the mahi mahi he had ordered. A true class act.
I believe that Bryan had a lot he was insecure about. I probably should have paid more attention to the criminal record I found posted online when I did a google search. I hope he doesn’t call again, but if he does, I’ll hook him up with the nice girl at the MAC counter who can get him a nice foundation to get the red out.