Mitch and I have not met, although I know who he is. We connected once, briefly, online. Years ago. His photo was handsome, his profile perfect.
“Do they make guys like you single? I thought your type came out of the box already with a boyfriend.”
He wrote back.
“Haha! That is the nicest compliment I’ve been given in years.”
He did have a boyfriend, and joked that maybe they don’t make his type single after all. Cute.
A few months later, I was watching a movie which was recommended by a writer I had also not met, although I knew who he was. He’d written a blog post about why gay movies are always so awful. When I replied, he sent me a long, thoughtful letter in which he recommended a film he felt was really good.
There he was. On the screen. The Mitch I hadn’t met yet. That’s how I found out his name. After the credits rolled, I ran a search.
Mitch. Actor. Director. Single, box or no box, as far as I can tell.
My first attempt to meet him was at a play he was in. It was raining that night, so instead of taking my bike, I drove. Big mistake. No parking anywhere near the theatre. Twenty minutes of cruising side streets watching meter maids do their jobs and I missed the curtain.
The second attempt involved a long drive out to Palm Springs for the premiere of a film he directed. He’d be there, but how exactly would I introduce myself? If I told him I’d driven all that way to meet him, and he thought I looked familiar, wouldn’t that make me some kind of possibly dangerous stalker?
Attempt number three seemed more promising. A short film of his got into a festival. There would be a meet and greet beforehand. Ideal, right? I could simply happen to be there, having admired his work in that one film I have already seen. We could talk about the writer we know in common. No need to mention the brief online flirtation. Unless he remembered me. Which could be romantic, but only if it seemed a coincidence and not the carefully staged research project it was.
By now, I had followed him on twitter and facebook. I’d liked a few of his posts. Commented once or twice. He’d replied. So it’s likely he knows me as a fan, and not as the guy who gave him the nicest compliment he’d received in years.
No matter, there was a mix up with the tickets. I never received the confirmation email, nor did anyone respond when I wrote saying as much. So, strike three.
A normal person would say this was already too much energy invested in a fantasy man. George Glass springs to mind. Too bad I am not a normal person.
Mitch is the perfect beau. He loves my mom. We pick her up at the airport and drive out to New Mexico to stay with my sister and her husband. Their two teenage kids are annoyed by every thing any adult says or does, except Mitch.
Mitch is in the movies, so he is cool. My niece has sparkles in her eyes when she looks at him. My nephew brags about his baseball team.
We sleep in the office, on an inflatable mattress that loses air too slowly to notice, but by the middle of the night we can’t stop laughing. He whispers that we should try to plug in the pump, but I say it will make too much noise. He sleeps wrapped around me, half on half off the halfway deflated bed.
It’s early in the morning, before the sun is up. He and my mom are out on the patio having a cup of coffee. Playing with the puppy who loves his new squeaky toy. My sister is also an early riser. A shopping trip is planned. What’s the shaving cream I use? Mitch sneaks a photo of the empty can so he can get the right one.
He makes French onion soup, which takes much longer than he thought, and dinner has already come and gone before it’s ready. He looks adorable in my sister’s apron, and everyone is crying from the onions, but we’ll try the soup tomorrow night. He says the second day is probably better anyway.
We watch a movie which isn’t all that good, and I’m the only one still awake by the end. Look at him asleep on the couch. Part of the family.
Except he isn’t, because we haven’t met, although I know who he is.
He is the first person I’ve dreamed of introducing to my family. The first man I’ve wanted to meet my mom. The first ideal husband. The first fantasy man I’ve ever pictured doing these things. Sharing my life. He is the first. Handsome photo. Perfect profile.
Now to make him come true.