As long as I’ve been working this little café side job, I’ve had an inexplicable crush on my boss, J.. But, nothing has ever come from it due to a host of reasons ranging from his older age, his hierarchical position, and his chubbiness (sorry to say it, but once you start getting fat, you start to stay that way).
This particular afternoon, J. and I finish our day’s work with a beer together. He’s a friendly, funny, and jovial guy and we have a lot in common. Conversation comes easily and so does the beer, courtesy of a fellow colleague. We talk about everything from our childhoods to our lives as expats, our careers and our fantasy vacations. It’s actually nice getting to know J., and I’m feeling that crush a little stronger.
After a few light touches here and there and an occasional serious stare, J. asks if I’d like to join him to hear live jazz with his friends. I’m tempted to decline, as I usually do whenever I sense a hint of attraction from a man, but the more I learn about J., the more I like him so I decide to bite the bullet and come along.
Jazz is great, but J.’s friends are the most impressive. They are a group of fascinating people from around the world, working on noteworthy projects and full of energy.
As I sit at the bar watching him interact with this crew, relationship thoughts fill my head. This is the kind of guy I should be interested in. Good friends, good career, easy going and kind to me – what more could I ask for? I get the sense he’s got a watchful eye on me, in a way that’s more sweet than condescending, and for a millisecond, I think to myself that I could be married to a man like this.
Whoa. Where did that come from? I chalk these thoughts up to beer-talk and turn myself to the crowd again. J. is telling his friends about my day job, and he seems almost proud of me. As the night wears on, so does my drunk and when the bar closes down J. and I decide its best for me not to bike home. So, I crash at his place. More specifically, in his bed.
I will admit that chubbiness has a certain je ne sais quoi in the bed, like a warm, human teddy bear. But, even with the marital thoughts from just hours before, I can’t muster up any sexual attraction. I count myself lucky that this guy isn’t on a quest to get in my pants, and we easily fall asleep together.
In the morning, as happens with any incident like this, I’m asking myself how I got in this bed – with my boss. J. seems unfazed by the whole thing, and before I know it he’s making us coffee. Over breakfast, I think what a great guy he really is and how maybe I do like him - like that.
When I take off, we leave together and J. walks me to my bike. As soon as he plants a goodbye kiss on me, I feel myself start to freak. Maybe it’s the intensity of kissing someone in public (I’m no PDA fan), or the passion I detect, but as soon as I’m riding away I take back all the thoughts I’ve had leading up to that kiss. Something just doesn’t feel right.
Whether it’s my own paranoia, commitment phobia, or that missing sexual attraction, I don’t know. Something in me makes me think this relationship will stay more professional than personal.