He looked like Johnny Depp.
He was writing in the corner of the coffee shop.
I was 22, I was single, and he was smoldering.
It was a recipe for disaster.
Donning his white t-shirt, faded jeans, and leather jacket, the perfectly messy bed-head and unshaven chiseled jawline were far too overpowering for my bad-boy prone nature.
When he sauntered over and gave me the napkin with his handwritten poem, smiled, and asked me to dinner, I stammered a yes while gazing doe-eyed at him.
For the record this was not the first nor last time my idealism would get me into trouble. But that is neither here nor there.
Three days later I met him at a restaurant.
Donning stilettos, dark jeans, a sexy top and my own leather jacket I met up with Casanova at a bar.
It took him approximately two minutes before it began.
At first I didn’t think I had heard him correctly, so like an idiot I leaned in across the table. Pressing his lips next to my ear, the guy I had gazed so longingly at whispered this into my ear:
“What’s it like knowing you have the attention of every man in this room? What’s it feel like to be a woman with that much power?”
Leaning back and glancing around, I double-checked my outfit. No one appeared to be noticing me. The restaurant was near campus, so the place was crowded with hot girls, I was hardly a rare commodity. Keeping a safe distance from his cigarette whispers, I responded:
“No one here is looking but you (clears throat, blushes a bit-silly young Ryan). So should we order some wine or-‘
I got that far before he unleashed an intense monologue. Shakespeare could not have written a longer pile of metaphorical nonsense. During this speech, I slowly lowered myself in my chair-willing the table to come to life and eat me in one solid, painless bite.
The opening line was barked with such intensity I did a double take at my formerly sexy tablemate:
“Ryan, you are like a lionness”
Clearing my throat, I tilted my head to one said and began to ask a question but was instantly interrupted again-
“Every man in this room. Every one of them, including me, is your prey. You move, we watch. Wanting to be devoured.”
Let’s take a moment to note his voice was loud. Seriously loud. Loud enough that now people were starting to stare.
I’m pretty sure most of my fellow diners just wanted their chicken wings to arrive, but his volume made them turn their heads-which convinced him of his initial interpretation-that they gave a damn about what he said. Not true, but lets just agree-this guy was delusional. The sauntering bad-boy (who was rapidly becoming a typical freak my magnet loves to attract), seemed to picture me as this creature:
With growing embarrassment, I was feeling more and more like this version of his story:
When he started referencing the primal nature of fornication as if he were the first man to conclude this theory (neanderthals the underworld over simultaneously turned in their graves); I left to go to the bathroom.
I couldn’t bring myself to sit staring at him while he uttered words like raw, natural, wild, and animalistic in reference to what he had hoped would be our after dinner plans. Each whisper was so creepily rehearsed I was sure he’d given himself a peptalk in the mirror earlier in the evening. Locking eye contact, he tried to stroke my cheek with his forefinger while proclaiming his desire to ‘tame’ me.
Wrong girl Tarzan, wrong girl.
I called my best friend from the bathroom, scheduled the appropriate emergency phone call for five minutes later, and returned to the table.
At this point I had been in the restaurant a total of ten minutes.
He may have looked like Johnny Depp.
He may have been a writer.
But even at 22 I could tell-this tribesman was far from warrior.