Week 1: I met the most beautiful man in one of the miniature interactive habitats on Meow Wolf’s giant indoor ship; who doesn’t these days? He is incredibly cute, which makes up for the fact that he’s eight years too old. But in Santa Fe, you have to raise your age cap. He’s strangely reserved for someone so cocky. It makes his mannerisms deliberate and enticing. We have the same motley taste in music, eat the same almost-natural diet, abuse the same substances. And I like a lot of his likes—biking, hiking, failed attempts at guitar. I’m sold. And he—well, he’s impossible to read, but I don’t care. Santa Fe men have so much going on; it’s irresistibly captivating.
Week 2: We’re all out for some dancing, and he is here, stubbornly refusing to demonstrate that he likes me. He asks if I want to dance (read: I ask him; he wanders off; I then literally drag him out on the floor). It’s powerful how solid his arms feel and how good he smells. I wonder what kind of kisser he is. And then, without even realizing, I face-plant into his torso and inhale. Why did I do that? I try to cover it up by talking.
"Sorry I keep thwap-thwapping you with my purse."
"It's OK." He pauses, as if he's not sure he should say: "I'll get revenge on you later tonight."
“Oh! Excuse me?” But I’m already buckling in laughter.
Week 3: “What am I supposed to do with this?” I ask.
"What, haven't you done this before?"
"Not with one that's, you know…uncircumcised."
"Well, so, what's the difference? Does it smell weird or something?"
"Um, no, the difference is the GIANT FORESKIN!"
Foreskin—skin for what? This is the day I had always feared. Ew. But shockingly, it devolops into brain-crushing, toe-curling, blindingly happy endings all around. Apparently, a little extra skin buys a lot of extra sensitivity, patience and rhythm. You learn something new every guy.
Week 4: I sling my pack into his pickup bed, and we’re on our way, searching for wilderness. That night, I look into his eyes and see stars. I look up at the stars and see heaven.
Week 5: We start talking about where to eat and, somehow, get into a 20-minute play-wrangle about dish soap. Our conversations race like wildfire. Whenever we speak, his almost-black eyes bear down on me relentlessly, with a hint of wild. The magnetism pulls my hand to the side of his belt, or the top of his arm. It takes more effort not to touch.
Week 6: We’re spending almost every evening together, chasing adrenaline capped off with a cocktail of mild substances and Netflix. My friends greet me with “Hey, stranger” and “Been a while.” At work, I dream about our recent adventures, which inevitably fade into vivid recollections of our nightly trysts. Then I get self-conscious and sheepish, as if my co-workers were viewing my naughty memories. If they could, they’d be jealous.
Week 7: I’m smitten. He’s overwhelming. But I don’t get the sense that if I cease to be entertaining to him, he will be there, just for me. Yet still, I’m investing in him all my time and caring. It’s hard not to resent someone who hijacks your life. One night, I call him a fascist and triumphantly storm off. Ha! Then I have to come back to get my bicycle, which I entangle in his screen door on my way out, much to his amusement.
Week 8: I help load the last box into his ancient pick-up and label it “Fascist’s cooking utensils.” He pinches my stomach and I stick my tongue out at him. He’s been living in Santa Fe for over two years now, and it’s well time he got on with life. We talked of staying together, but neither really meant it. We talked of an occasional visit, but his newest mountain town isn’t exactly the mountain town I’d want to visit. It doesn’t even have its own microbrewery. We’ll be in touch once we’re both in the same place again, for real. As I said, Santa Fe men have so much going on, it’s captivating isolating.
Week 12: I just met the most beautiful man sipping frozen beer slush on the Wolf Creek chair lift…