Traveling alone can be mighty fun. You don’t have to compromise what you’d like to do and you can eat and drink wherever you feel like. After dinner, I went to Bar Congress after stopping in Second Bar & Kitchen for a drink. It was like a mini-bar hop without ever having to go outside.
As I approached the bar, I calculated where I wanted to sit. Usually I don’t have such plummy choices but a couple just left and there were only 2 other women at the bar. I decided to sit to their left, about center of the bar. Eventually another couple joined us and sat in the far left corner.
A man came in. Somewhat tall, neither thin or fat. Bald. Probably in his 40s. Instead of going to the far right where there were a couple of empty seats, he squeezed in next to me and the two women. He probably realized like me the other two women were lesbians right away from the quiet crying one was doing over her recent break-up. By default, he chatted with me. He asked me if I was drinking vodka. I was definitely not drinking vodka and replied it was gin based though I normally like whiskey. He exclaimed a lot of people in the UK drink whiskey and told me he used to play soccer there.
Now, I’m not unwillingly to talk to strangers. I rather like it. I like my bar stories. I wasn’t interested in him. I should mention I like smart, creative, funny, artsy guys. Hipsters with jobs.
I talked to him because at first this guy didn’t seem like a nutjob. I should have know better. After all, I am a freak magnet. I say this lightly as I managed to deter would-be stalkers. I will always remember one bartender telling me not to encourage these freaks. Ah yes, too late to heed that advice.
It started innocently enough. The usual questions of where you’re from and the like. For some reason, everyone I met in Austin thought I lived there including this guy. When he found out I was from LA, he wanted to know where I lived live. You know, where exactly. “I’ve never heard of that place.” “Oh, my friend moved to the San Fernando Valley. You know what they’re known for?” “Yeah, my friend is in porn.”
Should I have been tipped off he has a friend in porn? No, it didn’t occur to me at first that is “not normal.”
He was originally from Cuba and has lived all over. He was proud he’s seen 40 states and 12 countries. I had just been in Seattle and he told me he loved Seattle because everyone was so smart there. That most people graduate high school and go to college while in Austin only about 40% graduate. He told me about a burlesque club in Seattle I should check out. However, he didn’t know why men didn’t like burlesque. Not unless they’re gay. I said I knew plenty of men who’d like it and he said they’re all gay. Maybe by this statement, I thought he was gay and “safe.” I should have known immediately though he wasn’t considering he told me how so many nationalities had beautiful women. The Finns. The Germans. I lost track of how many types of women he called beautiful.
Gradually he drifted to subjects of where I should go visit while in Austin and that night were three parties to check out including one upstairs. He wanted us to bring our glasses upstairs to the hotel event. I refused, namely because I didn’t want to leave this bar. I knew I was going to write about it later and I got the feeling I wasn’t talking to the right bartender.
Also, the responsible me knew the bar wasn’t part of the hotel and I couldn’t “steal” these glasses.
He then mentioned some $100 party elsewhere. Oh, please. Really? Then he asked me where I wanted to go. I said I was going to check out the nearby W Hotel. He told me to cab it, that it would be $5. Considering it was two blocks away, I thought that was stupid. He called me a cheapskate. Right, how am I supposed to take that? Especially since he called so many different people pretentious (particularly those in Houston and Dallas) and flipping his nose every time, miming their so-called haughty attitudes. He did say it was all right for people in Hollywood though because well, it’s Hollywood. It made no sense.
The money thing always throws me off. While I’m not poor, I’m not exactly rich. I may generally live without a budget but I know my means. Going to some random $100 party was not within my means. He started talking about taking me to dinner, how I’m so cute, that he liked my jewelry and tried to stroke my hand (by pretending to admire my bracelets). Suddenly, I knew he wasn’t gay. I yanked my hand away. I was not having it.
Then like some stupid men do, he latched back on the money thing and said he knows all about hiding money and how he had some offshore Cayman Islands account. “I’m from Cuba. We know about that.”
It became fairly obvious I wasn’t leaving and he must have decided to try his luck with someone else. He did insist on getting my phone number so he could call me for dinner. He gave me his first, forcing me to call him so he had my number. I tried to put in a different area code but he quickly corrected me.
He had badgered me earlier about the type of guy I liked. I finally admitted to liking tall guys knowing anything else would just make him argue or plead with me. He stood up and said he was 6’1” and wasn’t that tall enough. No, I thought silently. No, I just don’t like you. Then he tried to kiss me. YUCKY. I pulled away. And he left.
Later I told the bartender and he was very stunned I didn’t know the guy. The other bartender, the one I needed to talk to just shook his head. Yet another called that guy a douchebag. I should have told them to 86 him because he wanted to steal their glasses. And also, for someone who supposedly was hiding money somewhere, why do you only have $5 and didn’t want a formality of a bill to pay for your beer? He didn’t offer to pay for my 2 cocktails.
Later, he texted sweet dreams. Called in the morning, didn’t leave a message and sometime in the afternoon texted for coffee.
Coffee? After his offer for dinner? No way. Not that I would have gone to dinner.
He tried to call again a couple of days later. Aggressive. Minty don’t play that.