Mr. Buffalo Bill and I Bumble matched and exchanged some decent banter. Because we live near one another, we agreed to meet for a drink. I presented my exit strategy pre-meeting, notifying him that the drink would have to be quick because I had to go walk my creatures. I spotted him seated at the bar as I approached the entrance. Though there was distance separating us, my first impression was that he has crazy eyes. He quickly got glimpse of me, so it was too late to escape. I sat beside him at the bar. Less than two minutes into this encounter, he announced, “I’m going to make a physical comment.” I braced myself for the words about to be uttered from the mouth of this man, especially when prefaced in that manner. Let me take a moment to note my attire for the evening. I wore black pants, sneakers, and a sweater revealing nothing but my wrists, hands, face, and neck. Thus, I was dressed slightly less modest than is permissible in Saudi Arabia.
He wrapped his index finger and thumb around my right wrist and said, “I love this.”
Bewildered, I asked, “My wrist?”
He replied, “it’s indicative of other things.”
Let’s pause for a minute here and collectively ask, “WHAT THE FUCK?!” What in the actual fuck?
I responded, “Like what?”
He said, “Like collar bones, hip bones.”
At this point, a song started playing in my head: “The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone. The hip bone’s connected to the backbone. The backbone’s connected to the neck bone. Doin’ the skeleton dance.” I also felt impending doom.
Through the mental music, I said, “You like my bones?”
He responded, “Yes, your bone structure and the flesh attached to it.”
The bones song in my head turned off and now I started visualizing Buffalo Bill yelling, “It puts the lotion in the basket!”
A bit frightened now and somewhat trying to gently persuade him not to deskin me or disturb my skeletal composition, I declared, “I would like to keep the bones and flesh intact.”
He replied, “I’m not going to make a skin suit out of you or make a necklace out of your teeth.”
So, clearly, he’d considered these scenarios.
Fortunately, another bar patron (to my left) began speaking in an elevated voice to the bartender about 14 inches from my eardrum. It was a welcomed distraction from the potential serial killer to my right.
I asked Buffalo Bill to stop talking so that I could more effectively eavesdrop because the yeller was getting more aggressive. Frankly, I’d rather sustain injury as a causality in a bar fight than as the victim of a bone collector.
I engaged the angry patron in conversation (maybe he could help me escape). Eventually, he got his check and left. I then informed Buffalo Bill that we’d need to get the flip side of the story from the bartender, which I proceeded to do. That information gathering allowed me to finish my beer and advise Buffalo Bill that it was time for the dog walk.
We walked out of the bar and he pulled something smokable from his bag and lit it. The something was marijuana. I shook my head.
Finally, we parted. I said thanks and bye.
Very shortly thereafter, he messaged me, “I did very much like you.”
The following day, I replied, “Thank you. I was creeped out by the bone comment and further dissuaded by the weed.”
He answered, “Understood. It wasn’t meant to be creepy, I like skinny. It was probably just not the best way to present that. Appreciate you taking the time to respond.”
So this story has a happy ending, which is that I’m alive, all my bones are in their proper places, and my skin is unscathed. For now…