echnically Samantha met David online. He’d seen her profile on a dating site and found her “warm and alive.” He said he wanted to discuss online dating, since he’d never done it before and was writing a book that included a character that has an Internet romance.
He enclosed a link to one of the chapters, which was published in a reputable weekly magazine. Samantha read it and even laughed a little. Then she clicked on his byline and carried out the requisite search for his Internet biography.
The little she could come up with included fluency in a lot of languages, some Ivy League affiliations, and no pictures.
She figured he would be interesting company at the very least and responded with her phone number if he ever just wanted to chat.
He called that afternoon and they decided to meet at a café in her neighborhood. It turned out he lived mere blocks away.
She entered the café from a rainy afternoon, and brushing the droplets from her eyes she scanned the room. It was one of those rare spots where everyone still looks up when the door opens, and everyone says hello.
David rose from his table and identified himself.
He was tall with pale green and skittish eyes and a Latin jaw-line. While Samantha settled in her chair he started talking, launching immediately into why he was so curious about online dating, about dating in general, and at that point about women in general.
She asked about him and discovered that he spoke seven languages fluently, and English was not among the first ones — miraculous considering his near perfect accent.
As words spilled from his lips, Sam tried her best to follow along, interjecting bits of wisdom as they came to her. Their conversation took a steady rhythm and it was only 30 minutes into it that she realized she hadn’t ordered a coffee. He rose and offered to order her one and sat down just as quickly when she said she didn’t really feel like it.
They exchanged tales and during the conversation he touched her frequently with emphatic taps to her wrist. He noticed her eyes and warned her that one pupil seemed bigger, and then quickly apologized for making her worry.
Samantha usually found herself doing most of the talking, so his chattiness was refreshing, and he found her insights brilliant. One hour into their meeting he asked her if they were on a date.
Samantha said that yes, maybe they were — it certainly felt nice, and she had to admit that she didn’t want it to end, though they both had places to go.
After nearly two hours they rose to leave. It was pouring and they shared her umbrella. As they leaned in to say goodbye they kissed. He held her tightly and felt quite cozy. The whole thing had been nearly serendipitous and it felt good to feel so attracted to a stranger and know he felt the same way.
He asked when he could see her again and she told him the truth: she was leaving for a week, and after that, another week. She invited him to dinner while she packed her bags.
In record time he rearranged some appointments and later that evening showed up at her doorstep.
He had all kinds of things to say and jumped from topic to topic, as if from a checklist. Samantha wondered if all of those words and languages in his brain made normal-paced conversation impossible. He wandered her apartment, looking for a place to sit, but never sitting.
Finally she took his hand and led him to the couch. She curled her knees underneath her and leaned into him. She looked into his eyes until his sentences slowed to words and jaunty pauses.
He unbuttoned her dress and slid off her panties, they discussed the dangers of casual sex in that is isn’t always casual to both parties.
He said this did not feel casual.
Samantha said she wasn’t sure how it felt, other than natural, but she was glad to be doing it.
Finally he carried her to the bedroom and all went quiet. Almost.
Later, he stood behind her and stroked her hair and breasts and hips while they looked in the mirror to the light of a flickering candle.
“Are we — ” he began.
Looking up at him, she pulled his arm tight across her chest and kissed his bicep, still moist with perspiration. She pushed her back into his belly. With a long low breath she said everything.