Men don’t know the difference between flirting and flattery. I do. And I often wish I could forget. Sometimes I get to forget and it leads to the best nights ever.
I had the most flattering conversation I’ve had in a long time last night. I would like to call it flirting, but it wasn’t. There’s this amazing woman I knew in another life with whom I used to speak occasionally. We’d probably only had a dozen real conversations or so and I must confess I cannot remember a single thing we’ve ever really spoken of. Last night we chatted for some time and it was amazing.
The conversation started with some random, direct, practical questions and just stopped. So I lobbed some grenades of awkwardness her way as it is the fastest way to get people into my comfort zone or at least out of theirs. It rapidly turned into the dance of naked souls wanting to share and to be understood, as real conversation ought to be. I treasure that and I think she does too.
I’ve liked her since day one. She’s always been a genuine and genuinely pleasant person and her ability to create was impressive. I don’t know that I can remember any of her art, but I can’t remember her without a pencil. I have always treasured the artist’s soul more than the art. Art generally just makes me ache to know the soul behind it. The fact that I am being a creepy facebook stalker and see no art on her page makes me almost question if my memory is blurring people together, but I doubt it.
Even if I have mucked up the memories, I saw the soul of an artist last night. The hamartia of an artist is the need to be known, to be understood. It is horrible. I am so far from being a creative person, yet I have that artistic trait. I guess the song the artist marches to is a low chant of “it’s nice to be listened to sometimes.” So many people just want to be heard, an artist wants to be listened to. It requires no yelling or screaming, just the desire to be known and in payment getting to know others.
All of this is flattery, as was most of last night’s conversation. However, as a man, it all felt like flirting because she said one sentence early on. “You’re always welcome to poke me.” Perhaps she misspoke. Perhaps she’s been pining for me for years. I think she just likes to play and have fun and live between comfort zones as flirting lets you do. Regardless, it was fun and refreshing. And I mean refreshing in the way that restores your soul.