From Pals to Porn

I have an unconventional collection of friends and acquaintances due to my previous job. I’ve grown close with former co-workers from around the globe, some I’ve met in person and others that I haven’t. We went through so much together during my employment with the company for over half a decade – some of us even consider one another family.

One in particular was a different kind of friendship that morphed over years of very personal communication. I felt like I could tell him anything from behind my keyboard – and I did. He became a support system I relied on through work frustrations, medical issues and a massive failure of a relationship.

A random booze-fueled kiss years prior had been completely ignored by us both as we maintained our long-distance friendship. We had very quickly moved past any tension that might have been between us, separated by both circumstance and oceans.

He sent me selfies and beautiful photos of landmarks from his travels around the world. We checked in on holidays and birthdays. We were able to cheer each other up with ridiculous and obscure YouTube videos. He was an important part of my life from thousands of miles away.

I was shocked and excited when I received the news one day that he was moving to the area, and it dawned on me that things could actually move into new territory. I couldn’t wait to be his personal tour guide.

The Date

When I finally got to see him again, I was surprised at how nervous and fluttery my stomach felt around him. This was someone who knew more about me than most people – it should feel familiar and comfortable, shouldn’t it? We caught up over a long lunch ending in a warm bear hug that made me feel like I would be safe forever. It melted away my jitters and my anticipation of the next encounter mounted (I’m hearing my male friends interject here “heh, she said mounted”) before I left the parking lot.

We met for dinner in Alexandria at an Irish Pub, to which I wore a killer yet tasteful dress. Our server’s brogue caught me off-guard – I love me a man with an accent. I didn’t pretend that I didn’t enjoy his flirtations while taking my drink order and I saw my date raise an amused eyebrow.

“What?” I taunted, casually placing my napkin on my lap.

“I think the waiter liked your dress,” he observed, leaning over the table toward me.

I bent forward and met him halfway. “Jealous?” I teased, knowing full well he was not the type.

“Nope,” he replied confidently. “You’re here with me.”

Yadda, yadda, yadda (did I mention the bisque?). 

The evening ended with an epic make-out session in my car. Without getting all Danielle Steel on you – it was so hot. This guy had the ferocity of a teenager and the technique of a grown.ass.man. He tried to convince me to come back to his hotel, which I shot down immediately and I kicked him out of my car before I could change my mind. After this long of a friendship and just starting a new whatever this was I wasn’t about to jump the gun.

I got home, changed into pajamas, and snuggled into my couch, pulling my cat into my lap and flipping to the Netflix binge du jour. Ding.

A big, stupid, smile crossed my face. I knew before looking exactly who was messaging. I picked up my phone, playfully smug that he couldn’t get enough.

I tapped the message and saw that it wasn’t a text. It wasn’t a picture either. It was … a video? Maybe he’s sending me a tour of his baller hotel, trying to make me regret not accompanying him? Some kind of cute “can’t wait to see you again” clip? I sunk deeper into the couch, flashes from the car racing back to me.

When I clicked play an empty room came into focus. All I noticed at first was a set of dingy curtains flanking the window on the far side of the shot and the corner of a bed. Not exactly a baller hotel, what’s the point here? A soft noise came out of the speaker and then the movement toward the bottom of the screen registered. Wait a mi- is tha- 

“PENIS!” I yelped in surprise. The cat bolted from my lap, digging his hind claws into my launchpad of a thigh, and my phone clattered to the floor. “Son of a mother fu-!”

I scooped up my phone and applied pressure to what was quickly becoming a welt on my leg. “Sorry,” I mumbled to the cat who was tense and crouched in the corner. He stared at me a moment, lifted his leg, licked himself, and walked away indignantly.

“Oh, real nice! You too?” I called after him. I shook my head, annoyed. Chivalry is dead. Even among the felines. 

I turned my attention back to the phone in order to examine its corners for shattered glass and quickly recoiled, pulling the phone away from my face for fear The Penis might actually protrude from the screen and poke me in the eye. There he was – rather there it was – having a grand old time. I have no idea why men do this. This is not hot. This is not my idea of romance. He had plummeted from White Knight fairy tale to X-Rated Trojan commercial in a matter of minutes.

The Plate

Popcorn.

Oh, right, dinner! I had a mushroom risotto with a few excellent pints of beer. It was surprisingly enjoyable being served from an Irish kitchen; however, had I known it was foreshadowing what was to, er, come after dinner – I probably would have ordered something else. 🤢

Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant & Bar, 112 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

From the website: “Daniel O’Connell’s is a modern Irish restaurant in an ancient Irish setting. Experience a one of a kind Irish dining experience; four hundred years in the making.

Enjoy authentic Irish fare in an authentic Irish restaurant and bar in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. A great place for lunch, a night out, and your next private event. Daniel O’Connell’s is a must-stop on King Street. In our relaxed ambiance and unique surroundings, you might enjoy a table near the fireplace, a seat at one of our four bars, or your new favorite spot in one of our snugs.”

Google Rating: 4.2/5

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