(From the archives. I wrote this on April 28, 2018. I think it’s one of my better-written pieces.)
He had an ex-wife when we met…
When I met …Dirk last year, he was on a comedy tour in Canada.
The night that I saw him, I was doing open mic at my old neighborhood pub. It was probably my third time doing it and it was okay. It’s always okay for me when I get a few laughs. It made me confident enough to try a more serious open mic the night after where I bombed so fucking painfully that it still makes me cringe and grimace to think about it.
We didn’t talk that night. I saw his face when my old roommate yelled at him to “Turn around! I want to see if you’re hot or not!”. He turned around and he was handsome. I thought this while the roommate made it verbally clear by yelling it out. She may have tried to wink at him and almost fell over. He gave a smirk and turned away while I tended to the drunk roommate.
I met him the night after when it turned out we were sitting beside each other at the bar, during open mic, the one where I bombed so fucking painfully. I recalled him as “Mr. Turnaround” to which he introduced himself as Dirk. He was definitely older than me but still had that youthful look to him and such a great smile. Handsome is the way I describe his attractiveness.
The night ended up with me back at his hotel room because he seemed pretty sweet and I wanted to keep looking at his smile. I learned he was from LA, separated, originally from Ecuador and speaks fluent Spanish. He had two kids who were closer to my age than I was his, one of whom was autistic. There was this gentleness to him and he tried to warm me up to him about it like a safe space and it was a nice gesture but I wasn’t really into it. I could sense a bit of brokenness so I tried to connect with that instead. It was a pretty good night together before I had to go to work the next day.
He came back a few months later for another tour and he wanted to meet up. I wasn’t sure in what context and I wasn’t down to hook up so I was a bit evasive about meeting but when he dropped the bomb that his ex-wife had committed suicide, I decided to be a friend. He told me he was in shock and not good form. He just wanted to be around someone and feel a bit of comfort. I’m a softie for being supportive when someone needs it so I moved my day around to meet up with him for a bit.
He wanted me to hold him, so I did. He held my hand and tried to kiss me a few times. He just wanted comfort and I did my best to give it to him. He hinted at sex and that’s where I drew the line. I wasn’t going to fuck him to comfort but I would be there how I could. I felt for the guy. He and his ex-wife were together for a long time and I know how it is to lose someone you cared about to suicide. It’s an ugly thing to go through and I didn’t want him to feel like he had to go through it alone, even if it was just for a little bit. He told me even though they weren’t together, it still hurt.
He recently came back to the city for another tour and we’d been trying to coordinate plans to meet but our schedules didn’t match up. I deleted Instagram to focus on my writing and forgot that was our only form of communication. I talked about going to one of his shows so I just figured I’d do that and it’d be the same thing. We could exchange numbers there and keep in touch that way.
He looked surprised to see me. I wasn’t expecting his act on stage either. He talked about his wife and how he’s now widowed. He talked about how hard it was to meet people because the last time he had to, it was with pagers and beepers. I’ve seen his act a couple of times and he’s never used his wife in them until now. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe he was selling his act on his dead wife even though in the past year he made it clear he was separated.
I felt pretty grossed out at what I was witnessing. I couldn’t believe he dug for laughs. After he was done, he came over to say hello and went in for a hug. I gave a quick one and when I let go, I gave him quick eye contact that made my feeling pretty clear and told him I was leaving.
This happened pretty recently and I’ve been thinking about it on and off. I think about when I saw him when he found out about the news. I think about the act I saw. I think about how he tried to use me for it and now he’s using her for his benefit. There was another girl at the show that night who came to see him too. Coincidentally enough, we were sitting beside each other during the show; I only knew this because he hugged her first and said “I can’t believe you came” before he was surprised to see me. I wonder if she knows the actual story like I do. I didn’t think it was my place to call him out right then and there though. I still don’t.
Some people can be pretty scummy though.