Friday, September 13, 2002
      ( 8:08 AM ) Rebecca  

Muscle Bound Climbing Boy (MBCB) walks into foyer where I am innocently getting my mail. I glance over, see who it is, and go into FlirtAlert®.

“Hi!” I say. Friendly yet cool. Opening my mailbox. “You’re H., right?” Turn away from mailbox and smile. He is looking stubbly. Tres masculine.

“Hi,” he says, processing. His tone is neutral. As in, Who is this girl? Have I met her?

“I’m BB. We met just as I was moving in.”

“Oh, right!” Light clicks on in his glacier-blue eyes. “You know, I’m sorry I missed your party, but I was climbing in the Cascades that weekend.”

But of course.

“Really?” I say, very interested, but turning back to my mailbox so as not to appear too much so. “What did you climb?” As if I am an expert on the myriad summits of the Cascades.

“Mount Forbidden.” The name of this precipitous peak trips off his tongue. He waits to see what kind of effect it will have, and I do not disappoint.

“Ooh,” I say. “I’ve heard that one is really hard.” Voice goes down a register on the final word.

“Do you climb?” There is a hint of eagerness in his voice.

“Yeah,” I say, casual, modest. Perusing my one piece of mail. So what if I haven’t climbed anything in a while? Look up at him, and, just perhaps, the eyelashes bat. “But nothing that hard.”

Then MBCB launches into a description of just how hard Mount Forbidden actually is, with its many thousands of feet of exposure. As he talks, look directly at him and shake my head a few times to indicate incomprehension of how a person could accomplish such a manly feat. Meanwhile, am sending subliminal signals. “You want to ask me to coffee…you want to take me climbing…you want to...”

“Well,” I say, when he is finished, “It sounds much more exciting than coming to my party.” Turn towards the stairs to indicate that I am ready to exit. Mustn't overstay my welcome.

“Yeah,” he says, rueful. He is regretting – just a little– that he missed my party now. After all, he would have seen me in a backless dress.

“Well I was committed to it anyway.” He starts heading down the stairs to his basement apartment “But next time you have a party, be sure to invite me…”

But of course.

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