I don’t normally notice butts. But two years ago, when I was sitting on my deck having my first beer at my then-new apartment, he walked by on the stairs. As he hoisted a couch, the view of his rear was hard to avoid. Not wanting to disturb his move, I nodded acknowledgment and left it at that. Over time, we mastered the art of casual conversation. The girl he consistently brought around was a good buffer to acting on whatever intrigue I was feeling.
Then one blustery January day, as I was trudging out my back door, he came walking up the stairs in spandex, cross-country skis in hand. Too excited to contain myself, I gushed to him my love for cross-country skiing and my shock that he had found somewhere to ski in the city. We agreed we would ski together soon. A few days later, a snowstorm struck. It was our time. We skied down Logan Boulevard to a bar. We talked about the frustrating aspects of life as a twentysomething. Over drinks, I learned he and his girlfriend were no longer together. I feigned concern. He assured me he was fine.
When we got back to our building, it was just a matter of who was willing to lean in first. He made that move; I opened the door to my apartment. It was the least I could do to spare him the long walk upstairs. We proceeded to have four blissful days of dating fun. And then he got back together with his girlfriend. I probably should have left it at that.
But four months later, the girl had stopped coming by. He and I took to staying up late with beers and waking up early for coffee on our decks. It was just friendly until we decided to watch a movie together. We slipped and made out. I had no illusion that there was any guarantee of something more behind that kiss. Still, when two mornings later I awoke to a high-pitched, joyful, pleasure-filled scream coming from two floors above me—so piercing that even a shut window and a pillow over my head could not drown it out—I humbly took note: One should never date the guy upstairs. No matter how cute his butt is in spandex. —J., 25/female/straight/single/Logan Square