In the midst of a 6 month solo road trip I change my city and state profile on okcupid to see if there are any guys I would like to meet. I change it to LA, California. Of course there are many handsome dudes messaging me. One in particular stands out: He is ruggedly handsome with steel-blue eyes that stare deep into my soul.
I read his message and check out his profile. I’m intrigued. He’s an actor/stuntman/cowboy/moto guy. I like it. I love that he’s creative, passionate, and good-looking. Okay, the Actor/stuntman was what got me.
He says he’s real unlike all the fake profiles out there, so I message him back and we email a few times then he gives me his cell number. We finally talk. He has a deep masculine voice which matches his pictures. We talk for over an hour. I’m hooked.
I check him out on the internet to make sure he is real. I find his name and it says he’s 5 years older than his online profile age. Hmmm. I normally don’t date people who are more than 5 years older than me, but I like him. I guess I can’t complain about that since my profile says I’m 5 years younger than my real age. He has a Facebook page and we Friend each other. We talk everyday.
The fantasy of us together is building in my head. I could actually see us as an item. He’s everything that I want in a man and he rides horses that’s a plus, since I own two. Going to Hollywood parties and hanging out with this cool dude was part of the draw. We converse for a month and a half.
I’m now up in Eugene Oregon and he is still in LA. We are trying to meet. I have two weeks where I’m free. I look into flying down and renting a car but it’s too expensive and I would rather drive that sit in airports. We discuss meeting in Sacramento where he has friends, which is half way for each of us. That ends up not working out due to his work schedule: He’s waiting for a call back for a commercial.
He’s worth the journey. I have family in LA, so what the hell. I’m on a solo road trip where I can go wherever I want. If I don’t meet him I will regret it. My plan is to drive down the 5 from Eugene to LA. Stay with my cousin then head off to Palos Verdes Estates to meet him. He said I could stay with him but he’s in between apartments. I would rather stay at cute Airbnb’s cottages instead. We make the plans and I gather my stuff and head out to LA.
I drive 17 hours to LA from Eugene on boring interstate 5. Now that’s my record of driving solo in one day. I arrive at my cousin’s house Sunday night and crash on the bed exhausted from the drive. I’m meeting M on Tuesday so I have Monday to rejuvenate my body and mind. The original plan is to meet at Rat’s beach at 4pm but I change it to noon. I figured we would play frisbee on the beach since that is our game of choice and just have a relaxing day.
I arrive at the beach at 11:45am and scout the area. I head to the beach and text him that I’m here. No reply. Now it’s 12, then 12:10, 12:20pm no M. I am starting to get agitated. I text him and I call him, it goes into voice mail, so I leave him a message. Did I just drive 17 hours to see a ghost? Am I at the wrong beach? I don’t know this area. I ask someone and they confirm, I’m at the right beach.
Finally he calls me. He’s upset, he thinks we are meeting at 4. Apparently he forgot about the time change. After 5 minutes of him venting I intervene and tell him it’s okay. He hasn’t showered, he wanted to look good, just came from the gym. Yada yada yada. On a positive note I get to see him at his worst, might as well get that over. He says he’s driving a van.
I’m envisioning a cool black van, what I see coming towards me is totally different. It’s a blue and white vintage van,
something that a hippy would drive. He waves to me, parks and gets out. Hmmm. A little different from his pictures, shorter and much older looking that I expect, he could pass for an old man. Time has not been good to him. The only saving grace is his beautiful eyes, smile and abs. We hug.
We play frisbee for an hour, laughing and being care free, then we walk on the beach hand in hand. I do like him even though he’s not what I pictured. He’s still good-looking, with just more wrinkles. His personality is a lot like mine: a firecracker. I am drawn to him, but I know that being an Actor/stuntman/cowboy has a lot to do with why I met him.
We head back to our cars and he opens up his van to get some water. There is a lot of stuff in it. The truth comes out. He’s the man in the van who lives down by the river. He’s the man who lives in his van in Vonn’s parking lot. That’s what he meant when he said he was in between apartments. Oy!
My heart stops. Man oh Man. He tells me that he moved out of his ex girlfriends house a few weeks ago and was staying with a friend for a bit but now he’s living in his van until he finds a place. Apparently I’m a sap. My heart goes out to him. Well, while I’m here, he’s not going to be living in a van, that would be cruel on my part. He can stay with me.
I’ve been in bad situations before, never homeless, but down on my luck. I believe in karma, what goes around comes around. It’s not like he’s a stranger. We have been conversing via phone, text and IM/Facebook every day for the past one and half months. He just left out some major details, like being broke, can’t find work as an actor/stuntman, ex-girlfriend issues and living in a van. The SNL skit The Man Who Lives Down By The River resonates in my head. Oy! Does the man in the van have a plan? No Mam!
Would I have come knowing this? Driven 17 hours from Eugene, Oregon to LA? I don’t know, probably not. But I’m back in warm, sunny California, so I might as well enjoy his company. He’s affectionate with a nice body, a great kisser and a wonderful story-teller. He talks for hours about his glory days as a stuntman/cowboy.
We stay at a quaint Airbnb, in Rolling Hills Estates for two nights. It’s a cabana overlooking the pool. Tastefully furnished and decorated with a cottage feel. It is perfect. The owners are accommodating and allow us our privacy. It’s on the same street he used to live years ago when he was doing well. He gives me a tour. I hear cats meowing, but they are not cats. Big M tells me I hear peacocks. They are everywhere. It’s amazing. The last time I saw one was in Paris France circa 1992.
We head back to the guest cottage. As we are getting ready to go out to eat I hear his cry. I rush into the bathroom and he’s on his knees holding his neck. His distorted face shows his agony as the pain juts through the back of his neck. He swears under his breath as he slowly gets up.
He tells me he had a neck operation six months ago due to his moto/rodeo days. There is nothing I can do and it breaks my heart to see him this way. I try to a help him as much as I can. Is there anything else that can go wrong for him? Seriously? There is a dark cloud looming over his head ready to unleash its fury at any moment.
Minutes pass and the pain subsides. Maybe having a nice meal will make him feel better. I take him out to eat. I don’t want him to starve. He’s not much of a drinker which is good (alcoholism runs in his family) and he doesn’t get expensive items on the menu. His idea of food is hamburgers from a fast food joint and ice-cream that’s his drug of choice which is opposite of me. I like pubs and nicer establishments where I can sit in a nice environment and enjoy my food, drink and conversation without feeling rushed. I’m not talking about fancy just down to earth.
How can someone who eats like crap have such a nice physique? While I try to eat as healthy as possible but have a flabby tummy. Hmmm. He works out four times a week doing intense exercises. I think that’s the secret to looking good; those gorgeous abs attest to that.
Is this relationship going to last? What am I thinking? Maybe he will be one of those down and out actors who gets his big break again and turns his life around. You know the rags to riches story. It’s nice to dream, after all we are in California…