When: Fall, 2009.
I met him almost exactly a year ago.
I had spent the majority of August and September mourning my break-up from “the one,” and I was finally at the stage when I was ready to date someone else. Or at the very least, fall in love.
I went up to my college town to celebrate homecoming weekend with old friends. We arrived at the stadium early, and spent the morning chugging Miller Lights, eating brisket, and scanning the crowd for the familiar faces of our college crushes- who now (to our delight) donned thinning hair and beer bellies.
At some point in the afternoon, I saw him.
It would have actually been difficult not to see him, since he was the only person in the entire parking lot wearing a highlighter orange shirt in a sea of green, but still… there he was.
He arrived at our tent and seemed to know most of my local friends. I quickly learned that he was a bartender at a bar that one of my best friends owned. I moved a little closer to get a better look.
His face was cute, not striking by any means, but he had a friendly smile. He didn’t have any of the characteristics that I usually find attractive. His hair was meh. His body was meh. His teeth were ehhhhhh. But his shirt was what really caught my attention, and not merely because of it’s color.
It read: “In the event of a zombie uprising, remember to sever it’s head.”
I should probably take a moment to explain that I have a slight obsession with zombies. I know, I know, they’re all the rage right now (no pun intended,) but I’ve was literally raised on zombies. The first movie I remember owning on VHS was “Night of the Living Dead,” and I spent nearly every night of my childhood playing “Zombies at my Neighbors” on NES. So basically, I was smitten the moment I saw his shirt.
I made my way even closer, and casually told him I liked his t-shirt. We quickly got into a conversation about Zombieland, which had recently been released, and I learned that he too, was a zombie aficionado.
We made small talk for about thirty minutes about our favorite movies and the people that we knew in common, and it was fun. He had to leave to tend bar, but I let him know that I was friends with his boss and that we would definitely see him later.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon recounting the conversation to my friends, and trying to speed them along so that we could make an appearance at the bar.
We didn’t end up making it there until it was late, and by that point I was quite snozzled.
The bar was crowded but “Zombie Shirt Boy” made a point to to come and talk to me at several points throughout the night. When it was time to leave we exchanged numbers and he gave me a tight hug.
He called me around three AM, and we had talked for about an hour about nothing that I could remember for the life of me. It wasn’t until the morning when I checked my text messages over a few slices of pizza, that I realized that the phone call wasn’t the end of our communication.
Much to my horror, I saw that the last outgoing text was to Zombie Shirt Boy at 5:26 AM.
It read, “I jusst wanted to tell u thaks for a funntalk and I am already in LOVE with you!!!!”
To be continued…