“What I am is what I am, are you what you are, or what?” — Edie Brickell
You know what I think I like best about “The Bro”?
He is entirely aware of and comfortable in his Bro-ness. I know this because last night, I asked him, flat-out:
“So…are you a ‘Bro’?”
He chuckled, heartily. “Uhh…yeah. I guess I am.”
Great. Just so we’re both clear on that. Although, to be even clearer, calling him “The Bro” was never intended as an insult. It’s just a type of guy I’ve never dealt with — or been remotely attracted to — before, so I’ve been enjoying the novelty a bit. Maybe a bit too much.
Because this Bro refuses to play to type. Sports metaphors and “Average Joe”-vibe aside, this is also a dude with a strong creative streak, a passion for (liberal) politics, refined tastes in food and wine, and a deep love for his family and friends. And, he’s repeatedly demonstrating an uncanny ability to craft an evening perfectly aligned with my interests, which indicates that he may be listening as much as he speaks. If so, this is not a small thing.
Last night, he met me in the lobby of the Film Forum, calmly holding my drink of choice in hand, as I arrived breathless and just barely in time for us to catch “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” (his suggestion, to my delight). Afterward, he strolled me to a late but decadent dinner at Hundred Acres (he couldn’t possibly have known it’s one of my faves), which we ultimately closed, still deeply engrossed in conversation about the documentary, political movements, conspiracy theories and the finer points of an ideal Rosh Hashanah dinner.
After a nightcap at a wine bar and another long stroll through what may be one of the last of this summer’s perfect New York nights, I was shocked to find it well after 3am — on a school night! — when I crossed the river back into Brooklyn. Frankly, I hadn’t looked at my phone in hours.
So, is “The Bro” — who I’d casually cast as the underdog, emerging as the leader of the pack? There are a few new faces on the scene (more on that to come), but he’s definitely the one I’m currently feeling most comfortable with. There’s something very refreshing about his straightforwardness; it almost borders on earnestness. And though he’s assertive — he is a former coach-turned-filmmaker, after all — I’ve yet to feel pressured in his presence; even when he suddenly pulled me in for a kiss on a quiet corner.
I — awkward and neurotic as ever — paused.
“Oh, wait: Are you about to kiss me?”
He chuckled again. This time, more heartily.
“Yes… Is that okay?”
*deep breath* “Okay, gimme a sec to compose myself.”
What can I say? I’m out of practice. Thankfully, my muscle memory kicked in just in time.
And it wasn’t bad. Not bad at all.