Just put your four layers on and leave, Kevin. I spent the night with Shane again (third time), and again I felt guilty afterwards for taking my time leaving in the morning. Clearly, he wanted some time on his own before departing, and I hesitated out of some embedded fear of seeming abrupt, or perhaps out of desire to share those moments of morning ritual with him/ to have another moment of intimacy before separating. But then I feel ridiculous. I remember having the same anxiety with Hermes in Chicago, more than 5 years ago. I apologized to him for lingering.      It is better to seem abrupt or cold than to annoy by lingering too long.

This, however, is a very minor part of what is developing between us. There is an intuitive connection between us, a natural mutual magnetism that I haven’t encountered in a very long time. We correspond incessantly; we erupt in smiles and jokes when we meet. My awkwardness is absorbed somehow – not absent but not burdensome.

Last night, we went to see “her”, the new Spike Jonze, at his suggestion. It was his first visit to Violet Crown, the lovely boutique cinema downtown that I fell in love with when I first moved to Austin. My first time at VC was conjured because the first film I saw there (and in the city) was Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”, and last night we saw a trailer for his new one. Anyhow, I am so glad I saw “her” with Shane because, wow, what a lift of quirky romantic inspiration. The kind of film that makes you want to live big and love big, not to waste a second. The kind of romance I feel pleased to sink my teeth into.

Afterwards, we went to Violet Crown bar on the East side (why not be thematic about it?), another first for Shane, talked about our musical affinities as teens (he listened to Christian Rock, didn’t get into “good” music until college) and Samantha’s, the OS system, quote from the film, “The heart is not a box that you fill. The more you love, the more it expands.” Or something like that. It lead to a brief discussion about monogamy, the nature of relationships,etc. We seem to be on the same page about love being expansive but romantic love being finite because of practical/temporal and emotional limitations. But then he excused himself to use the restroom, and I wondered if it was rash for me to lead us into the terrain of dating, maybe indirectly suggesting I desire that from him. I believe that I do, actually, but I don’t want to put him off by speaking of it too soon. With him, I have been mostly confident and remarkably at ease, actually, because he constantly reiterates his interest in interacting with me, being intimate with me. Still, little anxieties do arise along the way. I told him I am usually the more emotionally involved in a relationship; he assured me that I don’t seem emotionally demanding, then said he’s usually the more emotionally detached one.

I detect ideological differences between us, and this weighs on my mind a bit. I think he’s middle of the road politically, very wholesome and family-oriented. It’s mostly the former that worries me. I worry about offending him with my offhand political comments. He’s so adorable,though. At least once I have evoked a blushing smile when I say something contrary to his beliefs (mentioning anticapitalism in a Thai restaurant).

I object to the fact that I become saddened when someone I care about has a different opinion on a matter that is important to me (like class conflict/economics), but it happens. I don’t want to date someone who is my ideological/political twin, yet I feel disheartened if I get the sense that someone isn’t empathetic in the way that I am, if he isn’t remotely politicized around defense of the poor or otherwise marginalized. It’s too soon to know, really, about Shane. I know he is a kind, good-humored guy. I also know he made some quip about use of food stamps to buy junk food that bothered me. And he said that in his profession it is natural for one to be a fiscal conservative, that term that makes my skin crawl. I don’t want to over think this prematurely. We are still getting to know each other. And I would like to write something more organized about my thoughts on this; this is just preliminary. The predominant feeling here is elation over our mutual interest. He is a beautiful man; and when we are together I feel a tug towards him, a comfort like with a brother or close friend. But there is a sexual attraction on top of that, despite him not being the sort that normally turns my head. I love how red his neck and ears turn when he is titillated. And I love that I have the power to do that to him. I love that he plays trumpet and knows much about local music; and I’m amused that I’m now affectionate towards an accountant.