My friend is a huge Harry Potter fan, and as such, she invited me to go to a magical Harry Potter event in DTLA on a hot Saturday night. With no prospective Saturday night plans in sight and being the good sport that I am, I tagged along.
Faithful friend, future lamb to the slaughter, there I went.
We turned up late because honestly, who can make it to downtown LA on time on a Saturday night?
We'd driven an hour in traffic, paid $20 for shoddy parking, only to find out that the event was already over. Well, what now?
I have had some noteworthy moments in downtown L.A., most especially at one specific bar. I will not name said bar, but let's just say it's dive-y, it's sketchy, drinks are cheap, and you see all sorts of folks dancing inebriated to a medley of Mexican rancheras and punk rock. It's pretty awesome.
We decided to validate the drive by at least getting one drink — hey, I wasn't driving — before heading back home.
My friend was trying to order drinks at the bar but she's really short and the bartender was really busy. (Height is of the essence at bars!)
In the meantime, I was left standing next to a very tall, dark and handsome individual who had his back to me. No big deal, until he got a shot of something I couldn't identify except that it was dark in color and resembled the consistency of syrup.
Minutes went by and he continued to peruse the bar leisurely, without touching his shot. My curiosity mounted as to what this shot could be, why he wasn't drinking it, why he was alone on a Saturday night... Endless stream of questions about this mysterious, handsome man.
I finally scooted over, tapped his shoulder and softly asked, "Hi, I was wondering what you're drinking? I can't for the life of me figure it out."
He slowly turned around, and suddenly I was staring at deep, dark eyes beautifully framing one of the most handsome faces that I have ever seen.
In a deep voice fit for a king, he said, "It's a shot of Amaro. It's made of herbs and it's Italian."
I proceeded to melt.
We talked about life, his future plans to write a novel, my recent travels to Asia, the wildest things he's ever seen, my almost plans to get tattooed in Tokyo last New Year's, and our love of food.
I was falling in love with a handsome stranger on a hot Saturday night and there was no way I was slowing this feeling down.
It was magical. Between the talking and the staring deeply into each other's eyes, I thought to myself: "This is one guy I'd get on the 405 to the 710 to the 5 for."
I think he felt "us" too. He never left my side.
I shyly asked him to dance with me when "Oye mi Amor" from Maná started playing. He said, "Not tonight. But I promise I'll dance with you another night… I promise."
I said, "OK, next time"
Alas, there won't be a next time.
As we were about to leave, he pulled out his wallet and gave me his card.
A blood red card. With his name boldly scrolled across the bottom. I don't want to disparage anyone's beliefs, so I will just say it pledged his allegiance to an organization whose name was enough to stop me in my tracks.
Was this a joke? A gag card, perhaps?
No. It's legitimate. It's what he believes in.
"I believe in God," I said. "How is this, how are we… ?"
He chuckled and said, "We can talk about this over dinner ... tomorrow night? I'll explain everything. It's totally cool. You'll understand."
"No, no, no! We're talking about this nowwwww! I'm no angel but this is creepy." I was so agitated, I stomped my foot in frustration, and threw a temper tantrum worthy of a kindergartener right there.
In the meantime, my Harry Potter fan friend was patiently waiting for me to give her a sign as to how I wanted my night to end.
Was I staying with him in downtown or was I going back home with her?
As he tried to cajole me and make plans for a dinner date, all I could think about was "Why, God? This great guy... he's into this?"
I knew in my heart I couldn't handle it.
He walked me to the car, and as we got in, he blew me a kiss and promised to call me tomorrow.
No, you won't, I said to myself, because before we hit the 110, your number will be blocked.
I should have known we weren't going to have a first dance.
L.A. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles. If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at LAAffairs@latimes.com.
MORE L.A. LOVE STORIES …