May 13, 2016:

Absolutely ordinary Internet skeeve, back in an era when that was a new thing and the signs were obscure, although I'd have missed them either way. She wanted sex, I wanted a friend. It turned out neither liked the other.

She met me at the airport in her flirty red cowgirl boots, pinched, with blisters. Her slump was audible when I failed to kiss her passionately. For me a hug was more than fine.

I slept in her bed and she warned me, once the situation was clear, of morning wood. I'd have preferred the couch.

She drank, and her friends were smarter, cooler, and nicer than her in every imaginable way.

Years later her city turned out to be great. No way I could have known that from interaction with her. She was entirely about which parties she'd been to and which unattractive guest she'd fucked. An attentive host she was not. Legends of Southern hospitality notwithstanding.

I'm happy to be back there now with an attentive friend, a generous host who knows the cool digs and takes pleasure in sharing. Replacing unhappy memories with happy. Where there actually are genuine possibilities of connection beyond friendship, and the excitement of that promise adds sweetness to the day.