“I wish you luck on your quest,” my sister told me, after I told her I wanted to befriend a cute girl at the gaming meetup.
And I think I’ve had pretty good luck so far.
For the past several weeks, I’d been friendship-flirting with her — striking up conversations with her when possible, walking to our cars together after the meetup, generally trying to spend time with her more than anyone else there.
When I finally built up the nerve and blurted, “I want to be your friend. Can I have your number?” she got this big smile on her face and said she’s been feeling the same way but was glad I was the first to ask, which was just so precious it hurt my bitter shriveled soul.
So since then, we’ve been texting each other some and hanging out now and then. We went shopping together at a place north of here. I invited her over to play one of my video games (Amnesia). She’s even given me some of her old clothes — her unwanted “guy clothes,” because she’s trans.
Last night, I invited her over to my place again. But I had a little bit of a conundrum. I wasn’t sure if she’d liked Amnesia last time, and although I’d already made it known that I wanted her to try Dragon Age II, I was very wary of steering her too much.
See, she’s a very nice person. The very swayable kind of nice person. We’d already done the “What do you want to do?” “Well, what do you want to do?” dance once before. I’d gotten the impression that asking “Do you want to do X?” would end with her quickly agreeing to do X, regardless of her organic feelings about X. So if I wanted to find out what she actually wanted to do, I was facing a problem.
When she arrived, after some dallying, what I tried was asking a string of questions one after another, to provide suggestions but also make it clear that I was giving her options rather than expressing a preference. “So what do you want to do? Do you want to play Amnesia? Do you want to play Dragon Age? Do you want to listen to Hamilton?”
She didn’t know what Hamilton was, so I explained a tiny bit about it and told her I would play the first song for her. We got sidetracked and ended talking a bit about music for a while. It was good interesting conversation and all. When it exhausted itself, though, I was back to the same impasse. So I tried my previous strategy again.
“So what next? We could play Amnesia, or Dragon Age, or listen to more Hamilton, or I could show you the ropes…”
“Show me… the ropes?” she echoed, confused.
“Yeah, the ropes. They’re right over there.” And I pointed to one of my shelves, where I house my bundles of rope.
She thought this was hilarious. She asked me if I had bought myself some rope just so I could make that joke.
As funny as that would be, that’s not what I bought it for, so I began to show her what I’d bought it for with a few examples — tying a double coin knot and then demonstrating a futo tie on myself, which I had initially described as “tying my leg to my leg.”
She thought the futo looked pretty cool, so I offered to show her how to do one on herself.
So there we were, hanging out on my bed chatting while my new friend has her leg tied to her leg. At a couple different points in the conversation, I tried to cue her to let her know she could take it off, in case she was waiting for that kind of cue or opportunity (I sometimes get stuck in that kind of situation, where I’m not sure when to transition or end something). She didn’t want to take it off. “I like the way it feels.”
At some point, we started talking about what could be done with the excess rope left at the end, just hypothetically, and one of the things that came up was using the excess to make a wrist cuff, or “tying your hand to your leg to your leg,” which was funny to me purely because of the chain of words. That sort of thing isn’t as easy to do by yourself, though (which is why I always practice column ties on my ankles).
And then she held out her wrist to me.
I wasn’t sure if I was understanding correctly, so I just kind of went, “Huh?”
But, as I had initially suspected, she was asking me to tie the rope around her wrist. It was kind of difficult to do that with the two running ends instead of the bight end (since I’m a novice, bear in mind, who only knows a few methods) and I ended up giving her more slack than she wanted.
With the way it all ended up, she remarked that she could probably play Dragon Age while tied like this.
So that’s what we did next.
I commented on different characters and explained some game mechanics while she created a new character and started a new game, figuring out the combat system along the way. All while her mouse hand was leashed to a futomomo.
After a little while of that, though, she did need it untied so she could stretch her leg out.
And we ate some food she’d brought and played a card game she’d brought and it was good times.
I have some diverging thoughts about what you could take away from this little anecdote, but for now, I’ll just leave it at that.