If you're trying to be flirty with me, and you take a picture in front of your bookshelves, and they're pretty much empty, you better have either
1.) Just moved, and haven't finished unpacking yet.
2.) Just been robbed, and are about to ask me to either donate to a fundraiser to restack your library, or hunt down and kill the thief.
3.) Be in the middle of a project that means that all your books are on desks, chairs, your bed, the floor, etc.
I'm all for guys sending me pics of themselves standing in front of their bookshelves, but if I zoom in and see that their shelves aren't arranged in some sort of logical order, I'm not messaging them back.
Dude (not from today's date): Tru Test Time. What are your cat's names?
Me: Selina Ribcage and Motherfucker Goose.
Dude: Are those shelter names?
Me: Nope. I named them.
Dude: Why? There are so many Good Christian Names.
Me: Have you ever met a cat? They're all atheists.
Dude: Are you an atheist?
Me: Depends how my week is going.
Dude: Ya sound like a pussy nihilist to me.
Me: You sound like you spend a lot of time wondering why guys block you on dating sites.
Dude: I can't tell if you're being ironic.
Me: Sounds like a learning disability. Good luck.
Dude: How do you feel about the Bacchae?
Me: I'm more of an Ananke guy.
Dude: Fuck. Yea, you should just block me. I'm not on here very often, and I I only pick fights with people I think can keep up.
Me: I figured both of those things, but wanted to do my research before I blocked you.
Dude: And good day to you, sir.
Dude: "So what have you read lately?"
Me: "I've spent most of this month editing, so...nothing of consequence."
Dude: "I c."
Me: "Ugh. Really? Are you being charged by letter?"
Dude: "Sorry, Mr. Editor."
Me: "That will be on my tombstone. But 'editor' will be in quotation marks, leaving generations to wonder if it's sarcasm."
Dude: "Tombstone? It's 2017. Get cremated like an adult."
Me: "You can be cremated and have a tombstone. In fact, your whole family can fit in the size of a seventeenth century grave."
Dude: "Not me. I come from a long line of obese people."
Me: "Don't you mean a wide line?"
Dude: "Jesus Christ! That doesn't even make sense."
Me: "Again with the pro-Christianity. Why are you still bothering me?"
Dude: "I think you're pretty."
Me: "You are keeping me from getting actual work done. Unless you have something hilarious in the next three messages, I'm going to have to actually block you."
He sends a dick pic.
Me: "That's more tragic than funny, but I understand how you might confuse the two."
And then I blocked him.
There is no sexy talk that I won't diffuse. Because I don't find it anything but amusing.
Dude: "How's it hanging."
Me: "I'm ok. You?"
Dude: "How's IT hanging. I'm hanging sideways, man. I'm out in the sun and keep getting turned on for some reason."
Me: "Solar panels?"
Dude: "You sound like a dickhead. I love dickheads."
Me: "I'm just misunderstood."
Dude: "Do you have eyes?"
(I'm wearing sunglasses in my profile pic.)
Me: "No. I lost them in a freak rimming accident."
Dude: "That's a shame. I bet they were gorgeous."
Me: "I wouldn't know. Anymore."
Dude: "I'm in mourning for your eyes."
Me: "Well, next time I can't see you, we should have a wake."
Dude: "I will definitely give them some type of service. They've been through hell."
Dude: "You look grizzly."
Me: "No. But there was one involved in the rimming accident."
(After he sees my current FB profile pic)
Dude: "Where is that taken?"
Me: "The back room of the dive bar I work at."
Dude: "I run a bar!"
Me: "Well, I only run a bar once a week. Usually, I either run a comic book store, or run away from bears. Since the accident."
Dude: "The beard thing sounds ideal. You look like you'd be more into thinks. Twinks. BEAR! My texting skills ruined every part of that joke. Oh for fucks sake. Ignore all of the above."
Me: "I do prefer thinking twinks to other twinks."
Dude: "I'm not sure what I am. Not a twink. You're definitely a chicken."
Me: "Would a chicken voluntarily be involved in a sentence that includes 'rimming' and 'grizzly bear'."
Dude: "What are you then? WHAT EVEN ARE YOU? A monster?"
Me: "I did used to drink a lot of those energy drinks."
Dude: "You're like the Jimmy Carr of dating sites."
Me: "And paying taxes. Wait, are you British?"
Dude: "As fuck."
Me: "Russell Howard British or Boris Johnson British?"
Dude: "More of a Theresa May style."
Me: "As in, Brexity, or leather pants on a couch?"
Dude: "Leather pants. I'm wearing some right now."
Me: "I haven't been this conflicted in a while."
Tonight on Why Adam Doesn't Date Much Anymore Theater, a guy he's been mostly ignoring for the last four months invites him out for drinks after work so that Adam can meet some of his other friends.
Making sure to avoid topics like slam poetry, comic books, or anything political, Adam attempts to be Himself. The problem is, he doesn't really like The Guy all that much, and his friends are much much worse.
While discussing how much the Red Sox suck this summer, a particularlybro-ey dude says "I like you, you don't really talk faggoty."
To which Adam replies, "I was raised bisexual."
Which SOMEHOW leads to a four or five minute conversation in which Adam supports this lie with a series of less and less realistic anecdotes. Three of the seven people a the bar appear to realize that this is a joke (one of them being Adam, none of them being The Guy).
After the second cider, Adam leaves. He should have said something about "getting home to the wife" or "I have to go spend two hours with a woman I mistakenly had sex with, as well as her idiot friends just to balance this out." but, instead, he just says that he has to be to work at five tomorrow.
He does not mention that he has to be at work by five PM.
Actual e-mail from...I hesitate to call him an ex...a previous mistake: "did you see that gay marriage past? are you at work? i could really go for sucking a nice cock right now."
My reply: "Gay marriage has been legal in this state for a decade. I have the day off. My not-very-nice, somewhat-sarcastic cock is offended at your forgetting about his temperament, and curious if you were suggesting that if I *were* at work, you were considering stopping by the store and making everyone, including myself Very Uncomfortable."
My gift was not referring to the "past" typo. As, in his past, he has had an impressive amount of assorted jobs. Copyeditor has Never been one of them.
Going out to dinner with Jackie is like sex with your average Boston Gaysian She never knows what she wants and she's always really afuckenpologetic about it.
"I'm sorry." She says for the dozenth time. "I just don't know...well, you know. I don't know."
"Yea. Yea. Yea." We're in Moogy's, a local stoner deli that I used to hang out at with my roommates before Sora and the Slut Across The Street stuttered everything up. We would sit in the corner booth having Connect Four tournaments while the same dozen or so Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, and Dave Matthews Bands would play on repeat. What would I say Mr. Matthews? I don't know, I can't concentrate until you shut your stupid goose hole!
Tonight, instead of my roommates and neighbors I'm about to play Sorry with Jackie and Jim.
"This ought to be fun." Oh, and Paul. Paul is one of my favorite awkward straight guys (and between poetry and comics, I know more awkward straight guys than there are atoms in your average White Dwarf Star). But he's so quiet, I some times forget he's there.
We decide instead of saying "Sorry" when we we're going to send someone back to the beginning of the game, we're going to say "Jim Silverman", in honor of Jim who can't finish a sentence without apologizing.
"I'm sorry. Do I really apologize all the time?"
"Drink!" Jackie says. In addition to changing the name of Sorry, we've also turned Jim into a drinking game. Anytime he apologizes, we drink. Any time he asks for a favor, we drink. Any time he says "Hear me out on this." we drink. Any time he pauses for more than ten seconds, mid-word, we drink. We do a lot of drinking.
We are here under the guise of hanging out and writing. The truth is I've been a bit withdrawn since the whole Sora thing. And my past being a public blog, I'm pretty sure my friends are spending time with me to keep me from regretfully sleeping with half the population of Boston...again.
"Ok." Jim says. "Hear me out on this." drink "Ok? So... Sorry" drink "Adam. Adam. Are you. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, really. Getting better every time you start talking."
"I'm sorry," drink "what? Oh. Because I know a bunch of gay dudes that would totally let you bone them." He takes a sip of Miller High Life to hide his smirk.
"Jim. I'm fine. Really. Thanks, though. Dick."
"I feel like we haven't gone out together in ages." Jackie says.
"That's because every time we make plans together one of us ends up breaking up. Or getting bones broken. Or killing a kitten."
Jackie's face goes all smeary. "Fair enough."
"So...Adam. I...sorry" drink "I've got to take this." Jim says, putting his phone to his ear and walking outside.
Jackie stands up, sits down in the seat next to me and then punches me while no one is looki...
"Why'd you hit him?" Paul asks.
"Broken bones? Really? Had to go there?" Jackie asks. "Asshole."
"Well, it's true. And you were the only one who went with me to Tuatara's to celebrate Sora's twenty-first birthday, and now we're both single. Every time we get together bad things happen. Now that you live a block away from me, I fear for my life."
"What about Writers' Group nights?" she asks. "Apart from that one time we had to put your kitten to sleep, there hasn't been any drama."
"Are you kidding?" I ask. "The last time you came to Writers' Group, you ended up spending forty-five minutes sitting on a couch next to Deborah crying about your mutual ex-not-quite-boyfriend. It got so estrogenny in the room that Wiz and I started talking about Nascar just to keep our penises from inverting."
"Nascar?" Jim says, sitting in Jackie's former spot.
"Cars." Jackie says. "Driving in circles. It's all a big metaphor for Adam's sex life."
I'd punch her but she's goddamned right, and everybody at the table knows it.
Food comes, and the playlist loops, and we laugh on repeat and say "Jim Silverman" a lot, as we eat our food. And, ultimately, I win both the board game and the drinking game, and Jim, who is the only one of us not drunk, ends up driving us all home, He drops Jackie off on the way. And Paul, right. He also drops off Paul.
"So...Are you sure you're ok?" Jim asks, as we pull up in front of my house.
"Yes. Mr. Skipping CD, I'm sure I'm fine."
"Sorry" dri...right, I'm outside my house without alcohol "I'm just. Hear me out on this. If it were me..." and he, like Jackie, and my roommates, and over-the-phone Celeste, Emily, and even goddamned Ben have their stories about why they hated Sora, and why us breaking up is so friggen great for me and how now blah blah blah.
I won't be lonely over this.
Jim drives off, and I go inside and turn on my computer. Four years ago, when I was desperate to get over Ben, I'd joined an online dating service, and met a really sweet guy who, of course, disappeared into the ether after our third date. Gone so far as to move out of his apartment, stiffing his roommates, and leaving no forwarding address. I'd stayed clear of the site since.
But tonight I don't care about love. it is too early for romance. Too sex o'clock for feelings. I open my profile, update my stats, pictures, and bio, and start cruising around the Boston pages. There are so many pots of brass at the end of The Internet.
I end up mailing four guys, hoping that one of them will e-mail me back soon.
"All of them?" Jackie asks. "You're going to date all four of them?"
"Sure." I say. I have already gone out to dinner with a hot theater twink, and have plans to hang out with an exotic dancer who lives in my neighborhood. There's also a tiny dancer, and a hotel manager.
"All of them?"
"Look." I say. "Between Sora, and Ben, and David, I've spent the last five years pining over exactly the wrong guys. I don't know what I want anymore. So instead of waiting for the same type of guy to drop into my life, I'm going to start sampling a bunch of different guys until I find a new kind of guy. Someone I can be in a healthy, symbiotic relationship with."
"There's a pu pu platter joke in there somewhere."
"Jackie, there's always a pu pu platter joke, if you look hard enough."
"How exactly do you plan on keeping track of who's who? You know you're going to call one of them by the wrong name, right. And I'm not going to be there to wipe their fruity cocktail off your face."
And just like that I get the most wonderful idea.