Him: Well. It’s good to finally meet you.
Me: Yeah, we’ve been talking online for what? Few months?
Him: Yeah. Few months.
Me: I tend to do that.
Him: Really? That seems like a lifetime for me.
Me: Oh, no. I tend to do that a lot. I talk to people for a long while before meeting up.
Me: Because it’s the Internet and people are weirdos and I’m busy and some people are drug addicts. If you talk to people for an extended while, you can draw a bead on what they’re like as a person. They eventually let their flaws slip, and you can decide whether you want to meet them for real. Whether you can accept and love their flaws…
Him: What are my flaws?
Me: I don’t want to do this.
Him: No really! I wanna know how I come off on Grindr.
Me: Uh… You’re pushier and more demanding that I’d like you to be.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: It means you like to txt me at 2:30 am demanding pie and sex.
Him: I think that’s funny.
(pause, he lifts my shirt up to check to see what my stomach looks like)
Me: Classy move.
Him: OMG let’s get some shots! Sugarland is lame.
Him: Why not??
Me: Because I’ve already been to college. I don’t want to get wasted. I have to teach tomorrow.
Him: I’m on my fourth drink. Do you like your students?
Me: Very much, yes. They’re bright and buoyant.
Me: Light hearted. Good spirited. I feel lifted up.
Him: Well do a shot with me and they won’t know if you’re hungover tomorrow.
Me: No. Thanks.
Him: You suck. You’re no fun.
Me: I know that to be true. You’re right.
Him: Let’s smoke a cigarette.
Me: I don’t smoke.
Him: What were you doing outside earlier?
Me: I have to get away from the music and cool off sometimes. I’ll come with you to smoke.
(we push through the crowd and out to the back of Sugarland)
Him: You look good for 40.
Me: Oh my God thank you!!! You’re sweet. I’m not 40. Not even close.
Him: Well you look good.
Me: Thanks. You’re saying all the right things.
Him: How come you never brought me a pie?
Me: Are you kidding?
Him: No. Why didn’t you bring me one?
Me: Um. Because??
Him: Because why?
Me: Seriously? You’re serious?
Him: Yeah. I want you to come over with pie. Are you going to make fun of that?
Me: I think I am.
Me: Because. You text me at 2:30 am, asking for pie, and making requests. We’ve never met before, and you want Strawberry pie at 2:30 am. But you’re way too lazy to come get it. You want it delivered.
Him: You live in Brooklyn. I can’t go to Brooklyn, I live in Manhattan.
Me: Do you ever listen to yourself when you talk?
Him: What do you mean?
Me: Nothing. Okay. So you want me to make you Strawberry Pie and deliver it to you in Manhattan at 2:30 am, randomly, whenever the whim strikes you to txt me.
Him: You make it sound selfish.
Me: Don’t I? (pause) Do you realize, even, that it takes 4 hours to make a pie?
Him: No. You make it look easy on the site.
Me: Right. Well, nobody wants to attend a site about how grueling it is to make a pie and why you shouldn’t do it.
Him: Why are you so old? Do you want to be 40?
Me: Yes. Very much. I very much want to be 40. And 50. And 60. Why do you keep calling me 40 when you know I’m younger than that?
Him: Because you won’t make out with me.
Me: Ah. So it’s punishment?
(lifts my shirt again to look at my stomach)
Him: Let’s have a shot.
Him: You’re no fun.
Me: I’m watching the guy who asked me on a date here take my friend home.
Him: Oh. You’re on a date?
Me: Yeah, when you txted me ‘are you at Sugarland,’ you didn’t specify if I was alone.
Him: Well you said you were here.
Me: Yes, and here I am.
Him: How old are you?
(lifts my shirt)
Me: You must be kidding, right? You’re joking.
Him: No. Oh no. Don’t be sad.
Me: My date just left with my wing man. They’re going to go home together.
Him: That seems unfair.
Me: Why? Because I like them both and they both like each other more than they like me? Maybe it’s slightly unfair, but as my mother would say, you can’t interfere with chemistry. People who like each other, like each other. But yes. It sucks. For me. For them it’s great.
Him: Oh. Well… are we gonna go to have some private time?
(a long pause. i think about how to phrase this:)
Me: We’re not… No offense. You’re cute. But I don’t think there’s chemistry.
Him: But, you’re so much older than me.
Me: I know.
Him: You shouldn’t be turning me down.
Me: I know.
Him: How can this be?
Me: I guess somewhere inside me… I guess some part of me… I must be 40.