Me: Ha. I ate earlier. I don’t usually eat this late.
Him: You ate earlier?
Me: Yeah. You said ‘Sup.’
Him: Yeah. Like ‘Sup, bro?’
Me: Right. Like in a locker room. Ha. Sup bro?
Him: Not much Bro, just chillin’.
Me: Okay. Me too. Chillin’ up in Mc Carren park with a man I met on Grindr at midnight on a Thursday.
Him: Heh. Yeah, you like to Grindr it up?
Me: I do. I like social media.
Him: Feel like grinding down on something?
Me: My name is Michael.
Me: And your name is…
Me: Hello Paul. How was your night?
Him: Pretty chill bro. This weather’s got me antsy though.
Me: Heh. Yeah. Hot and muggy doesn’t do it for me either.
Him: Been horned up all day.
Me: Okay. I get that. I hear that.
You’re a good looking guy…
Me: Yeah. What do you do for a living?
Me: You work for the MTA?
Him: Subway sandwich shop.
Me: Your Grindr profile says you’re 32.
Him: That’s right.
Me: Are you a manager… Or?
Me: Any hobbies?
Him: X box. Is weed a hobby?
Me: I think it qualifies, why not?
Him: You bottom?
Me: What? Seriously?
Him: Is that wrong to ask?
Me: No. I’m fine with the question. It’s just. This conversation. It’s jumping around. Do you like working at Subway? I love the chipoltle mayo.
Him: (Pause. He rests his hands on his thighs. He glances from my eyes to his crotch and back to my eyes.)
Me: (snort laughter)
Me: Nothing. You’re really pouring it on.
Him: Come on bro, I asked you too meet me in the park, late at night. You think I want to talk about sandwiches?
Me: No. I’m awkward. It’s my fault. Sorry.
Him: You bottom?
Me: Yeah. Sure. I’m versatile. I top and bottom. Do you?
Him: Top only.
Me: Ugh. I hate that.
Him: Why? You like to bottom.
Me: I know, but the way you said it. ‘Top only.’
Him: I only top.
Me: I know, but that’s annoying. Do you suck dick, at least?
Him: I don’t like it.
Me: Ugh. Yeah. That bothers me.
Him: Even for a midnight hook up in the park?
Me: I dunno. This could have been a date. I’m not Victorian. I can have a hook up. NOT in the park, but presumably we both live near here.
Him: I live with my cousin.
Me: Sure you do. Well I live alone, near here.
Him: Let’s go.
Me: I dunno. You’re really hot and all, but I don’t like this whole ‘top only’ idea.
Him: Why? What does it matter?
Me: I don’t know. Gets under my skin, how you said it. There was an underlying sense of pride, superiority even.
Me: Plus, it’s pretty obvious you don’t want to make polite conversation for like 15 minutes before we make out and see if there’s chemistry or whatever.
Him: I’m on Grindr because I like to fuck. Don’t be a pussy.
Me: Yeah. We’re not on the same wavelength, I don’t think. I get it. I used to be like that too. Just wanted to hook up or whatever, but as I get older it’s more about connection of some sort. Even if I was on vacation in Europe or something. I’d still want some sort of connection. Thanks for meeting up with me.
Oh my god. Put your dick away, Paul.
Put. It. Away. Moron.
Him: Do you like it? It’s big.
Me: It’s pretty sizable, I’ll give you that.
Him: Do you want to touch it?
Me: Yes, but I’m leaving.
Him: Why? Why not stay?
Me: Because. Somebody has got to stop rewarding your terrible behavior/attitude. Besides, WE ARE OUTDOORS. Put that thing away.
(He puts it away)
Jesus. What an idiot. You could have gotten a ticket. There are people over there.
Him: Part of you thought it was hot.
Me: It was shocking and a little hot, and terrifying. But I’m not going to give you head and let you bone me and not get anything out of it.
Him: What do you want?
Him: Nah. I don’t do that. Not into it.
Me: A sandwich?
Him: I don’t have keys to the store.
Me: Then I gotta bounce. Thanks for the date.
Drawing by Dan Paul Roberts