Him: Oh, hi.
Me: I noticed you from across the room.
Him: Oh really? Is that so?
Me: Yeah. I was looking at you, here and there, when I was chatting with my friend.
Me: Yes. Here and there… intermittently… Same thing.
Eryc Perez de Tagle
Him: You were looking at me? Weird.
Me: I think we were looking at each other. You kept making eye contact with me.
Him: Shut UP! I did NOT make eye contact with you!
Me: Oh, okay. I must have misread it. I was trying to make eye contact with you because you’re cute. I thought you were making eye contact. My bad. Cheers.
(I turn to go)
Him: STOP IT!! I was looking at you.
Me: Oh. I thought so… But then why… never mind. How are you tonight?
Him: Whatever. This bar is whatever, don’t you think?
Me: I can’t disagree, given the vague parameters. This bar IS whatever.
Him: “Vague parameters??” Who talks like that??
Me: I do… intermittently. (pause) Get it?
Him: No. Was there a joke?
Me: You made fun of me for using a complicated, pedantic word phrase, and I brought up your earlier use of the word ‘intermittently.’ I thought it was funny.
Him: It wasn’t funny.
Me: It wasn’t funny, ‘haha.’ It was funny, ‘ironic.’ In any case, I have to keep trying.
Him: Oh? Why’s that?
Me: I just do.
Him: What do you do? For a living?
Me: Uh oh. This never goes well.
Him: Oh, come ON! It can’t be that bad. Are you a prostitute?
Me: At my age? No. I’m a comic.
Him: Oh, I don’t like that at all. But what do you do for money?
Me: That’s what I do for money. I’m a comic. I book gigs at colleges and regional theaters and I perform around town doing various stuff, and I teach at and direct the musical program at The Magnet theater.
Him: Magnet Theater? Never heard of it.
Me: It exists. I promise.
Him: How old are you?
Me: Oh man. You’re young aren’t you? I hate answering this question. I’m 36.
Him: That’s okay. I meet old people all the time.
Me: Thank you. We all thank you for charitably spending time with us.
Him: Oh it’s not charitable. I’m charging.
Me: Isn’t that cute? Do you remember seeing me take my heart pills? I can’t seem to remember if I took them or what…
Him: I don’t want you telling jokes. I’m not sure I see myself spending time with a comic.
Me: Right. That’s the second time you’ve said you don’t approve of my occupation. I get it. You don’t like it. What do you do?
Him: I go to Pratt. I’m a visual artist.
Me: Oh, that’s really cool!
Him: No, it’s not. I hate art.
Me: You do? Why would you devote your life to it, if you hate it?
Him: It’s not who I am, it’s just my work, you know?
Me: Not really. Comedy is a lot of who I am. I have my days where I am good at it, but I don’t particularly like doing it, but those days are rare. Usually I really like doing it. I’m not getting rich here, so liking it is pretty important to me.
Him: Yeah, I just don’t like the idea of me becoming friends with a comic, you know? Doesn’t really fit in with my view of what I should be doing with myself.
Me: Thanks for your honesty. I am going to walk away now.
Him: WHY?? Stay here and talk to me!!
Me: I don’t know why I should. You’ve gone out of your way to insult my profession three times. You’ve called me old, and you’ve expressed doubt that you’d even like me much, if you got to know me. I might just quit while I’m ahead. You’re super cute. Have a good night.
Him: Let me buy you a drink. Will you drink a gin and tonic with me?
Me: Um… I mean usually I wouldn’t, but I want you to have to pay money for this conversation to continue, so yes. I’ll have one.
Him: Two gin and tonics, please. Let me explain myself. I think you’re attractive – that’s why I’m standing here. But my worldview is complicated and I don’t define myself by being an artist or a Pratt student so I don’t know why you have to run around going ‘I’m a comic’ all the time.
Me: You asked me about it. You asked what I do.
Him: Even so. I don’t like comedy, and I think it’s uncool and annoying, and I’m trying to counterbalance my attraction to you with your age and choice of profession.
Me: Honesty. I like that. Keep going please.
Him: Also, to be perfectly honest, there’s a boy here tonight that I’ve been working for a few dates now, and I want to try to seal the deal with him. Talking to you might not be the smartest thing.
Me: And yet here we are. Okay. Did you pay for the drinks?
Me: Thanks for the drink. I’m going home. I should have gone home an hour ago. You’re a real charm boat.
Him: Don’t leave like that.
Me: You’re super cute, but you’ve been pretty rotten to me. I’m going to bed. Have a good night.
Him: Come ON!!!
(surprise ending: I do not come on. I go home alone and sleep like a baby.)
Kristen Yoonsoo Kim