Him: Oh my God. How did you know I was here at Starbucks? Grindr said you were 71 feet away.
Me: I didn’t know. I just come here to stalk a guy, and get coffee on my work break. It’s pure coincidence that we were just chatting on Grindr.
Him: Well, sit down. It must be fate. (pause) Wait, you stalk a guy here at the Starbucks?
Me: I come here because I know he comes here, and I like to look at him.
Him: So yes, you’re a stalker.
Me: Yeah, I probably am. He’s pretty. (pause) I’m probably not going to kill him.
Him: So you’re working in the neighborhood?
Me: Yeah. On Monday and Tuesday I work in Hell’s Kitchen.
Him: So do you work every day?
Me: No, I… er… Well, kind of…
Him: What does that mean?
Me: I do a lot of things for money. Comedy, music… I teach… I make pies…
Him: Pies? Really?
Him: What’s pie?
Me: It’s pastry. It has a crust and you put fruit or chocolate or sometimes savory stuff like pork or chicken.
Him: Don’t be smart, I know what pie is.
Me: Oh. Sorry. My fault. I probably thought you didn’t know what pie was, because you asked me what pie was.
Him: Are you always this difficult?
Me: Almost without fail.
Him: I love your pic on Grindr.
Me: Thanks. I sent you the body picture too, that you requested.
Him: Mmmmm. I saw it. You’re how old? 27?
Me: No. I’m a little older than that.
Him: It’s your glasses. Your glasses make you look young.
(Pause. I take my glasses off)
Me: What about now? Do I look significantly older?
Him: Yes. You look much older now.
Me: You’re just saying that to flatter me. Charm boat…
Him: So you just want a kiss? Nothing else?
Me: That’s right. It’s something I invented – it’s called a ‘kiss date.’ I meet people online, chat with them for a few minutes and then kiss them to see if there’s chemistry. Also, I write about it online. Be careful, I might blog about this.
Him: Are you going to blog about this?
(pause. i wonder if he’s playing dumb or actually an idiot.)
Me: I might. It really depends on how we behave with each other. Do you think this is a bed bug bite? I’m paranoid about bed bugs… It’s probably just that I burned myself on the oven rack, and don’t remember it. I do that sometimes.
Him: Why were you touching an oven rack?
Me: I… make… pies… A pie is a type of pastry.
Me: You have a slight accent. Are you from the Philippines?
Him: How did you guess?
Me: The accent… Also you look like someone who has a Karaoke machine and likes illegal handguns.
Him: That’s a stereotype.
Me: I know. I’m joking. You look more like someone who would vote for an unqualified candidate from a political dynasty family that is corrupt. I’m kidding. You don’t look like any of that. I’m just being salty. I read a lot about the Philippines in the Times. They love to cover you guys.
Him: I’m not a nurse either, if that’s what you’re thinking.
Me: Don’t worry, there’s still time… The hospitals aren’t going anywhere.
Him: You’re funny, but is that appropriate?
Me: Depends. Are you going to pay me? Or shoot me with an illegal handgun for singing My Way at karaoke?
Him: Pay you for the jokes? No.
Me: Then I should stop giving it away for free. This is probably not a bed bug bite – right? It’s just a burn from the oven, I think…
Him: My family doesn’t have a karaoke machine you know. They just have a microphone.
Me: Just a microphone? Where does the music come from?
Him: It’s programmed into the microphone. You plug it in and the music comes out of the microphone. It’s like an iPod plus a microphone all in one.
Me: That sounds suspiciously like a machine to me.
Him: It’s not.
Me: I stand corrected. It’s probably more like a magic wand, and less like a machine.
(Long pause. He eyes me suspiciously for a good while.)
Me: Well, I should get back to work.
Him: Yes. Be sure to favorite me on Grindr. I’m going to Amsterdam this weekend but I’ll be back soon.
Me: Okay! Sounds good! I’d kiss you, but I’ve been drinking coffee.
Him: See you soon.
(Surprise ending: I didn’t favorite him on Grindr)