SunDATE: Pretty

allison michael orenstein

Him:  So here he is. 

Me:  So here HE is.  Look at you, small drink of water.  Good looking guy, huh?

Him:  STOP IT.

Me:  I mean it.  You’re gorgeous. Better than your pics on Grindr.

Him:  Isn’t Grindr weird? I’ve met some real creeps.

Me:  I’ve met jerks and nice people.  No real creeps.

Him: Maybe that’s because you’re the creep?

Me:  Nice.  I tell you you’re pretty, twice, and you imply that I’m a creep.  You should write a book on dating.

Him:  Uh oh.  Am I one of your online Jerks?

Me:  Are you?

(pause)

Him:  No.

Me:  Well there it is.

(pause)

additional photos:  eryc perez de tagle

Him:  Anyway, who keeps score?

Me: Of what?

Him:  Of that sort of stupid stuff?  Compliments and whatnot. 

Me:  Obviously I do.  I just demonstrated that I do.

(pause)

Me:  Relax.  I might be joking, you know…  I might just still think you’re an attractive little wonder, at 5’6”.

Him:  Stop saying little.  I don’t like to feel little.

(I’m feeling brave, and so I take a step toward him.  I put my face next to his.  I can feel the breath come out of my nose against his cheek.  He smells spicy.  Like cinnamon or ginger, but not quite those things. )

Me:  What about now?  Do you feel little now?

Him:  Yes.

(I put my hands on his ribcage and squeeze gently.  The hair stands up on my arms. Ii have goosebumps)

Me: But don’t you kind of feel really powerful?

Him:  Yes.

Me:  You’re pretty.

Him:  Ugh.

(He moves away)

Me:  Haha…  okay.  So, no saying you’re little, and I’m guessing no ‘pretty’ either?

Him:  Why not handsome?  Why can’t I be handsome?

Me:  You can.  You are.  You’re very handsome.  You’re also pretty.

Him:  Ugh.

Me:  Well the good news is: I like pretty.  So dry your eyes on that.

Him:  You’re cute. 

Me: Compliment number one.

Him:  What?

Me:  That’s the first compliment you ever gave me, in person.

Him:  Oh great.  How far behind am I?

Me:  Only a few, but I’d rather stay ahead in the compliment game, if you don’t mind?

Him:  Can I ask you a question?

Me:  No.

Him:  What?

Me:  Sorry.  That was supposed to be funny.  I said no, when the only appropriate answer was yes.  I thought it would be funny.

Him:  Was it?

Me:  Yes, but you’ll just have to trust me.  You didn’t see your face when I said it.  It was funny.

Him:  I guess I’ll have to believe you.

Me:  Good.  Because I’m lying.

Him:  What??

Me:  Sorry.  That was another joke.  That one wasn’t funny.  I get nervous and act like an idiot.

Him:  You make it charming, somehow. 

Me:  You didn’t know me in college.

Him:  Were you different?

Me:  I was nearly insufferable.

Him:  You’re pretty too.

Me:  Shucks.  Okay.  That’s two for you.  Fuck.

(long pause)

Him:  You’re not some sort of creepy Rice Queen, are you?

Me:  Uh…  I mean..  I thought that was obvious?  You’ve been to my website, right?

Him:  Yeah.  There’s lots of Asians. 

Me:  But not ALL Asians, right?  I like a lot of things.  A lot of people.  I like kind people.  Asians are kind, frequently, if you’re kind to them.

Him:  I guess that’s not so creepy.  I guess that’s okay for Asians.

Me:  Yeah.  Well I forgot to say:  I feed on their tears.  Keeps me young.  I’m like a succubus, or a psychic vampire of some sort.  I’m 183 years old.  I make them cry and then drink their salty tears.  But it only works with Asians.

Him:  Really? 

Me:  Yes.  And did you also know that Black people can levitate?  They’re hiding it from you.

(long pause.  he starts laughing a lot)

Him:  You’re joking! 

Me:  Yes.  And you’re laughing.  That means…..

Him:  What does that mean? 

Me:  It means, you get a kiss, if you want one, later.

Him:  I’ll decide later if I do.

Me: Oh.  I like that.

Him:  Really?

Me:  No.  It’s infuriating.   I’d rather you just gave me one.

(We kept talking and walking.  Later, he gave me a quick kiss.  It was a good kiss.)

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