What If There’s Nothing Wrong?

photos by eryc perez de tagle

Me: So? What’s the spice?

Him: Paprika.

Me:  You’re right.

Him: Smoked paprika from Spain.

Me: Yes. Wow!

Him: Yes. Of course. You were expecting me not to get it?

Me: I guess? I… No. I dunno.

Him: I lived in Spain for two years. I can tell paprika.

Me: I like that.

Him: I feel like I should be doing something.

Me: Don’t worry about it. Sit. Relax. There’s beer. Want another beer?

Him: No. I cant. I can’t take your beer. I shouldn’t – I’m exhausted.

Me: Oh no. Really?

Him: Not totally exhausted. Just. I want to nap. Can I take a nap?

Me: What?

Him: That’s weird right? If I take a nap while you cook?

Me: Maybe…

Him: Oh, no. Forget I brought it up.

Me: What?

Him: Now it’s gone wrong. I’m sorry. Forget I said anything.

Me: You can totally take a nap if you want to…

Him: NO. You probably want me to leave, right? You can just tell me. I like it when people are straightforward.

Me: What? No. Hey. Have another beer. Do you… Can I hug you?

Him: Okay.

(we hug)

Me: I’m glad you’re here. Are you hungry?

Him: Yes! I’m getting there. I could be hungry. I’m hungry. Yes.

Me: Great. Pick at this while you wait for dinner.

Him: This is good. I like ham.

Me: You can totally take a short nap if you want.

Him: No. I’m sorry I brought it up. I’m ADD, I think. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Me: It’s okay. We’ll eat soon. You don’t have to stay all night.

Him: Why. You don’t want me to stay?

Me: No. I mean yes. I mean… You said you were exhausted.

Him: Hey. I need to use the bathroom again. Can I?

Me: You don’t have to ask. Go ahead.

Him: Sorry, I just broke the seal.

Me: What? Oh. The urination seal!

Him: Yeah. You never heard that?

Me: No, I did. It just took me a second. I didn’t know ‘the seal’ meant urination. For a second.

Him: I never heard of the ‘Urination Seal.’

Me: I was just clarifying.

Him: Well that’s not a thing.

Me: I… You’re right. But I get it.

(pause. he goes to the bathroom)

Me: Even so.

Him: What?

Me: Even so. What are you doing? When you break the seal?

Him: Pissing.

Me: So it kind of is the Urination Seal. Right? If we’re to be clear?

Him: That’s not a thing. Breaking the Urination Seal isn’t a thing.

Me: Okay.

(pause. he comes back from the restroom.)

Him: You should water that plant.

Me: Should I?

Him: Yeah, it looks sick.

Me: I watered it yesterday.

Him: Really? It looks sick.

Me: It’s doing fine.


Me: Wanna try the pulled pork?

Him: Yeah.

Me: Do you like it?

Him: Yeah. It’s good.

Me: Thanks.

Him: You’re acting weird.

Me: I am?

Him: I dunno. I’m here. I don’t know you. You could be a serial killer. You’re cooking food.

Me: I’m going to serve us dinner.

Him: I know but… You’re making me feel bad.

Me: What?

Him: I’m not doing anything. I feel like I should be helping. Or taking a nap.

Me: That’s the second time you mentioned… Do you wanna go to sleep for a sec?

Him: No. I just say what’s on my mind. I think I’m ADD.  I’m trying to fix what’s wrong with me.

Me: What’s wrong with you?

Him: That’s what we’re trying to fix. Me and my psychologist. Once I fix myself they’ll be no stopping me. I don’t like the lighting in here, by the way…

Me: Really?

Him: Yeah. I don’t like it. Too controlled.

Me: So much of life is about carefully controlled lighting.

Him: That’s ridiculous.

Me: Is it?

Him: NO.  I don’t know why I’m saying that. It’s not. You’re not weird or ridiculous. I don’t know why I’m imploding right now. Something’s off. I think I’m really ADD. I’m going to find out what’s wrong with me.

Me: What if it’s nothing?

Him: What?

Me: What if there’s nothing wrong with you?

Him: What do you mean?

Me: What if you’re just great how you are?

Him: Huh?

Me: What if there’s nothing wrong with you? Sorry. Maybe you’re ADD, that’s true. But what if you’re okay, even though you’re ADD? What if your attention span is exactly as long as your evolution in the world has taught it to be? What if your own experience isn’t flawed? What if you’re unique and deserve respect? What if the rest of the world is totally fucked and you’re okay? What then?

Him: I’m tired. Can I nap? Can I sleep while you cook dinner?

Me: Jesus. Please do.

WednesDATE: Jack of All Trades

photos by tri vo

Him:  Well hello there.

Me:  Hi.  How are you?

Him:  I’m very well.  How are you?

Me:  I’m fine.  Thanks.

Him:  You’re probably wondering what a man clearly 20 years older than you is doing striking up a conversation in a bar…

Me:  Not really.  We’re sitting next to each other.  I’m not going to barbeque you for being social.

Him:  That’s a wonderful choice.  Allow me to present my card.  My name is Jack, and I do everything.  I am therefore a Jack of All Trades.

Me:  So your card says…

Him:  I’m a singer…  I have my own vodka… And I am a concierge to the world.

Me:  Hm…  what does that entail?

Him:  Being a lot of things to a lot of people.

Me:  Okay.  I can respect that.

Him:  You probably don’t know what to think of me.  A very forward man in his mid-fifties dressed so flamboyantly…

Me:  I’m amused.  Where did you find an entirely red suit?

Him:  It was custom made for me by a friend.  I added the many pendants and broaches myself.

Me:  Good call.

Him:  Thank you.  May I skip right to the point?

Me:  Uh…  Sure…  I guess…

Him:  I noticed you have very big hands.

Me:  Ha.  I guess I do.

Him:  And in my experience -men with big hands are frequently big in other areas.  Do you follow my meaning?

Me:  My feet?

Him:  Amongst other appendages that stick out, yes.

Me:  Okay… I-

Him:  And, well…  I am an appreciator – nay, a connoisseur of the well endowed.

Me:  Heh.  You’re something else.

Him:  You have no idea…

Me:  I…

Him:  Have you ever seen a snake disengage its jaw to swallow a large egg?

Me:  On television.  Not in person.

Him:  It’s similar to that.

Me: I think I get where you’re going.

Him:  Do you?  I’m saying that I have no gag reflex.

Me:  I know.  I get it.

Him:  I’m saying – It doesn’t matter how endowed you are.  I can swallow you whole.

Me:  That’s really clear.   You’ve made that clear.  I get it.  So did you watch the Grammy awards?

Him:  I’m looking for men with big hands that can appreciate a man of my talents.

Me:  Okay.  That’s very funny.  You’re forward, and I appreciate your energy, but I’m probably just here to hang out and relax, buddy.

Him:  You know what’s really relaxing?

Me:  Oh Jesus…

Him:  Having a mature friend who understands how to fully satisfy you without wasting a drop of your precious essence.

Me:  What?  This is by far the most bizarre proposition I’ve had in at least a week.

Him:  Do you understand what I mean when I say ‘essence?’

Me:  Yeah.  I’m not an idiot.

Him:  Sperm.  I’m talking about sperm.

Me:  I GET IT!  I understand what you’re saying.  Just…  Let’s change the subject, okay?

Him:  There’s no need to get hostile.

Me:  I’m not trying to be hostile, but we’re in a public place, and I’m just trying to relax.  I want to be friendly and not rude, but I also don’t necessarily want to have an audible conversation about how you can disengage your jaw like a boa constrictor, although – sidebar:  that’s very impressive…

Him:  Thank you.  From one impressive man to another, I accept your compliment.


Him:  Did you watch the Grammy awards?

Me:  No.  I was just changing the subject.

Him:  How big is your penis?

Me:  Okay.  We’re done.  We’re not talking anymore.

Him:  I was just changing the subject.

Me:  Have a good night.  Jerk.

SunDATE: Can’t You Do Better?

Imagephotos by tri vo

Me:  Hi.

Him:  Hi.


Him:  Is that all?  Just hi?

Me:  I’m sorry.  My focus wandered.

Him:  Surely you have more to say than just hi?Image

Me:  Well, to be fair, the only thing you said was hi.

Him:  Yes, but I didn’t start the conversation, you did.

Me:  Hm.  Yes.  That’s a logical argument.


Him:  So?

Me:  Oh.  Right.  Um.  I was going to ask how your evening was going, but I got distracted.

Him:  By what?

Me:  You smiled over my shoulder, at your friend, and you looked really cute when you did that.  It took me back for a second.

Him:  Oh brother.

Me:  I know, right?  Compliments.  What an asshole.


Him:  You were going to ask how my evening was going? 

Me:  I was.

Him:  That sounds like such a canned question.  Contrived.  Can’t you do better?

Me:  Apparently on this particular evening it’s all I can muster.  What should I have said?

Him:  I don’t know – I’m not the one going up to a stranger in a bar and saying hi.

Me:  You act like I cut a huge fart while meeting the Queen of England or something.

Him:  Ha.  I like that image.  Do you watch Downton Abbey?

Me:  Yes.  Isn’t it required for urban gays?

Him:  Yes.  Finally, something I like about you.


Me:  Do you get laid often?

Him:  Finally, an interesting question.  No.  To be honest, I don’t go on a lot of dates.

Me:  Shocker.

Him:  Is it?  Shocking?

Me:  Given your behavior tonight?  Totally.

Him:  Aw.  I’m not easy.  I’m known as being pretty difficult amongst my friends.

Me:  Well…  Nothing worth while is easy.

Him:  Profound.  What do you do for a living?

Me:  I do freelance writing and I teach improv at night.

Him:  Oh, brother.

Me:  Tell me about it.


Him:  Improv, like with funny costumes and crazy wigs??

Me:  No

Him: ‘Cause I saw an improv show in Boston and that’s what it was.

Me:  They don’t let me teach the class on crazy wigs.

Him:  Good thing.


Him:  Hey, I’m going home.  Do you want to walk me to the corner and kiss me good night?

Me:  Hm…

Him:  Hm?


Me:  Well, I want to, but given your behavior I really shouldn’t.


Me:  Okay fine.

Him:  Fine?

Me:  Yeah, I’ll walk you to the subway.


Me:  Jerk.