FriDATE: Tainted

photos by tri vo

Him: Ugh. I’m so full. That was good food, actually.

Me: Actually?

Him: Yeah, I was expecting it to be bad. Most people are bad cooks.

Me: Oh. Thanks?

Him: Don’t worry. It’s a compliment.

Me: I wasn’t worried. But thank you.

Him: Still. I thought there would be pie.

Me: I didn’t make any today.

Him: I wonder if your pie is any good?

Me: It’s a mystery.

Him: Should I help you do the dishes?

Me: Nah. It’s always awkward doing the dishes in another person’s house. I know where everything goes.

Him: But I feel bad!

Me: Well don’t. I invited you over for dinner.

Him: We should drink this wine I brought. I don’t like the beer.

Me: The beer’s almost gone anyway – but I better lay off the wine.

Him: Why? It’s Saturday night.

Me: I’m feeling oddly full. Like indigestion somehow. Plus I’m teaching all day tomorrow so I better just behave.

Him: Boring! I’m gonna drink this wine.

Me: Have at it.

Him: You’re acting weird. Can I look at your books and judge you on your bookshelf?

Me: Sure, but most of the stuff I really like has been lent out to people that haven’t returned it. So…

Him: That’s what I’d say too, if I were being judged.

Me: …

Him: Ohmygod. You have the Popol Vuh! Can I have this book?

Me: What?

Him: Can I have this book? Did you read it already?


Me: Uh, sure… You can have the book.

Him: No. I don’t really want it.

Me: It sounded like you did. I just had to think about whether I’m ever going to read it, and I don’t think I am. So go ahead and take it.

Him: Nah. It’s in English, and my professor translated it in Spanish. I think I’ll read it in Spanish. I don’t want to be tainted by the English version.

Me: Yes. By all means – don’t taint yourself.

Him: Ew. Why do you have Joy Luck Club?

Me: Somebody gave it to me. I thought it was a good read.

Him: It’s super racist.

Me: Really? How so? It didn’t strike me as terribly racist.

Him: Oh I don’t know. I haven’t read it. My professor says it’s racist and I believe him. I’m getting more wine.

Me: I’ve had a few Chinese American friends read it and say it was relatively close to their own experiences as first generation Americans. I don’t think Amy Tan is a member of the Klan or anything.

Him: Hm. Wow. I’m really plowing through this wine. You should have some with me.

Me: I don’t know if that’s a great idea. I’m feeling a little off. I ate this ham earlier today. It was really cheap and I think it was leftover from Easter. I’m feeling strange.

Him: Something’s wrong with the lighting in here. You need something less bright than this lamp, but brighter than this other one.

Me: I have this – flip that switch over there.

Him: Ohmygod! What is this??

Me: It’s an antique x-ray light from the 1950’s. There’s an actual x-ray in there, too.

Him: Ew. Gross. I don’t like it. I do not like it.

Me: Okay then. Turn it off.

Him: I’m pouring myself some more wine.

Me: Go for it.

Him: I’m not leaving until I finish this wine.

Me: Well you don’t have far to go.

Him: Let’s lay on your bed for a minute.

Me: Hey. You’re really cute, but I’m starting…  Feel my forehead. Do I have a fever?

Him: Um. NO. You don’t.

Me: You didn’t feel my forehead.

Him: Come on. Just lay down with me.

Me: I’m really feeling out of sorts. Like, I think I may have eaten tainted food.

Him: Ugh. Look. I’m going to be straightforward. I want to have sex. Do you want to have sex?

Me: I think you’re attractive – but I’m really not feeling well. I think I gave myself food poisoning, somehow.

Him: You’re acting irrational and weird. Make out with me.

Me: You need to work on your game.

Him: What?

Me: You don’t call people weird and irrational and then ask them to make out. Listen to me, okay? I think I have a fever.

Him: So, sex, or no sex?

Me: No sex. Probable diarrhea.

Him: Me and my friends are going dancing tonight. You should come.

Me: I. Am. Ill.

Him: Okay, cool. Am I ever going to see you again, mister?

Me: Maybe. Maybe we can hang out again…

Him: Look. Just tell me right now yes or no.

Me: This is a first date. Cool it on the ultimatums.

Him: I’m not leaving until I finish my wine.

Me: I gathered.

Him: I really like your apartment, actually.  I expected not to like it.

Me: Thank you. You’re too kind.  Jerk.