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.

(pause)

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.

SaturDATE: I’ve Already Figured You Out

Sometimes people ask me on dates.  They tend to go horribly.  These are their stories.

(Law and Order Sound Effect)

Him: Come home with me.

Me: No.  Do you think this sweater is too heavy for the springtime?

Him:  Come on.  Come home with me.

Me:  No.  It’s late and you’re drunk and I’m not and I’m tired.

Him:  Come home with me.  We’ve been flirting with each other for a long time now.  Come on.

Me:  No.  9 months is a long time?

Him:  Come on. (hails a cab)  Get in the cab.

Me:  No.  I’m going home.

Him:  Yes.

Me:  Okay fine.

(Montage:  Snuggly cab ride.  Surprised cab driver.  Deli visit for food and beer. Fumbling with keys.)

Him:  Do you want a beer?  I’m having a beer.

Me:  Yes.  I’m going to start drinking at 3 am.  Good idea.

Him:  Great, I’ll open you one.

Me:  No, wait.  I changed my mind.

Him: Fickle.

Me:  More like, sarcastic.

Him:  I like that.

Me:  I like you.

Him: I know.

Me:  Don’t worry.  I don’t get weird.  I let things develop naturally.  We’ll have two kids, one Korean girl named Ellen, and one African boy, named Sh’Africa.

Him:  Sounds like you’re telling Africa to be quiet.

Me:  I’m not.  I like the names Sean and Africa.  Sh’Africa. If anything, I think Africa should be louder.

Him:  Why?

Me: All that suffering?  Isn’t there a lot of suffering and economic inequality?

Him:  I’ve never been.

Me:  Me neither.  I’m operating on what I’ve read in liberal news media and what I’ve seen in movies like Congo.

Him:  Take your coat off.

Me:  Certainly.  I’ll just throw it on the floor here.

Him:  You’re funny.

Me:  You’re pretty.

Him:  Make out with me.

(We do.)

Him:  Take your shirt off.

Me:  Yessir.

(We take our shirts off.  Bitchin’ make out session.)

Him:  Take your pants off.

Me:  Yessir

(We take our pants off.  Bitchin’ make out session.  It’s getting hard to contain ourselves.  Get it?)

Him:  Let’s get naked.

Me:  How dare you.  No, wait.  I changed my mind again.   That’s a great idea.

Him:  Are you a bottom?

Me:  What?  Oh.  Sex?  Oh!  Sex!  Okay.  Yes.  No.  I’m versatile.  I’m the opposite of whatever your favorite thing to do is…

Him:  Then you’re a bottom.

Me:  I am indeed!

(We get naked.  Bitchin’ make out session.  Then, suddenly – he loses interest entirely. The evening goes limp.)

Him:  I was afraid of this.

Me: What?

Him:  I was afraid that this would happen.  My penis stops working after a while.

Me:  No!  Stop it!  It’s okay.  Cut yourself some slack.  You had a lot to drink.  I watched you.

Him:  No.  What?  No.  I don’t have whiskey dick.  Hahaha.  No.

Me:  What?

Him:  I have a thing that happens.  Once I get someone naked and it’s obvious that I can sleep with them, I lose interest.

Me:  Heh.  You’re funny.

Him:  Please don’t make fun of me.  It’s a real problem.

Me:  I was going to say, why don’t we just go to sleep and give it a shot in the morning.

Him:  Ha.  Right.  No.

Me:  What?

Him:  I think you should leave now.

Me:  WHAT?

Him:  It’s like this.  I already got you naked.  You already said you’d give me what I want.  It’s kind of like I’ve already figured you out.  I’m not going to be interested anymore.

Me:  What?  Heh.  Ha.  I uh…  hm…

(He starts putting on clothes.  He starts handing clothes to me.  I start putting on clothes.)

Him:  Yeah.  It’s best if you just go home.

Me:  I’m much farther away from home now than when you talked me into the cab.

Him:  I’ll call you a car.  You should go home.

Me:  No.  I’ll take the train.  I should never have come here.

Him:  Oh stop.  I had fun.

Me:  Yeah it was a blast.  You’re a real great host.  Thanks for having me over.

Him:  It’s a real problem, okay?  I have a problem with sex.  I’d appreciate some sympathy.

Me:  Awww… Sweet baby…  Hey.  I’m going to say something – please don’t take it the wrong way, okay?

Him:  Okay.

Me:  You’re an asshole.  I don’t mean like self-absorbed like me and my comedy friends.  I mean for real.  You’re a real, true, asshole.  I’m going to leave my card.

Him: What is this?

Me:  I want you to check out my site, but wait a few days…

Him:  Why?

Me:  Because when people act like assholes on dates with me, I put it on the internet.  Is that my coat?  Thanks.

Him:  What?

Me:  Yeah!  You’re famous!  Congrats!  And hey.

Enjoy playing mind games with someone else, Jerk.

(Surprise ending:  I laughed about him the whole train ride home.  I didn’t feel bad about myself.)

Advice

People have been writing me lately, asking for advice.  I’m not exactly sure why. It’s not like I’m some shining beacon of wisdom.  I don’t exactly have human relationships nailed down, either.  But people are asking, and I thought I’d answer some of the questions people ask me from time to time.

Disclaimer:  Don’t take my advice.  I’m not a doctor, or anything.

Henry, from New York City writes:

Ok so heres my deal. Theres this guy I knew from a friend in college. They went to high school together in New Hampshire. We met like ONCE, and barley spoke, became facebook friends and of course never spoke again after that. I wasn’t interested or anything at the time. But then about a month ago, he “liked” one of my comments. I was surprised because I basically forgot all about this person who I hadn’t heard of or spoken to in 5 years. I messaged him asking how were we facebook friends? He said I was super sexy for liking a certain british SciFi show, this obviously started a stream of convos. I got to the point where I felt “why not meet the fucker?” He’s good looking, nice, funny, and tall as hell. But heres the thing. Hes alil aloof most of the time and weve only talked online so far. He told me about how hes dying of an illness of a name I cant recall and may not live to 40. Now, Im one to give the benefit of the doubt and I guess I did in this situation but something tells me it could be a lie. We didn’t talk for awhile after that and then we did today, most of the day when I was at work doing nothing. He enticed me like no other, saying he wants to fuck me with elaborate detail. I was more then intrigued to say the least. But again he flaked after he said he wants to meet tomorrow. Excited as I was I realized I don’t have his number nor he has mine. When I brought that up and how id like his number, no answer. So now I have no clue what to think and I expressed these very fears to him on meeting up and he said I had nothing to worry about. Well, I can be an anxious person, so I am worried now. I feel this is not a good idea to pursue, almost to good to be true. Am I right? Does this sound totally bonkers? I don’t know what to do really. Im sure nothing but I cant stop thinking about him and it.

Thanks for your letter, Henry.

It seems like you’re dealing with a nut bag.  Let’s break down the components of his story, shall we?

1) He says that he’s going to die by the time he’s 40.  Okay, let’s assume this is true, even though it sounds like something a weirdo online would make up.  If he’s going to use this illness as an excuse to be flaky, not give you his phone number, not follow through on plans – then you don’t need to be starting a relationship with him.  Even if it’s just a sexual relationship you two are starting, it needs to be based on mutual respect for each others time an feelings.  Sounds like he has neither for you.

2) HE SAYS THAT HE’S GOING TO DIE BY THE TIME HE’S 40.  C’mon.  Ostensibly he contacted you online for the purpose of flirting?  That’s not a flirty way  of going about things.  Something about it smells fishy to me.  You don’t start off a conversation with a stranger like this:

‘Hey sexy, how’s it going?’

‘Good.  Feeling horny – I guess it’s springtime.  Or, it could be a side effect OF MY LUPUS.’

Again.  Not how it’s done.

I think you’re probably dealing with a closet case, or an attention seeking weirdo.  The great thing is – he’s let you off the hook.  If he doesn’t trust you enough to give you his phone number, then you have zero obligation to him to see him through this ‘illness’ that’s going to claim his life prematurely.  That’s my rule of thumb.    You don’t trust me with your cell number, I don’t have to care about your rare, imaginary illness.

Block his IMs.  It’s New York.  There’s plenty of prospective partners out there, no matter what kind of relationship you’re looking for.

Thanks for the question Henry.  I hope you enjoyed my advice.  And like I said – don’t take it.  I’m not a doctor.

And hey.  Enjoy living past 40, Jerk.


DOUBLE FEATURE!! Blueberry Double Crust Pie and Feta Quiche!!

I think we’re getting Blueberries from Southern California.

There are all these fruit carts in the city – just out on the sidewalks.  You can almost always find seasonal vegetables and fruits there.  My favorite time of the year is in the summer, where you can get loads of fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries and blackberries for super cheap.  They’re so ripe and fresh and they’re so abundant that they practically give them away.

But something strange happened recently.  The price of fresh berries went down.  At the end of winter.  I was skeptical, but I bought a pint.  They were fresh and delicious.

Most of the time I’m pretty conscientious about eating local grown whole foods.  But it’s the end of winter, and I’m fatigued and under sunned.  FRESH BLUEBERRIES, y’all!!!

I coudn’t help myself.  I made a Double Crust Blueberry Pie, plus a Feta, Red Pepper, Mushroom, and French Tarragon Quiche.

I put an egg wash on the pie.  Just whipped up some egg whites and rubbed it on the top crust.  Sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar, and It will make a very glossy, professional looking crust.  Wash your hands first, dummy.

The quiche came out great too.

Here’s a recipe for the Blueberry Pie Filling:

Take 3 pints of blueberries and put them in a large mixing bowl.

Add 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch

Zest one lemon over the bowl

Mix.

Put the berries inside the pie shell and cover with the top crust.  (egg wash optoional – WASH YOUR HANDS, DUMMY)

Bake at 425 for 15 min.  Turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 35-45 min.  Use your head.  You’ll be able to see and smell when it’s done.

Let it cool for two hours and then refrigerate over night.  The cornstarch will firm up the runny berry juice.

What’s that?  How do you make the crust?  Funny you should ask.  I’ll be offering classes in that very thing, shortly.

You’ll be able to come bake with me at different locations around New York City.  Sorry to be mysterious, but if you’re really dying for a lesson, I offer private baking sessions too.  Email me at piefolk@gmail.com

Enjoy the Pies, Jerks.

People Send Me Stuff

Hunter Kazorowski made this needlepoint and sent me a photo online.

People send me weird stuff online now.  Some of it makes sense, given that this is a pithy gay pie blog.  Some of it doesn’t.

But I love my readers, and you guys can continue to send me stuff.  Just not creepy stuff, okay, guys?  Seriously.  No photos of poop.  Unless, you know, it’s a miracle dump and the Virgin has appeared in it.  Then, okay.

No, wait.  Not even then. No poop.  I want zero pictures of poop.

Oh poop.  What was I talking about?

See?  This is fine.  Perfectly handsome young guy sent me a nice shot of his lean body.  It was coupled with these pies he made:

What a nice guy.  He wants to come bake with me.  Maybe I’ll let him…  He’s being pretty nice so far.  We’ll see…

I love the freedom of the internet.  I love how people are getting less afraid to live their lives openly.

I love that there’s something about my site that stirs people to send things to me.  I feel lucky.  I feel grateful.

Here’s a letter from  a guy in Montreal:

This is an apple pie,as denoted by the apple decoration.
I picked the apples myself, they are cortlands.
I have a tendency to put a blend of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon into an apple pie, a balance that does not overwhelm the apple taste is essential.
The crust also has some old cheddar in it.
It was very good, though the application of egg wash was not very uniform.
I would bake a pie with you sometime if you would like, sometime when I am in New York.
I live in Montreal, ever been?

This be me last time I was in New York.
I like your site, very entertaining.
Tell Kazu we have a very good izakaya bearing his name in the city, people are lined up out the door all the time.
Blake

Did you hear that, Little Brother?  Blake (pictured above) says there’s a good izakaya in Montreal.

Aren’t my fellow gays sweet?

This guy is pretty beautiful, right?  He lives a few states away but he wants to come bake with me this summer at some point.  Okay, I said.  Then I said, are you over 18?  Then he said, 22.  Then I said, bring ID.  We can’t have the neighbors talking, after all…

Oh yeah:  remember that artist, Lex Millena?  He finished the watercolor he was making for me.  It’s beautiful.  Lex is beautiful.

Thanks Lex.  Thanks, everyone.  You guys are pretty awesome. Jerks.


SaturDATE: Heteronormative

My name is Michael.  Sometimes people ask me on dates.  Maybe they see me online and think I’m the answer to their life problems, or lonliness.  Invariably I prove them wrong:

ThursDATE

My name is Michael Martin.  I’m a baker and a comic in New York City.  I’m gay.  From time to time people ask me on dates.  They see me on the internet.  Maybe they think I’m the answer to their life problems, or lonliness.  Invariably I prove them wrong: