Maybe We Can Stay This Way

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I can see him underwater the next lane over. He appears sharper through goggles than a person might in the real world. More vivid, bobbing, floating next to me. Ethereal and handsome -he is young, no older than 30, and lithe.

He has been swimming short, nearly frantic sprints – whereas I’ve been plodding along, more even paced, for the better part of a mile. I’m taken with him, the way you can only truly be taken with someone beautiful, who has yet to open their mouth.

And, he is beautiful. He’s a perfect, carved-from-renaissance-marble, Grade A thirst trap. His punk rock British flag speedo clings desperately, ephemerally to his human perfection, but he comports himself across the pool in semi-awkward fits and starts. Even this spastic swimming style has a way of wearing well on his frame. Strong, and broad of shoulder, his body is glossy – cut from sinew.

He seems almost unconscious of his phenomenal good looks, but that particular air has to be cultivated. You can’t pass through life that gorgeous and not have some sort of self awareness, can you?

I decide not to approach him. Having gamed it out, I’ve concluded – it can only end in disappointment. Either he’s arrogant, or an idiot, or not gay, or gay, but not into dudes in their 40s.

Or, even more likely, he’ll sniff out my own arrogant idiocy a mile away. I’ve run the numbers; it’s grim.

If it can’t end well, a professor of mine used to say, it’s better not to start at all.

I come to this decision about ten minutes after he gets into the pool, which, in a way, frees me up to fully enjoy his presence. Once I realize I’m not going to approach him, I stop being preoccupied with HOW I might do it – stop trying to rest at the wall conveniently next to him, stop trying to show off speed, or endurance, or form. Letting go of the possibility of meeting him frees me up to simply enjoy the model-of-human-perfection sharing these deserted three lanes with me.

And I do enjoy it. It’s a small joy to swim next to him – even though he thrashes a bit too much on his freestyle sprints. The whole thing seems a bit surreal, like a Dali painting maybe, or like we’re floating in space. He has faded, teal-yellow hair which might have lived a vibrant former life as a true indigo.

We continue like this for another fifteen minutes. Like astronauts but more graceful. Like dancers, but less. Being so close, almost naked with him is having an effect on me. I feel safer, smarter, more graceful, even better looking. I start to wonder if maybe I will approach him after all. Maybe, I think to myself, he only speaks some Eastern European language. Maybe we can stay this way forever, only ever communicating the most basic things to one another. Are you hungry, my beautiful darling? Are you cold? Thirsty? Would you like to have frantic, rowdy sex on this sectional sofa?

But, suddenly, he is gone. I see his smooth body slip up and out – breaking through the undulating ceiling of our small, shared universe – nullifying it. Canceling out the whole experience. A moment ago he existed, luminous, flailing, pulsing next to me in the water. Now, he doesn’t exist at all. Now, he’s just a symbol of a few brief, quiet, joyous moments. Something for me to write about later. A memory.

Good, I think to myself.

I can finally take a piss.

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The Heroin Addict’s Wife

I’m sorry I didn’t text you back. A walk sounded nice, and if I’m being honest the weather was absolutely perfect for it. Right after sunset. Right between the day’s heat and the night’s chill. I couldn’t really find the energy for it, somehow. At the time I was driving past a thick, imperious column of smoke on the 105 – a textile factory caught ablaze in Lynwood.

I spent the morning glued to Facebook – so many women coming forward with testimonials about assault, abuse, rampant misogyny in show business, and also a friend posted about National Coming Out Day in a poignant, cogent way. He used to capitulate to homophobic banter in an effort to hurry it along, to move past it with blushing self-consciousness, to bury it. The eye contact he would make with women afterward. Conspiratorial acknowledgement of a darker, unsaid truth between them. Mutual ill feelings creeping up spines – forcing laughter together at homophobic jokes or hyper-masculine energy that, unchallenged, goes way too far. A shameful, empty feeling as one contributes to one’s own subtle oppression. Awfulness.

I’ve been incommunicado and that’s nearly unforgivable. I was billing hours at Renata’s house. She, a budding, bubbling teenage girl, just coming into her own special, savage power. A bright light, affable, funny, outgoing. A charmer.

I would have answered your FaceTime request, but there was apocalyptic traffic today. Google maps showed a red line all the way past the downtown area, and I was suddenly overtaken with a taxing, almost leaden exhaustion. Nearly falling asleep at the wheel, I pulled off near Rosecrans into a 7/11 parking lot, parking in a sliver of shade beneath a billboard advertizing the Hustler Casino. Liz Flynt encouraging people to “Play Harder.”

I got the Snapchat ping – you sent me a short video, but I didn’t get a chance to look at it before it went away.

The 7/11, the angry plume of smoke rising like a bomb blast, blotting out the distant horizon. Barely able to keep my eyes open, I eased the seat back. For a while I thought sleep would overtake me. Strange, absurd visions – fantasies played out before my darkened eyelids. I couldn’t let go of sweet Renata, of the sour smell she lives in. The rankness. Inky, dark, tar-like paths cut through her apartment’s wall-to-wall carpeting. Years of oily, dirty feet tracking filth – grinding it down. Let’s be honest, if you steam cleaned that carpet you’d regret it for a week – the smell would send folks running for the hills.

I got your follow-up text. I’ll read and respond, I promise.

Renata in my mind, bringing consciousness back. Padlocks on the doors, the colony of ants, unchecked, unfettered in the bathroom, the mini fridges in each of their rooms  guarding the spoils of their monthly CalFresh benefits. Her father, moaning and shouting in the next room, (Is he drunk; it’s the middle of the afternoon?!) unintelligible even to Renata herself. She doesn’t mind. She’s glowing.

She loves when I visit, she says; I remind her of The Great Gatsby.

I saw your shout out on Twitter and I blushed at the compliment, thank you. I owe you a few likes and maybe even a re-tweet –  it’s just at that particular moment I was reclining in the 7/11 parking lot and trying to nap during an early rush hour, and it all came over me at once. The reality of Renata’s situation. Her low probability of succeeding her way out. The generational poverty morass she was born into – a life lived next to the steaming churn of a factory down by the harbor. The lowness. The squalor.

Hot, salt tears splashed suddenly, my body wracked with spasms. A gasp. A stone sewn into my heart, my gut shook to pieces. The slow tick of the Toyota engine in the heat of the cracked asphalt parking lot.

Your WeChat message came through, darling, but I was baking in the desert sun, prosessing, purging. There was a time I prided myself on having “integrity of communication.” I responded to every email. Answered every single text. I’m sorry, but I’m just not that person anymore. That isn’t me.

This afternoon, as Renata and I were trying to cobble together an outfit to wear to her job interview, there was a rapping at the window. A wizened, crone-like woman, seemingly carved out of driftwood, tapped away at the thin, sliding windowpane. Oh, Renata said, smiling with a shrug, that’s the heroin addict’s wife. She pays my dad 100 bucks a month to park her van in the back yard. She lives back there with her husband. Renata slid the window open. The heroin addict’s wife wanted to charge her iPad.

I rejected all your calls and powered my phone down. I sobbed and squeezed out all of today’s terror into a compact Japanese car in a 7/11 parking lot.

Forgive me, I  whispered into my black, sleeping iPhone.

Forgive me, I haven’t been myself lately.

-3

Nobody cares at 2am

 

Him: We should have shots! Have you ever had a Bitchy Drag Queen?

Me: No. I mean, yes, but no.

Him: What? You’re weird.

Me: I know. So tell me more about you. What’s your dating life been like, so far?

Him: Oh. I like older guys. Older. Like, you’re probably too young for me. Like older guys.

Me: I get it.

Him: Old. Like much older.

Me: Okay.

Him: Like the last guy I had really good sex with was 50.

Me: Okay. Yes. I get it.

Him: But he was ripped,  you know? And hot. Older guys are hotter.

Me: If you say so. I’ll buy it, I guess.

Him: There’s something else about older guys too…

Me: What’s that?

Him: They don’t seem to care. 

Me: About what?

Him: I can’t put my finger on it. It’s like they’ve been there already, and they’re not worried about impressing you, and they’re not hypersensitive about your opinion.

Me: Yeah. Young people can be like that.

Him: I hate it. I have had sex with younger guys and it’s always a shit show.

Me: Why?

Him: Take your pick. They’re not good at sex. They get their feelings hurt at the drop of a hat. They don’t care about your feelings at all though.

Me: Ha. I knew a poet like that once.

Him: Really?

Me: Yeah, he would go on and on about how shy and fragile and sensitive he was, but he was only sensitive to his own feelings, not yours. He didn’t care at all if he’d hurt or disappointed you. Actors can be like that too, to an extent.

Him: Comics too, I bet.

Me: Comics are different.

Him: Why?

Me: Because they’re real people. If anything, their flaw is that they care too much, and cover up by being clownish, or sarcastic.

Him: I don’t think that’s true.

Me: I’m probably wrong. I frequently am.

Him: Stop it. You’re so crazy. I like older guys. Nothing can phase them. They’re like rocks.

Me: Well yeah. They were your age, and they were pretty, sensitive, talented, relevant.

Him: They still are.

Me: Maybe, but then 15 – 35 years of awful, coarse, wonderful, terrifying, giddy, disappointing, enlightening  things happened to them. And now they’re different. And also tired. I’m tired a lot more often than I used to get.
But I also work more than I ever did, so I guess I earned my tiredness.

Him: See?

Me: See what?

Him: See, that’s something that a young person would never say. ‘I earned my tiredness.’ That’s what I like about older guys. They’re real. Not like young guys, who are petty, and awkward, and selfish. They’ll spend the night dancing with you, and then buy you a drink at the end of the night, and if you get drunk enough they’ll make out with you. But they don’t really want to get to know you. They don’t care about you. They’re only ‘having an experience’ for the night. And they’ll pretend to care. But nobody does. Nobody cares at 2am when you’ve had too many Midori sours and you just need a friend.  But an older guy will…

Me: Midori sours? Why would anyone…

Him: I’ve tried to reach out to them. They suck, okay?! I’ve tried to open my heart to younger people but they don’t know how to take that gift and make something of it. They just eat it and shit it out and wonder if there’s more. Or worse, they hope there isn’t more. I’m so tired of having a significantly affectionate date with a younger guy, only to have sex with him and then have him desperately try to distance himself from me the next day. Where are those shots? We need shots!

Me: We don’t need shots. I’d say we’ve had plenty.

Him: Then take me home.

Me: How about I get you a cab? I like you but you’re a little wasted.

Him: When will I stop being young? I hate it.

Me: Believe me, it’s a curable affliction.

Him: Take me h-ohmygod you just flagged a cab down! What a jerk.

Me: You’re wasted and I have to work in the morning.

Him: Jerk.

Me: I know.

Him: You’re a jerk.

Me: I know.

Him: You’re also old.

(pause – two short blasts from a car horn)

Me: I know. Now go home.

Him: See? Nobody cares at 2am.

Me: Nobody does.

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.

FriDATE: Not Going to Lie

Him: So, I’ve noticed something.

Me:  What’s that?

Him: Just that things are different this time.  You’re behaving differently this time around.

Me:  Oh, no…  it’s not –

Him:  And I’m not going to lie…

Me:  Are you sure?

Him:  What?

Me:  I was hoping we might lie to one another.

Him:  You’re an idiot.  I was going to say that I’d be lying if I didn’t notice your change in attitude this visit, and in all honesty, I’ve been linking it to my own negative feelings about myself…

Me:  What?

Him:  Just…  It’s been making me feel unattractive, or inadequate otherwise.  Which is CRAZY, Michael.  Just crazy.  Everyone  loves my personality.

Me:  Myself included.  You’re a great guy.  Very fun, and funny and super attractive.  Don’t do that to yourself.

Him:  I don’t know how else to explain this distance I feel from you.

Me:  I’m doing this to everyone these days.  I’m sorry.  Look, I’ve been feeling pretty depressed lately, and somehow that’s making me withdraw from quite a few people.  I’m sorry.  It has nothing to do with you.   You’re very attractive and all, but I just don’t feel like being physical right now.  With anyone.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with me….

Him:  If you wind up committing suicide can I have your ukulele?

Me:  Of course you can.  Not the big one that I play onstage, but the smaller one that I use for composing – sure.

Him:  Thanks.

Me:  BUT.  Only if it’s a suicide.  If I die of natural causes you get nothing.

Him:  Of course.  I understand.

Me:  Look.  I’m sorry I haven’t been as physical with you as I was before, but I’m really glad you’re here.  You’ve been a lot of fun, and I’ve had a good time with you.

Him:  Me too.

Me:  Good.

Him:  Hey.   Don’t freak out, but I love you, okay?  Not in some grandiose romance movie sort of way, but just in the way that I know I’ll care about you for my whole life, and that I hope to have a very close friendship with you.

Me:  Okay.  I feel the same way.  I have a whole lot of fondness and respect for you, and hey…

Him:  What?

Me:  I think you’re funny.

Him:  So are you.

Me:  Okay then.

Him:  Thanks for chatting.

Me:  Should we play some Skyrim?

Him:  YES!!

Me:  Okay, but don’t go around pickpocketing people in broad daylight, or attack the town guards just to get a rise out of them.

Him:  Callista does what she wants.  She’s a renegade.

Me:  You’re impossible.

Him:  You’re a jerk.

Me:  I know.

 

Letters

photos by allison michael orenstein

Hi there,

I was bumming around on the internet and found a link to your entirely amazing blog. My plan of heading to the library and working collapsed completely as I got more and more dragged into your site. It’s now half past 5 in the evening in the UK and the only time I have left my bed is to get a pint of sugar and caffeine just so I could read yet still more of your blog.

I am not normally the sort to get vocal at what happens to gay people, despite being a politically active gay man. I have other causes that I spend most of my waking hours working on, and tend to leave the LGBT fight to others. But this week has been different. The Pope ragged all over us, Canada just tried to effectively divorce thousands of gay couples and a young boy in London has been made homeless because Facebook outed him to his parents. I was at a low ebb frankly. And then I found your blog.

The pies, dates and NY city life are hilarious and wonderful enough, but when you talk about shame and alienation, you talk directly to my own thoughts and feelings. We need more and more people like you at the head of our communities around the world, inspiring young gays to challenge the worlds around them, and yet remember their humanity. When you talked about respect needing to be the opening of dialogue and the formation of a better society, you spoke absolute truth. To find absolute truth anywhere is rare enough, but for it to be surrounded by wit, hot boys and some tasty looking pies is amazing. Though perhaps, it’s more inherent in day-to-day life than anywhere else.

Anyway. Please keep spreading the good word. I can only hope that you, your band and your blog are seen by more and more people. You are much needed. 
With love from across the Atlantic,
Jez
(You wanker – I am British after all…)
Dear Jez,
Normally I don’t publish letters of praise, but to be honest I was having a rotten day and this particular correspondence really turned things around for me in a major way.  Thanks for the words of kindness and affection.  I’m sure I don’t deserve the praise you’ve heaped upon me – but I’ll take it anyway, if just for today, because I need a lift.
So – thanks for that.  You really made a difference.
I’m glad you agree with me – that mutual respect is crucial to an open line of communication with each other – whether we’re dealing with members of our own community, or reaching out to another one.  I’m glad, too, that you realize the importance of living without shame.  So much negativity and internalized homophobia seems to haunt our motley, diverse community – and so much of that is pointless.
If we could learn to stop feeling ashamed of ourselves, maybe we could stop pointing fingers at one another and start a more optimistic dialogue.  One based on love and brotherhood.  Acceptance.
It’s ironic.  So many Gays are quick to find fault with each other for the most minor things.  I wonder if these are the same Gays that rush to celebrate when the government begrudgingly admits that we are indeed human, and can now serve in the military?  I wonder if these Gays can see the truth behind battles like marriage equality?  Do they see that when the government ‘grants’ our right to marry, they’re actually tacitly admitting that they’ve been oppressing us for hundreds of years, and that they’ve been wrong to do so?
I guess my point is, maybe some of that internalized Gay anger is misplaced?
Wow.  I’m off on a tangent, now.
I’m glad you found my blog stimulating, and I’m glad that you agree with me – that we could all do to live with a little more respect and a little less shame in our lives.  That probably applies to straight people too, come to think of it.  Jez, thanks for writing in – you really made my day.
Jerk.

ThursDATE: Sup Bro?

Lex Millena

Him:  Sup?

Me:  Ha.  I ate earlier.  I don’t usually eat this late.

Him:  What?

Me:  Nothing.

Him:  You ate earlier?

Me:  Yeah.  You said ‘Sup.’

Him:  Yeah.  Like ‘Sup, bro?’

Me:  Right.  Like in a locker room.  Ha.  Sup bro?

Him:  Not much Bro, just chillin’.

Me:  Okay.  Me too.  Chillin’ up in Mc Carren park with a man I met on Grindr at midnight on a Thursday.

Him:  Heh.  Yeah, you like to Grindr it up?

Me:  I do.  I like social media.

Him:  Feel like grinding down on something?

(pause)

Me:  My name is Michael.

(pause)

Me:  And your name is…

Him:  Paul.

Me:  Hello Paul.  How was your night?

Him:  Pretty chill bro.  This weather’s got me antsy though.

Me:  Heh.  Yeah.

Him:  Been horned up all day.

Me:  Okay.  I get that. I hear that.

(pause)

Me:  You’re a good looking guy…

Him:  Yeah?

Me:  Yeah.  What do you do for a living?

Him:  Subway.

Me:  You work for the MTA?

Him:  Subway sandwich shop.

Me:  Your Grindr profile says you’re 32.

Him:  That’s right.

Me:  Are you a manager…  Or?

Him:  Nope.

Me:  Any hobbies?

Him:  X box.  Is weed a hobby?

Me:  I think it qualifies, why not?

Him:  You bottom?

Me:  What?  Seriously?

Him:  Is that wrong to ask?

Me:  No.  I’m fine with the question.  It’s just.  This conversation.  It’s jumping around.  Do you like working at Subway?  I love the chipoltle mayo.

(Pause.  He rests his hands on his thighs.  He glances from my eyes to his crotch and back to my eyes.)

Me:  (snort laughter)

Him: What??

Me:  Nothing.  You’re really pouring it on.

Him:  Come on bro, I asked you too meet me in the park, late at night.  You think I want to talk about sandwiches?

Me:  No.  I’m awkward.  It’s my fault.  Sorry.

Him:  You bottom?

Me:  Yeah.  Sure.  I’m versatile.  I top and bottom.  Do you?

Him:  Top only.

Me:  Ugh.  I hate that.

Him:  Why?  You like to bottom.

Me:  I know, but the way you said it.  ‘Top only.’

Him:  I only top. 

Me:  I know, but that’s annoying.  Do you suck dick, at least?

Him:  I don’t like it.

Me:  Ugh.  Yeah.  That bothers me.

Him:  Even for a midnight hook up in the park?

Me:  I dunno.  This could have been a date.   I’m not Victorian.  I can have a hook up.  NOT in the park, but presumably we both live near here.

Him:  I live with my cousin.

Me:  Sure you do.  Well I live alone, near here.

Him:  Let’s go. 

Me:  I dunno.  You’re really hot and all, but I don’t like this whole ‘top only’ idea.

Him:  Why?  What does it matter?

Me:  I don’t know.  Gets under my skin, how you said it.  There was an underlying sense of pride, superiority even.

Him: (shrug)

Me:  Plus, it’s pretty obvious you don’t want to make polite conversation for like 15 minutes before we make out and see if there’s chemistry or whatever.

Him:  I’m on Grindr because I like to fuck.  Don’t be a pussy.

Me:  Yeah.  We’re not on the same wavelength, I don’t think.  I get it.  I used to be like that too.  Just wanted to hook up or whatever, but as I get older it’s more about connection of some sort.  Even if I was on vacation in Europe or something.  I’d still want some sort of connection.  Thanks for meeting up with me.

Oh my god.  Put your dick away, Paul.

(pause)

Put.  It. Away. Moron.

I’m serious.

Him:  Do you like it?  It’s big.

Me:  It’s pretty sizable, I’ll give you that.

Him:  Do you want to touch it?

Me:  Yes, but I’m leaving.

Him:  Why?  Why not stay?

Me:  Because.  Somebody has got to stop rewarding your terrible behavior/attitude.  Besides, WE ARE OUTDOORS.  Put that thing away.

(He puts it away)

Jesus.  What an idiot. You could have gotten a ticket.  There are people over there.

Him:  Part of you thought it was hot.

Me:  It was shocking and a little hot, and terrifying.  But I’m not going to give you head and let you bone me and not get anything out of it.

Him:  What do you want?

Me:  Reciprocation.

Him:  Nah.  I don’t do that.  Not into it.

Me:  A sandwich?

Him:  I don’t have keys to the store.

Me:  Then I gotta bounce.  Thanks for the date.

Me:  Jerk.