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?
Me: Well there it is.
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.
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?
(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?
Me: You’re pretty.
(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.
Me: Well the good news is: I like pretty. So dry your eyes on that.
Him: You’re cute.
Me: Compliment number one.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)