Tinder, Philadelphia

I took a half a tranxene to stop myself

from binging and picking my skin, and my jaw

is still clenched. December… that’s a ways from now.


I’m trying to lose weight, but have to stop

getting shit-faced from drug interactions,

expensive mixed drinks, and weed chocolate.


I checked out orthopedic surgeon’s tinder

for another look at the face I’d seen twice,

hazy in mind. A part of his bio changed.


“I don’t usually do this either,”

I replayed in my mind, then imagined

Tinder, Philadelphia. “6’5,” he wrote.




Sure, I’ll Drop By

The Allways Lounge put on “Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story” last night. After asking some friends to go, I asked a tinder acquaintance if he was free for something a bit out of his comfort zone. This guy is named Josh, he’s from Chalmette, and he seemed interesting enough. Coincidentally, he was next door to Allways at a karaoke bar named Kajun’s. Against the better judgement that my promiscuous sexual experience the previous night provided for me, I decided to drop in to meet him for the first time. I ate some weed chocolate and half an off-brand frozen pizza, threw on some clothes and headed out the door. At Kajun’s I found my older cousin Dan drunkenly dancing near the bar. He was surprised that I was out alone, so I told him I was there to get a drink and meet someone briefly before heading to the show next door. That someone, Josh, happened to be in his party. He warned me against him, saying “That dude’s a dick. Just letting you know.”

Some time after I arrived, Josh came from the outdoor patio. He was about 6′ 1, thin, with an angular face and brown eyes. He gave me a hug and said hello. Dan gave him a threatening look and pointed from his eyes to Josh. We spoke very little, even less than I did with the group of friends he was there with. I made more than small talk with the hostess in drag about her experiences growing up in the 9th ward and spoke with the girl who was in the party with the boys. She explained that “All these guys think you’re beautiful. I don’t understand why, but I have like, the brain of a guy, and I can just translate what they’re saying. They say ‘I would hit that,’ but all these guys think you’re gorgeous.” I thanked her for the translation and told her I didn’t have that skill, and actually just hear a bunch of guys talking about who they want to fuck. She told me she wanted the guy she was sitting next to, just for kicks and nothing more. He was a cute guy and clearly knew it. Each time we spoke he stared directly into my eyes, and I stared right back. Fuck boy. On the other hand, she was really something—sweet and open, and totally wild. She danced on the pole in the middle of the room and twerked toward the karaoke singer, oozing sexuality in even the most benign conversation. She told me how good she is at giving blowjobs and how every man she’s met hasn’t been able to get her to cum by going down on her. The guys were listening intently, and I chimed in occasionally to validate her with something meaningless and impersonal. I looked over to Josh now and then, each time to find him looking a bit embarrassed. His friends talked about cunnilingus for ten minutes at least, and he had no input.  The weed was kicking in, and I had a couple of drinks in me. I was in my element, and as usual, when it matters the least, I find the side of me that excels in social situations. A few more hours and clever conversations later, everyone was ready to leave. Josh asked if I’d like to go over to hang with everyone. I said “Sure, I’ll drop by,” decidedly missing the play at Allways.

When I arrived at the house, everyone was lounging around watching television except Josh. I spoke with the drunk and high brothers sitting next to me and sent Josh a message asking where he was. He was upstairs, apparently expecting me to go up there. I asked if he was feeling antisocial, and he said he was brushing his teeth. Eventually he surfaced and sat near me on the sofa, still not touching me at all. The guys in the house ran around and railed on each other, giving me the impression of a fraternity house. I texted my best friend about my opinions on the Chalmette boys I spent the evening with, all clearly trying to get into the nearest pants they could find. The only one who showed some evidence of a frontal lobe and less obvious interest in fucking me was Josh. He explained that he was cleaning his room, trying to make it more presentable. I told him he should show me all that work he did, so we went upstairs.

When we got there, I kept my shoes on. He got under his blankets, clearly exhausted. I told him I should be going because he had to get up early. He convinced me to stay, so I took off my shoes. We made small talk for a long time, at least 3 feet away from each other. Eventually I laid down next to him and we talked that way. He talked about his family and his plans for the future, all of which were laced with the concepts of providing, of being stable and giving back to his family, things rarely considered by the men I typically date.

The night is hazy, and little memories float to the surface here and there as I’m writing this. I can’t remember what made it happen, but he put his arm around my waist and we kissed. His breath smelled like garlic, and our kisses didn’t seem natural. We rolled around, biting each other’s lips and gripping each other’s hair. He was aggressive, holding my hands behind my head or holding my neck firmly. He unbuttoned my shorts, and I told him things were going a little fast. He said “You’re probably right,” and we continued kissing. His hand entered my waistband and I told him I might as well take my pants off. He was rough and misguided, but it was still pleasurable. I sat up and rolled us over, unzipping his pants. He said “We don’t have to,” and I said “I don’t think we should.” We teased each other some more over the next couple of hours, rolling around and going down on one another. I told him facial expressions and mannerisms give such different character to people than you could ever predict from photos. He asked if he was different than I expected, and I said no, not really. He told me I’m different in a good way, down to earth among other things I don’t recall. He said he was glad we didn’t fuck, and “Let’s take it slow.”

Josh asked if I wanted to stay, and I debated it over the next few minutes, eventually deciding to leave. I picked up my stuff and told him he could stay in his cocoon, that I could find my way out alright. He said he’d walk me out and kissed me meaningfully at the door, saying “I’ll text you tomorrow.” On my drive home I received a message from him that said “Good night,” and responded with “Sweet dreams.” I got to bed at 2:30 AM and woke up at 1:30 PM to a good morning text telling me he’s glad we met, and he had fun.

The Second Date

In Zeitgeist, we sat far apart on the sofa, both watching a documentary on Midnight Express, a movie neither of us had seen. I knew we should have been closer, so when I got up to use the restroom, I came back and sat very close to him. He grabbed my hand. I picked up his arm and put it over my shoulders. Our faces were turned toward the film, but my mind was elsewhere. I whispered and asked him what he’d like to do after the show. Finally, at the end of the movie, he turned to me and kissed me. We brushed each other’s lips and nibbled on each other until the director and producer of the film came to speak with the audience. He sat close, his hand on my thigh.

After the movie, we walked to a bar nearby. The bartender was in a dispute with a drunk and entitled customer about respect, and we exchanged entertained looks. The bartender engaged us in conversation about his customers, about his daily routine, and other too-personal topics. He asked if I wanted to walk around some more, and I told him we could go to his place. He looked a little surprised, but responded with something along the lines of “of course.” We got to his place and snuggled up again, no prompting of affection available. We searched for movies and put one on. Moments after it started, we were kissing again, tugging at each other’s flesh and hair. I straddled him and tangled my hands in his hair as we pushed against each other. He asked if I’d like to move to his room.

There, we peeled each other’s clothes off. He pulled down the shoulders of my lingerie and slid it down over me. He kissed down my chest and stomach. We rolled over and I asked if he was recently tested. He assured me that he was. He said he’d have to go look for some condoms if we decided to use one, and we looked at each other for a second before I shook my head and said “Ok.” We wrapped our naked bodies together, pressing against each other’s lips. We went to sleep like that. He’s a heavy sleeper and snores a little, but he looks sweet asleep. His body hair creeps up, untrimmed, to his neck. When his alarm went off for his pre-departure breakfast with friends, we laced up again, kissing and feeling the warmth of each other’s bodies. We fucked again and laid there for 20 minutes, talking about nothing meaningful, and then it was time for him to shower and leave.

He said goodbye, that he’ll be back in December, and we should do something together when he gets back.