So, dude’s originally from Turkey, is finishing up a grad program at USC, loves movies, classic American fiction and is able to put his words together better than me despite the fact that English isn’t his first language (and I’m digging the accent).
He responded to a posting I made on Craigslist. That should’ve been a huge flashing light there, but then again, I met my roommate on good ole CL and despite a couple road bumps with her, we are pretty damn peachy. Now I know what people have said about Craigslist and have experienced true nightmares. But the rarely browsed Misc Romance is where I posted, (as opposed to the flat out hook-up sections) and where the fellow found my posting. And he later showed me how to use an aeropress coffee maker!
We talk on the phone briefly a couple times to set up a coffee date and I found his gay accent on this side of endearing.
The morning of coffee date, he calls me saying he’s waiting on his friend to get back from being out and about because they shared a car (Uh oh #1). He asked me to be patient, and he apologized, and even though he was driving from Long Beach to Hollywood (Uh oh #2), he’d be there as fast when he could and would call me en route. A couple of hours later, said friend has returned and he’s on his way.
I get to the coffee place and there he is, the poor thing.
You know how sometimes, when you’re shopping, you see a group of people and you don’t really pay attention cause you’re trying to find the best bananas, or the fat free microwave popcorn, and then you take a second glance and you realize that the people are most likely from a group home and are on an outing? That’s what ran through my head when our eyes met.
Or didn’t meet–partly because he couldn’t maintain eye contact. He was dressed like a ten year old whose mother picked out his clothes for his school picture that day his clunky skate shoe contrasting with his wide wale corduroy pants. Now I’m not saying that to dis the poor dude. I’m no fashionista, but what I met up with in person was vastly different from who I felt like I talked to prior.
He was smart, no doubt, but most likely suffered from a mild form of autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome (my brother has autism and my mom worked in special ed for years so perhaps I’m biased; I’m certainly aware of the characteristics), but my heart really bled for the guy…once again, as much as I complain about my own dating life, it must be doubly difficult for someone with special needs, or disabled, or ___________. (Fill in your own blank.)
The date concluded at a sandwich shop after coffee where I passed on lunch, but he not only killed a footlong turkey sub, he proceeded to load up on the condiments, so it was a wet, soggy, drippy mess. Did I mention his bottom teeth were completely rotten? Rotten. And he was in such a divine state eating that sandwich but I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
That was a rough one. Partly because I felt for this guy, but mostly because it was just a flat out, gawd-awful date.
Worst. Dates. Ever.
by Derrick at 11am, Aug 7th, 2008 in dating, relationships
1 of 2.
At some point a couple years back, I told myself I’d swear off hook ups, booty calls, and friends with benefits situations for something tangible with someone significant. I had good intentions in mind and signed up with a series of online dating services that catered to the GLBT world as well as straight ones, and told myself that I’d date anyone who’d respond. I did this as a way of shaking myself free of my whatever I’d done in the past and clearly hadn’t worked.
I don’t even really remember the details about this particular dude. He was an actor, he had strangely cropped pictures taken from weird angles, but some people (like myself) get bizarre results from cameras: Either I look uncomfortable, or constipated. Or both. (Check my Flickr page for proof.)
But I threw caution to the wind, we exchanged a couple of emails, briefly talked on the phone to set up a coffee date, and off I went to the heart of the San Fernando Valley to meet up.
So I show up, look around, try to remember what he looked like and I hear my name being called. I look left…I look right, and nothing. Yet I still hear my name. And then. I look. Down.
He was a little person.
And I guess he never thought it was worthy of discussion or even letting me know that he was indeed a little person. Was I supposed to be able to tell from his canted and strangely composed profile pics?
I shrugged it off and sat down and we started talking, and this non-coffee drinker indulged in a LARGE non-fat latte. I don’t remember what happened next. I assume we started talking, or at least part of me did, because fifteen minutes in, my consciousness found its way back into my body and then I bolted from my seat, said, “I gotta go.” and peaced out.
I’m not proud of it. It was abrupt and mean, and despite the bitchiness this fag can sometimes possess, I never intentionally try and hurt anyone’s feelings, homo’s honor. But I also hate being deceived and lied to. I imagine being a little person is hard. I imagine being a gay little person is even that much harder. And I’m not saying I would imagine a love connection with dude would’ve been imminent, but at least let someone know what they’re getting into. Hell, the old me might have even given the dude some quality time, if only for the curiosity factor, but not site unseen. You gotta put a person up on game.
Stay tuned for part two. And feel free to contribute your own hell dates to the comments section. I’d love to hear about them, and how you’ve handled them.
by Derrick at 11am, Aug 6th, 2008 in not sex, relationships
I have to admit that knowing he went to an Ivy has left me a bit insecure, which I guess says more about me than him. I went to a state school but he could care less about that preferring to wrap his love around me like it comes in ribbons. Right now he’s obsessed with quantum physics or is it alternative realities; ones that may very well exist, but I just smile politely while I leaf through my celebrity rags. He gets so excited about these parallel dimensions – worlds that are just like are our own apparently, but operate independently without any of the inhabitants being wise. “It’s almost like the old axiom of the tree falling in the woods,” he says. “In our world, it makes a sound because that’s our reality. We’re conditioned to expect a thunderous crash because that’s what we know.” Seeing him so entrenched in thought, his science magazine folded in half with the tip of his finger holding his place reminded me of why I fell in love with him in the first place. He shrugs, pushes his glasses up and squints at the fine print.
We don’t argue much but we once got into it over a movie. A mother lost her only child and then plotted with a geneticist to replicate another child from the first’s remains. Or was it the one where the ten-year old android’s mother died and he wasn’t programmed or equipped with the emotions of how to cope with the loss? In any event, I pleaded with him to feel some sort of empathy, but his mind is like a computer: cold, mechanical, and set to deal with only the rational. I, on the other hand, sob openly at sappy commercials and can’t pass the homeless without handing over any spare change. I know I’m emotional, but then again, children of suicides usually are. “If you have never had to deal with loss,” I tell him, my face painted salty with tears, “then you have no understanding of what its like, David. You just…don’t.” I remember burying my mother alone, revering her as if she was responsible for the concept of light, with only the city worker who got time and a half for working Thanksgiving Day standing respectfully some distance away from me. “Life isn’t some equation,” I say, then float away and bite my bottom lip for that sensation I know will distract me from my anger and sadness. Grabbing a dog-eared paperback – Faulkner, I think – I sank into the kitchen window seat and started reading the first random page that fell open.
I sometimes question our relationship and often cop to the feeling that he’ll meet someone new. He’ll figure out that this game with me has come to an end; that the ruse is up and I’ll be sent home with some nice parting gifts. How was I so lucky to land him? Perhaps I should be happy for the time we have spent together. Eight years is a long time to be with one you love when you’re barely thirty and then, in that instant the fog lifts: eight years– and the fact puts me at ease.
He started losing his hair as a teenager and was mostly bald by the time he finished grad school, which is when we met. He keeps it short and doesn’t bother to waste time on snake oil treatments or high-minded science to cure his hair ails. I like him that way, just as he is.
He comes to me and covers my hand with his, wordlessly rubbing that spot between forefinger and thumb with his own digit for a spell before stepping aside to delve into some journal on astronomy. As he does so, he’s back in that place where logic rules. He furrows his brow, the machine racing towards full tilt, and twists up his mouth in that way in which only he can.