Rugged Fox is a gay blogger living in Vancouver, B.C. His interests include red wine, men, Netflix and spaghetti bolognese.

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    if you upload it, they will come

    part three of "the grindr monologues"

    I can smell a gin and tonic from a patio six blocks away. The instant my nose picks up on the juniper scent, it is only a matter of seconds before I am squeezing a lime wedge and ordering another.

    “Would you like a sip?” came a female voice from the middle seat next to mine. With one swift motion, I observed out of the corner of my eye as she slid her plastic G&T to the right side of the tray table.  

    “If the seatbelt sign was off I would get down on my knees right now and kiss your feet," I said.

    I took the cocktail in my hand and raising it to my lips felt my ears drums explode with the bursting of each tonic bubble. With a single sip, my shoulders put their feet up on the couch while my liver crawled out of bed to get to work.

    “I don’t know how to thank you,” I returned the cup to its purchased place on her tray.

     “Well you can start by telling me what happens next.”

    For the first time on the flight, I noticed there was a beautiful woman sitting right next to me. I must admit that I am quite useless when it comes to spotting attractive members of the female sex. I have always considered them my “gay blindspot.” When I managed the restaurant, the cooks always used to call out “Line One” whenever a gorgeous woman walked past the kitchen. It took me months of running to pick up the phone before I realized what they actually meant.

    “What is your name?” I asked, scrolling my eyes from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Her outfit - classic beige flats, white-washed jeans, and a charcoal tee that dropped low over the right shoulder -suggested that she lived on Main Street somewhere between 19th and 23rd. Her lips were painted Amarone red, her eyes the most delicious toffee brown.

    "Erin, and you?” 

    “My name is Fox, Rugged Fox.”

    “You make me feel like ordering a dirty martini.”

    “You know I would not stop you.”

    “Well Mr. Fox,” she took another sip of gin before passing the cup back to me, “let’s hear it. This Prince sounds like a bit of a douche, but tell me more about Grindr.”

    I reveled at how well she was versed in my dialect. No quesiton this was a down girl.

    “Alright, well first I think it’s paramount to preface you with the fact that it was never my intention to end up on Grindr. The last time I searched for a husband using a hook-up site all I found was a 3:15 appointment at the STI clinic. You see Erin, ever since I was a little boy on the prairies, I have always considered myself to be somewhat of a lady. I dreamed that, one day, I would grow up to meet a man the old fashioned way, with courtship and chivalry... not dick pics and bathroom selfies.”

    “Real talk," said Erin. "So why did you sign up then? You held out for so long.”

    “Meryl Streep!” I exclaimed, using such grandiose hand gestures that I almost smacked the apple juice out from the hands of a six-year-old boy seated across the aisle from me. It was clear the gin had begun to take hold, and so I had to remind myself to lower my voice as well as my arms.

    Leaning in closer to Erin, I whispered with conviction, “I signed up because I had a demitasse of hope that, even if I had to compromise my integrity and sweep my standards underneath the carpet, there was still a chance that I might find the one within two-hundred feet of me.”

    “And did you?”

    “Well,” I leaned back in my seat, “in short, the answer is yes and no. After that first day I logged on, I watched as a myriad of faceless bodies shuffled on my phone like a deck of cards in Solitary. At first, I played the waiting game. "If you upload it, they will come," whispered a strange voice in my ear. However, after eight hours passed without a single message, I took it upon myself to make the first move.

    The object of my affection had a penchant for Bruce Springsteen quotes and a profile picture with a face and a shirt on which I believed to be a promising start. The back of his green lit playing card listed him as thirty-two years old, six feet tall and only a three minute walk away. 

    ‘Hi,’ I typed. ‘If you would like to grab a coffee or a glass of wine sometime please let me know.’

    “Wanna jerk?” he replied.

    Shocked and downright appalled, I took a moment to be offended and then accepted his request."

     to be continued.

    NEW: Click here to watch Rugged Fox read this post on Youtube.


    crouching fox, hidden ginger

    part two of "the grindr monologues"

    “Well you see, it all began…” The truth was, at that moment, I was unsure where the story began. How did such an attractive redhead man like me, find himself pleading for a mini-bottle of red wine as if it were his life?

    Looking down at the embarrassing prepaid credit card in my right hand, and back up at Wesley (the fabulous flight attendant whose name I gleaned from his access card) I flashed back to the moment I saw my ex-boyfriend the Polish Prince for the first time in almost three years.

    It was a cool and cloudy morning in March when our swords – I mean paths – almost crossed again. Dressed in the previous night’s clothes and sweating with shame, I found myself walking east on the sea wall at Sunset, when I saw the Prince gallivanting towards me with another man linked in his arm.

    Dressed in matching coloured Werther’s Original pea-coats, the two men looked like they had woke up between the cover pages of GQ. Left with no choice but to evacuate, I sprinted into the damp sand on the beach and dived behind a log.

    As the two men neared closer, I peeked up from my hiding spot and noted that his partner was the same height as him, six foot three, and had the same heroic jawline as me. Judging from his unstrapped boots and dirty blonde hair, I reasoned the 'gay-with-no-name' must be a free spirit – which has the exact opposite of the pompadoured Prince. As I recall, the ex-boyfriend in question was regimented by organic protein bars and early morning alarms.

    Once the two men shrunk into the distance of English Bay, I picked myself up and dusted the sand off my blue jeans. I knew at that moment, that like Casper, I had unfinished business which needed to be resolved.

    “Dear Mr. Prince,” I began texting him, “I know how it has been a while, well years, but I was wondering if you could meet me for breakfast?”

    Two days and six hours later he replied, “Yes.”

    “You see Wesley,” I loosened my belt in the aisle seat of the Westjet flight now bordering Saskatchewan. “The entire story began with a blooming tree and a mushroom scramble.”  

    With dramatic flare, Wesley released his grip from the beverage cart and leaned in right next to me. Within seconds, his moisturized lips were so close to my ear that his warm breath carried the vanilla scent of Carmex to my nose.

    “Blooming tree, mushroom scramble, is that code for a blow job and anal sex?” His voice had dropped so low I felt like Anastasia Steele after discovering the fifteenth shade of Christian Grey.

    “Oh my goodness no!” I hollered. Wesley immediately returned to his upright and locked position while I devised a new introductory paragraph to my story.

    “Allow me to try this again. It all began … on a sunny day last Spring at my favourite breakfast spot, de Dutch on the corner of Oak and 15th. The leaves on the gigantic elm trees were blooming outside the restaurant windows, as I plunged a fork into my favourite egg and mushroom scramble in the seat across from my ex-boyfriend.”

    I proceeded to tell Wesley the entire story of our breakfast together. I would provide you with the transcripts from our emotionally-stunted conversation; but at a time like this, it is imperative that we keep on track. I will let you know a few key details, however.

    key detail number one: I showed up for the date sans hangover; which is important because that is how strong and confident men wake up on Tuesday mornings.

    key detail number two: Since our break-up, I gained 30 pounds from eating chicken parmesan at the restaurant, while he shed 1.2% body fat and picked up another eighteen pounds of lean muscle.

    key detail number three: He and his partner Gabriel (the gay-with-no-name) met two and a half years ago (suspect) and moved in together, shortly afterwards in a small west end apartment.

    “If you don’t mind me asking,” I took a bite of pineapple from my fruit cup, “how did you and Gabriel meet?”

    “I am kind of embarrassed to tell you,” the Prince replied, chasing a sip of orange juice with hot water and lemon.

    “Oh come on, there is nothing to be ashamed of here. That is my job.”

    “Gabe and I met on Grindr.”

    As soon as we paid the bill (de Dutch at de Dutch), I walked home, poured myself a glass of red wine and downloaded the orange masked app on my phone.

    Back on the flight, entrenched in my own tale, I did not notice but somewhere over Regina a riot had broken out in the rows behind me. Thirsty passengers were furious that the drink service had stopped and Wesley got ripped away from me like a scene from The Walking Dead.

    With no red wine, credit card or boyfriend to speak of, I thought all hope was gone. It was clear that I had no choice left but to jump out the plane above Winnipeg; but then a miracle happened – in the form of a plastic cup.

    to be continued.