If You Upload It, They Will Come

Sean Robert. 2016

Sean Robert. 2016

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.