My mouth is working a piece of steak as I listen to George sitting across from me in a suit and tie. This isn’t the first time for both instances. I am sure my tongue is just as skilled as I am at deathly masticating meat, but George is intriguing enough to where we can agree to focus on him.
As I am marveling at my multitasking skills, I notice something I didn’t pick up on upon first meeting him. Maybe I should have given him a better screening process. George, the fun seeking guy before me, who is a vet for a local animal hospital, has been neighing about his ex husband for the past twenty minutes.
George didn’t give me any indication that he was going to be the reincarnation of a middle school essay, though. His profile was simple, without the misspellings; fun, without the need to be real, and funny, with an actual sense of how to use textual irony. I wrote him, eager to see what lay beneath the vail. I wanted to poke around a bit to see if he was hiding any more goodies from me, like the fact he likes to watch fireworks and he can find humor in the last scene of Old Yeller.
His messages to me have always been very open and honest. He told me that he just got out of a bad relationship, with a previous husband, not footwear, and decided to try to meet a few people. We introduced ourselves and even got into a debate about the fact that gay guys have better hair than straight guys. I loved countering his assertions of my utter insanity. If that wasn’t textual chemistry, I didn’t know what would be, so I wanted to meet him for dinner one night.
That was a direct contrast to how I feel now, as I twirl my straw around my cherry coke with enough force to start a quinine based tsunami. His nostrils continue to flare as he neighs about his husband, yet again. We haven’t talked about much else for the last twenty minutes. I even tried asking him if he wanted to get a drink with a straw, just so he could stick something in his mouth, but he wouldn’t hear of it.
“You know what?” He bellows. People near us turn and stare at us, wondering if this horse will present a box with a ring and hay beside it. I give them a small smile, apologizing for this very awkward moment in my dating life. They should never be subjected to people who just got out of bad relationships with husbands instead of footwear. At least footwear won’t take your sanity.
“No, but I know who, though.” I say, but he doesn’t even crack a grin.
“What did you say you was?”
“You mean, like, what I do? For a job?” I ask, wondering if he’s going to blow all of his air supply through his nostrils. Every time he speaks, there’s a small burst of air wafting towards my face from his nose. I am just waiting on him to order an apple.
“Yeah. A job!” he bleats before shoving a piece of potato in his mouth.
“Well, I am a writer,” I begin but he cuts me off so fast I feel as if I am in an auction.
“Oh my god. Another one!”
“What’s so wrong with writers?” I argue. I shouldn’t have. After telling me, everything! He goes on another twenty minute screed about his last boyfriend and that he was a writer. I know I feel extremely ironic as he belches out endless tirades about how his ex-used him to write a popular book.
“Really?” I ask, despite myself. I can’t help but think I may have stepped into the Twilight Zone because George is no easy person to write about. He makes me believe that a bowling ball would have more interesting things to say.
“Yeah. Can you believe that?” he put me in a book about bad dates. What a loser. Now, he makes money off book sales. What a loser. Just as bad as my ex-husband! Just as bad as my ex-husband I tell you!”
“What was so bad about it, though? The fact he wrote about you?”
“Yeah! And even got my name wrong! I’m not George! Jesus Christ. I swear, if another writer does this crap, I’m going to pound them!”
“But George…” I begin but give up, collect my check, and stand up to leave. Once I sign the check, his eyes grow wide.
“So, that’s it? You’re gonna leave me just like Rick did?
“Yeah. I am.” I say, not feeling ashamed at all about this monumental choice. He, however, is enraged.
“Of course! What is it with you writer types? Always on some higher ground than others. I guess you’re going to just leave and not say goodbye?”
“Actually,” I begin, “I do have a question. Do you read the South Florida Gay Times?”
“No. I hate reading! Too many words! Why?”
“Oh, no reason, goodnight!”