Singing and Crying

Getting drunk and crying isn’t exactly something confined to a single culture. A quick ride on the Red Line during any Chicago holiday, or a late night out in Wrigleyville pretty much drives that one home as a experience that isn’t bound by any demographic. I’m not a drunk crier, I’m a pretty happy drunk most of the time, the other times I’m slutty. But I digress…

Today I was at a house party, and like any respectable gay man who is single and well into his 30s, put away half a case of hard cider by myself. Yes ladies and gents, I go hard. Anyway, I dragged myself home just after the heat of the day had passed, walked my dog and settled in for a night of tv and pizza. To keep myself entertained while I added extra pepperoni and cheese to topping poor pizza, I put on some music. Como la Flor by Selena came on, and before I knew it, I was sprinkling extra cheddar, singing along, and tears were streaming down my face.

I’m not sure if it’s been the past few week’s work load, the excessive amount of cider sugar making its way out of my body or the fact that this summer has been hot, humid, and it’s driving everyone crazy, but there I was. Standing in the middle of my kitchen, drunk, singing, and crying. In that moment, I was a Mexican stereotype.

I don’t even know if that is a stereotype actually. If I asked my non-latino friends if they’d ever heard that when latino men (particularly those of Mexican heritage, since that’s what I’ve got the most experience with, you know, family and all) get drunk, they sing and cry, if they’d be able to say yes, they recognized that stereotype. They alos get a little handsy with each other, but that’s a topic for a whole other blog and possibly a PhD thesis or reality tv show. But I digress, yet again…

In my moment of raw emotion, when Selena was singing about how much she hurt, and about lost love, I had a moment of clarity. The men who I’d grown up around, who would get drunk on a driveway or around a fire pit in the yard, who would sing and yell and curse and cry, were putting it all out there and bearing their souls. My tios, my dad’s compadres, left behind their families, their homeland, their language, and now live in a place where they don’t fit in, not exactly anyway. Huddled around those burning embers, music and songs from their past would come on, and they would sing, and cry, and remember what they left behind. What they sacrificed to have a better life, and the people they may never see again.

That’s what I had. Those are the feelings that came flooding over me as the heat from the oven rushed over my face. I thought about my friends, my family, and couldn’t remember when the last time was that I didn’t feel totally disconnected from where I came from. In that moment I realized what the men who got drunk, and sang and cried were feeling, because I didn’t know before. I didn’t know why they cried. I didn’t know why Vicente Fernandez would trigger arms over each other’s shoulders, swaying and shouting. They too, were disconnected, but in those moments, the connection and memories would come back like a shot (after many shots), and they mourned the warmth from the memories as it slowly faded away verse by verse.

I texted Carmen after I had dried my eyes, I knew she’d understand and think it was funny, and I needed a laugh. It’s nice to know my culture is still in here somewhere. I may be living a life with no current purpose, and the only direction it is has is towards another nap, but some of my memories have a different angle to them now. It’s been a while since I stood around drinking with my family and friends and bared my soul. I should probably do that on a more regular basis, once i’m somewhere with a driveway.

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#fam

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Shared History

Back when I was a baby gay, a mere lad of 20, venturing out to see the world on my own, I was blessed to be welcomed into the fold by a strong couple, Louis (or Luigi as I had come to know him) and Ira. I call them my Fairy God Gays, because in my mind, they saved and guided me through some rough times in my young queer life. 

Louis and I met while we studied Italian/s in Florence one very muggy summer. He quickly picked me out of a gaggle of youths as the gay one in the group and took me under his wing. I was out, but just barely. It was a week into our month long trip when Louis asked me if I wanted to go to a gay bar with him. It was Italy after-all and I was of drinking age, so I nervously accepted and met him at a piazza after dinner. The bar was at the back of a dead end alley, and looked like a dumpster with a door and you had to knock in order to get in since there was no outside handle. He knocked, my heart fluttered and we were under ground in a few moments (in what I still consider to be the most unique gay bar I’ve ever been to).

A month wiled away and I found myself back in Santa Cruz. Things weren’t going great at home for me, I had been out for two years and my mom and I still weren’t really speaking. Occasionally she would ask about school and work, or we would sit awkwardly in silence while Will and Grace gave hope to people everywhere that it was ok to be gay, as long as you were boring, lived with a woman and never had gay sex. I was lucky that Louis and Ira were there to tell me differently. They knew things weren’t great at home and opened their home to me if I ever needed a place to get away, or even spend time with a gentleman caller. They also opened their hearts.

When I  would visit for dinner, I would bring them stories from the front lines of the young gay happenings. Mostly what I had to tell them was how many times I’d been to the Castro that week and that I saw someone have his crotch crushed with a boot on the back patio of the Lonestar Saloon. They would tell me about their most recent trip around the world, or cruise, or foreign port and show me how big the world was. They also told me what it was like to be gay (not on TV), how we got to where we were and what it was like before I stepped into the rainbow light. I heard about New York City before Stonewall, where men were dragged from gay clubs and beaten by police. I remember Ira telling me about sitting on a bus bench and waiting for the right time to run into a gay club when he thought no one was watching.

Aside from my lesbian best friend (Kristin), I didn’t really know any other queer people. Sure I knew some people from the bars and clubs, but the only thing I was learning from them was how to give a BJ on a dance floor and not get caught, and sneak your underage friends into a bar. No one was telling me about the AIDS crisis that started shortly after I was born, how to prevent it, or stop myself from getting it, or even why using condoms was important. When you come from a small town, these are not the things you are taught in your day to day life (I do know how to rebuild an car engine, slaughter livestock and prepare it for a meal, also how to make flour tortillas from scratch though).

Louis and Ira taught me. They showed me. I saw that I had more options to my life than being an AIDS victim, or a musical theater gay, or living a pseudo hetero life with a straight girl so that people would not be threatened by my queerness. I could be a doctor, like Ira, perhaps run a political campaign like Louis, and I could see other parts of the world and live my life the way I wanted, because they did. They lead by example. They shared their life and their history, and it has become my history. It was my history before I knew about it, I just never had anyone to teach me.

Queer people don’t often have the opportunity to learn about our history until it’s forced upon us. Our parents don’t teach little rhymes to us like “Judy, Liza, Barbra, Bette. These are names I shan’t forget” to bestow a love of those brash broads of the screen and stage in our hearts. Our parents don’t talk to us about us about Harvey Milk and the White Night Riots, or the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans where more than thirty gay people were locked in a nightclub while it was burned to the ground. They’re not going to drive their kids to Disneyworld, and pass by the Pulse nightclub and say “this is where 50 queer people (and their allies) were gunned down, fueled by rage, discontent and self hate.” Queer people need to teach queer people about where we come from, what we’ve been through, and why it matters that, as much as I hate crowds, parades, and sitting in the hot sun, I go to pride to be present and accounted for. It’s a history that we inherit, whether we want it or not, so we can be ourselves even when people don’t want us to be.

Ira died on Sunday. He and Louis were together for 36 years. It’s hard for me to imagine that this man is gone from my life. The last time i saw Ira, I had been lucky enough to be invited to their San Francisco home for pride and mingle with a few gay men from a generation that was almost all but wiped out. I could never get enough hugs from Ira when I was leaving the party, his affection was always so genuine and real. I’m blessed that Louis gives amazing hugs, spins an amazing tale, and is around to help guide and chide me. I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to teach, we all do.

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Newbie notes

Note: I realize I’m now a homeowner and have been here for 2 years, so I’m still really not a newbie, but, I feel like these little tid-bits may help, or shed some light on things I may have missed that didn’t dawn on me until I put down some damn roots.

When you register your address in Chicago, and your voter registration comes in the mail, I feel like it should come with a welcome packet. It would include a guide on the new and strange land you have decided to make your home. There are quite a few things that people tell you when you are moving from West to Mid-West, none of them actually informative or helpful, at as far as settling into a new culture goes (and yes, it really is different from the San Francisco, Northern-California lifestyle I came from). Mostly I heard about the weather, hot summers and cold winters, a little about Boystown, steer clear of the Southside, and eat pizza. What people conveniently left out (even Chicagoans that moved to SF and were giving me advice) was the rest of it, that i have summed up into a tidy little list.

  1. Drinking Holidays: Mostly here, I’m referring to St. Patrick’s day. It was actually the day that made me decide someone should really send out a memo to Chicago newbies about what happens here. The basic run down? This city turns into a huge white-girl-wasted mess, and the city dyes the river a brighter shade of green than it’s normal army green. In San Francisco, St. Patrick’s day is met with moderate excitement as people may visit one of the few irish pubs, exclaim themselves Irish for the day, and get wastey-pants. In Chicago, so far as I could see, the city loses its shit. Every bar is packed, college kids who apparenlty have never met a glass of water they liked, end up hunched over a gutter at 9:30am throwing up what’s left of the green beer they couldn’t get enough of earlier that morning. I can’t even really say that this happens  only on a weekend in March, it’s basically any excuse to find to drink, people here drink. It’s like they are beholden to every amateur day in the calendar and will be chastised if they’re not living up to the hype they create for themselves. 4th of July, drunk outside. Memorial Day, drunk waving flags. Labor Day, drunk on the beach before fall. Thanksgiving Eve, make sure you’re hungover for turkey. New Years, shoot guns, drink glitter and shout. Groundhog’s day, fuck yeah more winter/early spring, shadow, no shadow, doesn’t matter. All year people. All. Year.
  2. Running: Before people go out and get wasted, they like to run up and down the lake. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve walked out my front door to be accosted by people on the sidewalk covered in purple, green, red and blue paint. Apparently you’re not allowed to run without getting shit thrown at you. I’m guessing it’s because people who run figured out that it’s fucking boring and unless you’re running from something or to something, you may as well just stroll. I don’t know if it’s a Mid-Western thing, or just a “hey, this place is flat so running here is really easy, lets do that” thing, but I’d say 1 out of every 3 people I meet here runs on a regular basis. Not that I have anything against running for sport, or the people who do it, but it’s not for me. So I have a difficult time grasping the concept of trotting along the lake before the sun comes up every 3rd weekend with 50,000 of your closest running buddies for a t-shirt and paint in your eyes, but hey, I skate around a small oval and hit people for fun, so clearly, to each their own.
  3. Sports: Speaking of sporting events, I can’t write a helpful snarky guide list to Chicago without mentioning sports teams…or fans. Oh the fans. Now, in the Bay Area, people may love their teams, really, it’s one team or one sport. Raiders fans usually aren’t huge A’s fans, but they’d set their city on fire in celebration if either of them ever won something. The point is, there isn’t much crossover. In Chicago, it is pretty much expected that you are a fan of EVERY pro-sports team we have. Don’t like Basketball? Tough, you root for the Bulls and should know the players by name. Can’t decide if you like the Cubs or the White Sox? Tough, figure that shit out and learn your team, cause you’ll be grilled about it later. You want to get in good with a Chicagoan sports fan off the bat, one phrase will get you there “da bears.” Yes, everytime. It’s not even professional sports teams either. Where did you go to school? There’s a bar for you to watch your college games at. Complete with banners, flags, jerseys, and plenty of screaming fans. I can’t keep up. I’m not a sports guy, at least, not an all around sports guy. I don’t care who won the Super Bowl. Wrigley Field is an annoying stop on the Red Line when I’m trying to get home in the summer. And if anyone else asks me what I think about the Blackhawks this season, I’m just going to have to walk away. Because apparently “I’m not really into professional sports” is not an answer they are accustomed to hearing, nor do they understand, just like me.
  4. Transportation: Speaking of things I don’t understand, lets talk about the CTA, or rather, I’ll type, and you pretend you can hear my speaking to you in your head as you read. Like all public transportation systems in large cities, it provides endless hours of entertainment and people watching. If you aren’t entertained or think the people watching on the busses or trains isn’t great…thank you for being the entertainment for the rest of us. You can get everywhere on the trains and busses and a combination of the two. Just, don’t be in a hurry. Busses stop on every block, and train drivers seem content with the sunday afternoon cruise through the park speed at which they operate. I mean, I sold my car over a year ago and signed up for ZipCar (which I hardly use), so I obviously have learned how to deal with transportation around the city well. Not everyone agrees, and thats ok. I know people who have lived in Chicago for years and have never been on a bus or a train here. Which shocks the hell out of me, and then I remember they’re from LA.
  5. Real Estate: After spending seven years in the Bay Area, I got pretty accustomed to the bargaining style of, “offer them more than they’re asking or you’ll never get the place you want to live.” During the process of buying a condo here, and it proved more than unnerving than I thought. I’m not talking about the mountain of paperwork, or the constant searching on real estate websites, I’m referring to the bargaining process. While I was playing real life Monopoly in my head (ie: see a place, say you’re buying it and throw down a wad of cash before anyone else can), my realtor was nice enough to slow me down and make sure I didn’t get carried away.  After erasing a few texts that were along the lines of “JUST BUY IT, I WANT IT!” and replacing them with “if you think that they’ll go lower, why not” texts, I ended up with a condo at a price much lower than I would have paid had I got my way right off the bat. The threat of losing the place I’d fallen for freaked me out though. Hearing war stories from friends in the Bay who are going up against Chinese buyers with suitcases of cash, made me think they are nipping at my heels and on their way to chicago to buy my condo before I can. They are not. But the real estate panic does not carry over here, and the shock and awe of a plethora of options and low prices keeps my friends from the bay in a constant state of shock, myself included.

Obviously, thats not everything, just some of the stuff I wish people would have given me a heads up about before I moved. Then again, once you’ve been here for a couple years, I can see how it would all become second nature and you wouldn’t think to even tell anyone about this stuff. Plus, it’s nice for people to figure out for themselves, right?

Dating Adventures 6

As the spring days roll on, so do the hits. People everywhere unburrow and get excited about dating and all that entails. Nothing quite strikes a chord with a new person as much as insecurity paired with a sense of entitlement to a stranger’s time. Which leads us into Dating Story 6.

Now, I’ve never actually gone out with this dude (I’ll call him 6, cause, he’s dating story 6 that I’m posting about), and based on the past couple weeks of interaction, it’s not going to happen. 6 lives on the West Coast and will be visiting Chicago for Bear Pride, so the opportunity to get to know him in person is quickly approaching and I’m afraid I’m going to have to let it pass.

Some of you of course are thinking, “oh Royce, as usual, over thinking reactions and keeping your standards impossibly high means no one will ever do anything right by you.” I assure you, they can, have, and will again one day…one day.

But I digress into the nitty gritty of this particular exchange. Allow me to flow some information your way. 6 and I have been chatting on and off for months, pretty standard, I don’t hold random dating website/app chatter in super high regard, so it’s always off and on with me. But, 6 and I did make the jump to phone number exchange, a bit more personal since a direct line could be had and there was no excuse of “I haven’t logged on for a few days.” Here is where our story gets going.

I’m pretty good when it comes to texting, I like to think I’m a good communicator (overall I mean, sometimes feelings are hard, but that’s different, when it comes to witty text banter, I’m about it). I have been working pretty harsh hours lately, and 6 knows that. He knows what’s on the line, what my schedule is like lately and how stressful and exhausted it makes me, and that only pertinent information in my life will be responded to when I’m under such duress. I laid that out on the table from the get go. I’ve also informed him that it’s not personal when I don’t respond to texts, sometimes, I just don’t because there is nothing to respond to.

This is a screen capture of a portion of our text conversation which has led me to just stop and be done, because I just can’t anymore.

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“Oh well…take it EZ”

Seriously 6? Seriously? Mind you, this is NOT the first time in the past three weeks that we’ve been texting that he’s gone the “oh well guess you’re not into me” freaking Eyore syndrome, which is why I’m done. Insecurity, not sexy. Also, just cause you send me a text message of a smiley, or the word “Sexy” doesn’t endear me nor require me to follow up in anyway, that’s not a conversation, nor a conversation starter.

Interactions like this happen all the time to me and they are just awful. I understand not being a super confident guy, hell, I’m insecure with the best (or worst) of them. That doesn’t mean that I automatically go all self depreicating and “woe is me” if someone doesn’t respond to me, in what I feel is a timely fashion. Their timeline, is not my timeline. I do not feel entitled to a person’s time or energy if the only thing tying us together is a few weeks of banter over text messaging, so I’m not sure why they do. And it exhausts me.

So sorry 6, moving onto 7, whomever that may be.

Dating Questions

Know what sucks? When you’re out with a guy and he starts asking probing questions or makes those statements that sound like a compliment, but are really not, at least to me. I’m totally guilty of it myself. I can’t help it, sometimes I’m curious, mostly it’s habit. I’m learning to stay away from them, but there is only so much inquiring minds can do to silence themselves. At the same time, I’m making a vow to myself, and the guys I go out with not to say stuff like this:

“Why are you single?”
Easily the worst question to ask and answer. Apparently, if you post slutty photos and accompany them with a grammatically correct basic profile of yourself, you’re not allowed to be single.  Even when it’s pillow talk, it’s inappropriate. It’s kind of none of your business why this person you’re currently spooning,   isn’t spooning with someone else right now. Just deal with the moment and don’t over analyze.
I’ve been answering this question a few different ways lately.
Stock answer: “I just haven’t found the right guy yet” of course followed by a wink and a smile, followed even later with never calling them again and having a very awkward moment in a bar months later.
Non-stock response to someone I feel like I should be open and honest with: “I’m an emotional cripple when it comes to dating. I have a massive fear of commitment based on being dumped over and over again by guys who play with my heart and lie to me. Breakfast?” After the initial shock of too much information wears off, and before we set a date to see each other again that he’ll cancel the day we meet, more questions come…

“I just don’t get it, how could anyone leave you? You’re a great guy!”
This one makes me want to throw up in my mouth, sometimes it does. I’d love to be able to answer that one, but I’m afraid I can’t. Due to the fact that guys who no longer wish to date me don’t stay in my phone book until I’ve made sure I’ve got my toothbrush at home, I can’t answer that.
There is only one response anyone gets from this question: “Apparently I’m a jerk magnet, but it looks like my luck is changing.” Followed with another wink and smile, cause even though I don’t know i do it, it works, and lets be honest, guys love it.
Of course what they’re really asking is “what’s wrong with you that I don’t see yet?” It’s like the standard “what is your biggest weakness” question during job interviews. Useless, rude and can never be really answered without disqualifying yourself from the job/relationship.

If I do manage to get a guy who shows up for another date without having to “work on a project that has to be done before next week,” and we end up at dinner or hanging out in my apartment, I get the kiss of death.
“I just feel like I can be myself around you.”
Fuck. You.
Oh yeah, it sounds like an amazing compliment, I assure you, it is not. On the outside, it means that you’re a great person who is able to put people at ease and have a knack for making them feel comfortable. My crazy, insecure brain spins it a little differently. When a guy says “I feel like I can just be myself with you,” I hear, “I like that I don’t have to try to impress you anymore. You’re cool, but I’m not seeing the effort pay off anymore than it already has, so I just want you to know that I’m going to stop trying now.” And usually they do. Hello, I’m a decent guy, I’d like it if someone felt like they had to keep up a modicum of basic appearances for at least a week or two. It usually stuns me into silence for a quick second before I can squeak out a “thanks…”

Which of course brings up “so, what are you thinking about?”
I hate this one. I try not to ask it unless dude has some very puzzled look on his face (see me at any point during the day while deciphering messages at work) and I think there is an interesting thought trying to make it to his lips.
Stock response: “nothing really, just how nice this is.” Cause this question is always asked while you’re in a compromising spooning position and it is the sweet/cute response that everyone wants to hear. When you’re cuddling with someone they don’t want to hear that you’re thinking you’d rather be snacking on that leftover pizza on the counter than having his legs wrapped around you and fighting for a cool breeze under the blanket. One of these times when dude asks, I’m jut going to say “I’m thinking about how long I’ve been holding this fart in cause you’re new and I’m trying impress you, but something tells me giving you a Dutch Oven right now won’t go over well.” Then he’ll be horrified for a second and laugh and I’ll fart while he’s chuckling, cause you know, I’m playful like that.

There are of course a plethora of these damn questions that come up, each more inane and annoying than the last. One day I hope to stop asking them out of habit and hope even more to stop being asked over and over again. Until that day comes, winks and smiles for everyone.

Thoughts on the CTA

Not like, opinions about the service, but more about what goes through my head when I’m riding that grimy ass Red-Line, or when I’m face to crotch with a total stranger on a Lakeshore Express bus (and not enjoying it, perv). 

  • If one of those damn birds poops on me while I’m waiting for this train I’m going to invest in a bebe gun and take it everywhere, or a sling shot. I used to rock slingshots.
  • Oh look! Tumble weave!
  • Ahh, the smell of urine being pushed through the tunnels downtown, why do I ride the Red-Line again?
  • Why is that guy looking at me? Do I know him? Is he going to hurt me? I’ll just pretend I don’t know him…he’s still looking, this is weird, look at your phone Royce….I’m going to peek and see if he’s still staring at me, yup, stranger danger, stranger danger! Ok, don’t look anymore. I really need to watch more MMA, cause I don’t think screaming and scratching is going to stop an attacker, that reminds me, get manicure. I wonder where I should go, maybe that place down the street, I see guys in there all the time. Oh, he got off? Well that was rude, he didn’t even say hello.
  • Ahh, slow zones, gotta love them. They’re like the “stop at green lights” rule the bus drivers have, but for trains. yay!
  • An open seat! YES! I’m gonna relax on my way in today and…wait…what is on it? I’ll stand
  • This crackhead is totally going to punch that sign he’s arguing with, is it bad to video? Do I care?
  • I wonder how many girls on this train are wearing leggings and knee high boots with a jacket…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, zzzzzz.
  • I wonder how many are named Katie…
  • A whole train full of gang members? I’ll take the next one…
  • Seriously dude? I already take up more than my fair share of a seat and you think your chunky ass is just going to fit next to me? Rude.
  • Of course the hot guy sits in front of me…would it be weird to smell his neck? Would anyone notice? I wonder how Sowande is.
  • This stupid girls iPod is up SO loud, what kind of bitch needs to listen to, oh, is that Taylor Swift…sweet.
  • Do I have to give up my seat for that older woman? I wonder if she’s old enough, I’m not going to offer just to have her say “no thanks” and then have this little twink take it. Fuck it, she looks sturdy.
  • Oh good, I get to listen to a debate as to where to buy the cheapest drugs on the northside. I love the Broadway bus.
  • Please let him Missed Connection me.
  • Old Chinese lady about to exit from the back of the bus…i bet she hits the door a bunch of times before she gets out…yup, oh good, yelling at the driver, that’ll help.
  • I miss my car. Look at that guy in the car, singing, drinking coffee, driving. I miss driving.
  • I wonder if my music is up to loud and people can hear the Britney I’m listening to. Probably not, but I should stop singing along…
  • Oh good the train is coming, thank goodness, its 100 degrees out here and I’m sweating in my…oh…ew, that feels awkward…
  • What is that smell? Probably that guy…just breathe in through your mouth, pretend you’re driving to the port and they’re putting manure in the fields.
  • Mother…seriously dude? You’re just going to stand right in the door so everyone has to squeeze past you to get on and off the train? SO rude, I was going to stand there.
  • Three bags. That bitch is carrying three bags and none of them are cute…
  • Ugh, breeders making out on the train, thats disgusting, get a room you sickos, no one wants to see that, why can I not stop staring?
  • Today I just…I just…I can’t. TAXI!!!!!

Dating Adventures 5

This actually isn’t my dating story, at least not the side I heard. But I feel like it has to be told, even though it makes some random stranger I was evesdropping on look awful. In his defense, from what I heard, he really was awful.

Friday night, my buddy Matt and I were heading to a bar for some post Identity Thief drinks on the Red Line. Oh the Red Line. It’s the veritable cross section of Chicago, which means, everyone rides it, all kinds. The kind of person we were accosted by that evening, was a shrieking theater gay (yes, I know this is an awful stereotype, but the description seriously serves a purpose and an essay describing and outlining gay-male masculinity from the point of view from a chunky “bear cub” who trots around Vegas in heels is long overdue, but just go with it for now). If you don’t know what i’m talking about, please watch the clip below, the guy on the train, was basically Derrick.

Yeah…I tend to think of myself as, Max reincarnated and actually gay. Like Max, I get seriously annoyed by the stereotypical homos who feel the need to prance and flounce (Yes I know I do my fair share of it once in a while, but I don’t end conversations with “draaammaaaa!” unless fully necessary, of course).

Anyway, back to the gay at hand, er, at ear. Matt and I stayed on the train an extra stop to hear more of the absurdity, because it was SO good, we couldn’t help ourselves. Apparently he was on the phone with one of his BFF’s giving him the full scoop of the date he had been on. While we couldn’t hear what the friend was saying, it apparently just egged him on. Here, is the transcript (he got on mid conversation, so we didn’t hear the beginning, but it took shape quickly. Also, I have NO Idea how to format a one-sided conversation and I don’t want all the lines to run together, so…I’m just going to italicize every other line, yeah, that’ll work.):

No, it was awful
Seriously, no, do you know what he did. I mean, he invited me to Sidetrack on Sunday night. Hello, I’m an actor and it was musical theater night. So like, I’m totally not going to be able to pay attention to him or talk because obviously I’m going to paying attention to whats playing on the screens.
Right!
No seriously, so that was strike two. Yeah. I mean, and then we are there and he’s trying to talk to me DURING Oklahoma. Can you believe it? I mean, I was really trying hard, but he should have known better, he knew I was an actor. I mean, so that was really strike three.
Well, you know, he tells me he works in a jewelry shop, so of course my ears perk up.
Haha! Right!?
But no, cause then, he tells me he has to go to London for three weeks for work, but then tells me he wouldn’t be able to go if work wasn’t paying for it. That was totally strike four, I mean, if i can’t anything from him and he’s not going to take me anywhere, why am I even wasting my time.
No, totally!
(at this point Matt and I had totally stopped our conversation and were busy being horrified by this little menace and were intently involved and enraptured by what was unfolding)
So then, wait for it, strike five coming up. Then he looks at his phone and is like, “well, it’s getting late, I should probably get home, I have some homework I have to get to.”
So then I ask if it is due tomorrow, and he says “no, Wednesday, I just want to get an early start on it.”
HELLO! Are you kidding me right now? I mean, you’re out with one of the hottest guys in Boystown.
No, I know, right!?
Yeah, MAJOR strike. So we walk out. And on the sidewalk he is like, “well, have a great night. Text me sometime.”
WHAT THE FUCK!? Thats not a date! I don’t even know what is wrong with him. A first date to me is like, you take me somewhere nice for dinner, pay for it and then at least sex.
Like, hello, I’m a total catch. So that was strike SIX! I’m never going to text him, you don’t treat a guy like me like that…

Luckily, our stop came up after we heard strike six. I was tempted to stay on the train to continue listening to the rest of the story, cause I’m sure there was more and a few more strikes hidden up this guy’s sleeve. Alas, Matt and I were both on the verge of crying from holding back laughter, so we exited the train.

I myself tend to take hints really well, at least to go away. I have been subjected to many over the years. The hints that I don’t see coming or have any idea what to do with is when people are actually interested in going out with me. I just chalk all of those up to people being nice. When hints are applied aggressively, it scares the hell out of me and I end up withdrawing and usually exiting with a quick witted line, like this.

Yeah, so there’s a dating story for ya. Poor thing. His skinny ass had either never been on a date with someone who ended up not being interested. I mean, homework that is due in four days…should have taken the hint then that dude was not interested and moved on. Then again, I don’t consider myself the hottest piece of ass that ever trolled the gutters in Boystown, so really couldn’t relate with this poor, poor soul.