The other night after getting home from the gym (right?) and then cooking myself grilled chicken and broccoli (right?) I looked at the clock and it read 9:06pm. It was Sunday and I had nothing to do. Usually, I enjoy my nights in, especially on a Sunday, but I was off from work the next day and wanted to actually do something!I had been talking to this guy on Tinder for about 2 weeks on and off, nothing serious, but we have been trying to find a night to grab a drink and hangout.
His name is Jose, and when we first started the communication, he was hilarious! Very witty, used many puns, and seemed to take jokes pretty well. Traits I have found are pretty rare in this city.
Okay, those were his pro’s, but what were his cons you may be asking? Well, for starters, he is in his thirties and unemployed. Which is totally fine! I was unemployed for 8 months last year, so I know how difficult it is finding a job in Manhattan.
He also lives in Harlem with three roommates. Again, not that big of a deal. When you are unemployed, money is tight and having roommates is a perfectly acceptable way of saving. Lastly, he does drugs.
Not all the time! But, he does it when it’s presented to him and available. Sort of like my milkshake addiction. Honestly, I am not a big fan of people who do any kinds of drugs, but to each his own.
So, he asks me to grab a drink in Hell’s Kitchen and for us to meet at 10:30 outside of Therapy. Of course I get there early, so I just stood outside, minding my own business. I ran into a few friends from a previous job that I hadn’t seen in a while, so I said hello and we caught up. In the midst of our conversation, I felt a tap on my shoulder: Jose.
As awkward as I am, I try to finish the conversation with my friends while greeting Jose. Naturally, it was awkward.
We head inside and walk to the bar. He offers to buy my first round, so I grab a table and wait for him. Once seated, the conversation begins. It’s not bad at first. We play catch up, discuss things in more detail that we have already touched on with Tinder (my job, his job search, his family, etc.) It’s not the best conversation, but I went with it.
After a few rounds of vodka sodas, we started getting a little more loose, and the conversation went from boring to interesting.
He put his drink down, looked and at me and asked, “So, is this shaved head just a look, or are you going through chemo?
”For the first time in my life, I was speechless and had no idea what to do. Do I laugh it off? Do I play the cancer card and (hopefully) get free drinks all night?
Unfortunately, my conscience kicked in and I told him that no, I was not going through chemotherapy. “I started to lose my hair a few years ago and this is a pretty easy way to maintain it.”
“Oh, ok. Cool. I don’t mind the shaved head” he responded, “but next time, don’t shave it so close.”
We sat there in silence for a few minutes, which, when on a date, a few minutes of silence seems like days. Finally, he turned his attention from the bartender to me and asked, “How is your ‘writing’ going?” Yes, he did air quotes when he said the word ‘writing’.
He then excused himself to the bathroom, which is when I pulled out my phone and sent the usual “HELP ME” texts to a few of my close friends. When he returned to our cozy table, I put my phone in my pocket and desperately waited for a vibration.
“You’re back,” I said. “So, do you play any sports?”
“I just did a line of coke in the bathroom.”
“Oh?” I replied.
“See, here’s the thing,” he said, speaking a mile a minute and scratching his nose. “I wanted to do coke last week, so I called up my guy for a bag. He then talked me into buying five bags at a discounted price, so I agreed.”
“Ah, I guess he really is a ‘drug-dealer’,” I wittily replied to no laugh or response.
“But, I didn’t realize how much cocaine that is. So, all day today, I have been trying to sell it to my friends. I brought them with me, so if you know of anybody, tell them to come here and get some. I’ll give them a cheap price. Unless you want some?”
I kindly rejected his offer and told him that all of my Columbian friends were out of town this weekend. Still annoyed from the ‘cancer comment’, I leaned in and asked him if he thought splurging on drugs was the best way to spend his money while unemployed.“I do what makes me happy.
The conversation is now all over the place. He didn’t answer one question I asked and just played on his phone, so I started letting my eyes wander to the people in the bar. I spotted a few twenty-somethings drinking white wine and rolled my eyes. “Well aren’t they classy” I said in my best Connecticut accent.
Hoping this would get some sort of reaction and we could spend the remainder of this date criticizing and making fun of people, he shook his head and said, “Man, why are you so bitter?” To which I replied, “Too many bad dates, I guess.”
I chugged my fourth drink and lie about having to work the next morning. We left the bar and I pretended that my bus to New Jersey was on 5th avenue so I wouldn’t have to walk down 8th with him.We had a causal good-bye and he told me “not to get raped on my walk.”
I am hoping he got the hint that I was not interested, because if he asks me to hang out again, my only response will be “No way, Jose!”