“Hey, you want to make out sometime”.
I do not know how we got from there to our real life date.
I said No so many times.
I have been using dating apps for months with little luck.
The only guy other than Original Eddie who showed any signs of decency and even interest recently cut our relationship short because of extreme personal reasons. I didn’t get to know him but, for some reason, his absence feels really difficult.
I had deleted the app (for the millionth time)
I’ve returned to it waywardly and I can’t seem to match with anyone.
Maybe my pictures are stale. Maybe my bio is too cheeky in the wake of some kind of cultural movement towards taking women more seriously. I don’t know because I don’t have any insight into the profiles of other women but I cannot help feeling desperate.
In this tiny frame of DATING APP, the tiny focus I’ve allowed myself on this screen with stupid images of stupid men and a sense of loss each time one of them hasn’t matched with me,
zeroing in on this relationship to my phone being my most important relationship in general right now, its understandable that I begin to hate myself.
I have a job that deems me far too tired to engage with my friends and family most of the time.
I feel unworthy of existence because I’m too busy to give any time to my own vocation.
I am at the nadir of the following journey:
- A close friend of mine accuses me of taking advantage of him and then never talks me again
- I force myself to get a job I don’t need, working with people (which I hate), on my feet all day, rendering me too tired to write…I haven’t written anything substantial in about four months
- I meet someone I connect with, someone who makes me crave a closeness I’ve never really thought I deserved before and then he decides he has no time for me and he disappears
- I date losers and they make me feel stupid
- I sit on my couch sure of my worthlessness because I am not doing the thing I love, I did not succeed with the people I thought could love me and so I feel like being on a dating app if only it rewards me with someone to speak with
Desperation is an uneasy lifeline.
Eddie messages me, hey, do you want to make out
And I say, Sure
He says, cool, when lolf
I tell him I don’t want to go to his house, I don’t want him to come my house, I don’t want to have sex with him.
I tell him I’ve had a hard time having sex with men who don’t care about me and so that’s why I’m sensitive. I may have even apologized for that.
I tell him I’m craving a high school date, where I feel awkward but then later on sexually progressive and I go home which is a zone where sex is impermissible and I fall asleep feeling ambivalent.
I tell him all this because I’m so desperate, I am so desperate and I wouldn’t put it that way at the time but I am and I am acting desperate, I just lose it.
I don’t know what it is about men or sex in general that makes everything feel like it’s happening in a different world.
I don’t know what the sensation is but there’s something about sexual engagement that is surreal, that makes normal boundaries go away or feel confusing or frustrating or useless. Something about sex and it’s primacy and it’s origins in the cunt make me want to say everything I feel and think and need in the hopes that the person engaging with me will fix it all just by fucking me.
I know it’s not how things work but sometimes I lose focus on genuine science and it feels like my dreams are taking over just because some stranger in my phone suddenly wants to make out with me.
We go out on Halloween.
I think it’s weird that he wants to go out with me on Halloween.
He’s new to Toronto which is a running trend on these apps, people who are new to Toronto and therefore also desperate.
I give him the name of a bar that is sort of in between where each of us respectively lives.
I have no intention of doing anything but maybe making out in the bar and then coming home or even stopping at my friends place on the way home.
I wear a sheer shirt.
I wear a big sweater.
I wear lipstick and I think I look really pretty but also know it doesn’t matter.
I have this combined feeling that I’m (1) very attractive and (2) worthless.
I show up at the bar and he’s sitting with two beers and two shots.
I sit and take my coat off in the chair across from him.
He says, sit here, gesturing to the chair beside him.
I say, ok.
He’s better looking than his photos.
I didn’t expect to think much of him.
His presentation of self has felt decidedly uninteresting.
He’s a brick layer, I don’t think he finished high school and he told me he never ever reads or even watches Netflix, he’s pretty much just a body that sometimes has to move.
Mysterious, sort of.
Pitiful, sort of.
But, he’s better looking than I expect. It excites me…sort of.
I’ve had two drinks already at home.
I take the shots with him.
He finishes his beer, orders another one and another round of shots.
I keep flirting with him. Hard. Acting desperate. Just wanting to feel attractive because otherwise I feel like my couch is my only suitor.
He’s telling me this story, kind of over and over again about how his sister married a Jewish guy and at the wedding he danced the Judaic traditional dances so hard that he got kicked out of the wedding.
I think it’s funny, but I perform thinking it’s very funny, and I play the evening as if this is the last man on Earth.
I shouldn’t even know him.
He has no ambition.
He has no life.
He has some interesting or at least cute stories but I can’t seem to pin point an actual identity. He is a stranger. He wants to remain a stranger.
I realize now, as I am writing this, he wasn’t telling me anything because he was just at the bar to get me drunk, to enhance the illusion that I know him well enough to go home with him.
I try to tell him things about myself but he literally waves me off because he does not care.
He does not care to know me at all.
I had walked straight into a trap and I’m so urgently pathetic that I just fucking stay there.
We get very drunk.
I can’t even finish my beer.
He’s ordered us a lot of booze and I’ve said no, I have said no more than once but he keeps saying, I’m paying for it and he says it in this low tone, like it’s a tense discretionary detail, like this liquor is worth a lot of money and he’s got it covered because he has a lot of money and we drink a lot even though I have no idea why any of that would matter to me. I can afford to drink. I drank before coming here. Why does it matter that he’s paying?
I’m very drunk.
The room is spinning.
He says, can I kiss you.
I say, yeah, which is just a loud obnoxious echo of “FINE”.
He kisses me and it’s not a bad kiss but he tastes really bad which is actually a sensation I have never experienced.
He says, so are we going back to your place.
I say, no I told you, I don’t want to have sex with you.
He says, we don’t have to have sex.
I take this in. I take this in, because FUCK YOU, you are clearly, CLEARLY manipulating me and it isn’t even smart, it isn’t even clever or flattering, it’s just a fucking lie.
I roll my eyes at him.
He asks me again.
He starts to ask me a weave of questions, most of them the same, and I keep saying no but I get caught in the middle of his imposed ultimatum.
He asks if he can come over, I keep saying no. I don’t make up excuses, I don’t correct his redundancy, I just laugh at him.
I should leave.
I don’t leave.
He fakes not understanding why we can’t go back to my house.
He offers to take me to his house, he lives with his brother-in-law who will be there and we can just watch a movie.
We haven’t been in this bar for that long.
We have had a lot to drink in no time and it’s because he’s been rushing the experience.
He finally says, well we can either stay here and drink or go back to my house.
I do not consider my obvious other option.
I do not consider going home or even just going anywhere else without him.
I am exhausted by his persistence.
I don’t believe that No is enough anymore but I don’t know what to do.
I am almost 30 years old and I don’t know what to do.
It is Halloween. There are a million people outside and I am going home with a guy I don’t know and I don’t want to.
I could literally scream, HE’S KIDNAPPING ME, and run away, leaving him in a mob of heroes. I could make a dramatic exit if only to avoid arguing with him once more about why I don’t want to spend time with him in a private room alone.
I told him so many times.
And he argued with me as if I’m a fucking idiot for not wanting to fuck him because don’t I know that this is how adults behave.
And it worked.
I’m going home with him.
I am, probably, a fucking idiot. I hear that statement in my head as I get on the subway with him.
I drop my bag and everything falls out, sure sign I’m not myself right now.
We get off the subway and start walking to his house.
I ask what movie we’re going to watch.
He tells me he doesn’t have Netflix.
So, how the fuck are we going to watch a movie, I ask him.
He says, well I have some.
I just let that be.
He takes me through an alley to his house.
It’s not a particularly nice place but it’s nicer than I imagined.
There is no brother-in-law. Similar to the movie, he will not be materializing this evening.
In the light of the apartment, Eddie looks old and worn.
He is also very large.
He tells me to sit on the couch.
He tells me take off “the grandpa thing” which is my sweater and he takes it off of me.
He’s taken off his coat now which, I realize suddenly, is something he didn’t do in the bar.
He’s a really big guy.
He’s a scary big guy.
He kneels on the couch in front of me and kisses me.
I hate it so much. I hate it SO much.
He lays me down and he says, do you want a blanket.
I say, yeah.
At this point, I start wondering about my escape.
He lays the blanket on top of me and sits beside me.
He starts kissing me again and he says with hot breath and a fucking huge hand on my stomach, I’m unbuttoning you.
I wonder about my escape.
I wonder about my escape.
I wonder about my escape.
Some giant fucking hand is pushing one of its fingers inside me and I wonder about my escape.
I count to six. I fake an orgasm.
He takes his hand out.
He says, did you come.
I say, sure did.
He imitates me and laughs.
He takes his dick out.
He says, look
I am nearly crying when I look at his penis.
I say, I don’t want to have sex with you.
He says, you don’t have to, just look.
I say, I don’t want to look.
My voice breaks.
He says, ok ok ok ok I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m putting it away
I say, I should go, I’m going to go
He says, no no no no no I’m putting it away, I’m sorry, no
He might put it away but I don’t look.
I push myself up off the couch and he suddenly has one hand on my chest, one arm behind my head he pushes me back onto the couch, back into his arm, staring right at me he says, I put it away I put it away.
And then he says, shhhhhh which feels instantly criminal.
He says, can I see your tits.
I let out a laugh and I hope it’s armed with poisonous vapour but it isn’t, he’s still alive and his face is next to mine and I wonder about my escape, I wonder about my escape, I show him one breast, he starts touching it
His penis is out again.
I grab it.
I put it in my mouth.
I can’t breathe so I stop and I move to plan B, I start tugging at his dick and I know I can give a hand-job but I forget that I’m supposed to be doing that, I just start tugging, nearly ripping it off of him, he takes it away from me.
He says, too hard.
I get up, I say, I should go, I have to go.
He says, no no no no no no, ok, we can watch a movie
Eddie grabs my waist and throws me on the couch.
He puts on a movie.
I feel like a kidnapped eleven year old, trapped in a sex den, waiting for my mom to suddenly appear.
But that’s not what this is and that’s never going to happen.
He has one arm over me, across my chest and he’s moving through the channels, showing me the options.
He says, see, pick a movie, pick a movie.
The commercials scream THERE ARE NO MOVIES.
I wonder about my escape.
I sit up.
He says, stop it ok.
I say, I should go.
He says, no it’s ok, stop it ok
He leans over, putting a hand on each of my shoulders, leaning in to kiss me again, I suddenly kick him.
I kick him in the chest.
It is bizarre and weak and perfect.
He says, ok sorry
I get up, I put my sweater on, I put on my coat, he’s apologizing but all I can think about is my escape
He says, Rachel: High school date, right?
It’s a reference to what I told him I wanted tonight.
It’s a reference, probably, to every high school date he has ever known or ever heard of or ever, for all I know, witnessed. Force.
I say, yeah
He hops over the couch and he kisses me three times.
I leave crying, running down the street.
He messages me, I’m sorry Rachel.
I say, It’s fine.
He says, tell me when you get home.
I say, I’m going to my friends house
He says, I’m sorry
I say, and I don’t know why I say it but I say, You don’t have to say that.
I get rid of the app.
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Love and Hope—