1. what happened to the dates?

    what happened is I took most of them down. hoping to turn this tale of woe into a book. step one, of course, is whisking it away from the internet.

    wish me luck?


    your dater

  2. Rule #27: The Rule of Comedians

    Both logic and heavy foreshadowing suggest your “type”
    includes this hapless vessel for existential dread.
    (A fellow minstrel. Who is King?)

    Night after night
    he lifts the sill to call the monsters.
    In they pour, all corpse-breath
    and fang: Closet-dwellers. Underbed
    lurkers. Creepers, keeners, pounders-on-doors.

    A game, you tell yourself—you trust
    his skill. He spent years gaining the knack for the nick of time, the turn,
    the on-a-dime dick joke
    that beats them back.

    Delightful, no question. But keep that guard up—
    this tests agility, not strength. You should check
    his other performances. (Also,

    your contract: Some night
    you’ll be a monster.)

  3. The Varieties of Hipster Carlessness: Indications & Translations

    (In lieu of a poem, an at-a-glance guide.)

    “I gave up my car a year ago”

    It broke and for six months sat outside his old apartment, even after he moved. The city has billed him for its disposal. He ignores their notices.


    “I sold my car and have been getting to know the city by bike”
    (architect edition)

    It’s not that he’s classist—but desperation spoils the view. Besides, Los Feliz wants for little. His ideal mate? Sinewy, “attractive.” Willing to drive to LACMA.


    “I sold my car and have been getting to know the city by bike”
    (vegan edition)

    The car was sold out of fiscal necessity, the meat renounced to lend said sale a look of deliberateness. As a twofold pain in the ass, he’s asked to dinner less often. Much expenditure has thus been avoided.


    “ ”

    But he walked here. And he lives across town. He’ll wait until the second date to mention the DUI. Add “waiting for a cab” to any possible date scenario; consider that sum.


    “I don’t have a car but I live downtown”

    On a map downtown looks like a place one might live. Which means he had no one to inform him otherwise. Q: What is Los Angeles? A: Fine for now. (And you’ll do, too. See also: The Rule of Grad Students)


    “kinda broke so no car at the moment”

    Such frank speech—is it brave or is it shameless? SWM seeks Netflix with benefits. Might suit you fine, depending.


    Run, don’t walk is a thing people say.
    I say drive.

  4. Besides, You Ruined The Surprise

    That’s a lot of inches,
    but not enough
    to bridge the gap
    between the wit I’d like to see
    and what’s on display.

  5. Rule #19: How to Revise Your Profile (a.k.a. Rule #19: You’ll Come Crawling Back)

    The same, only Different! It’s the movie
    every studio wants; it’s what you’ll try next, having tried and failed:
    don’t say cynical, say
    wiser investor. The market holds no grudge. So first things first:
    that profile could be made less patient.
    (This is how we get pickier
    as we age—pattern-recognition, the erosion
    of goodwill.) Might as well scare off
    the weak ones. Make yourself less dreamable
    for the dreamers. Less marriageable, to the wife-shoppers.
    Less accommodating—
    to all the wanderers seeking shelter—you’re not shelter.
    Try to write that profile and still sound happy.

    (Impossible. So put a pin in it. Likewise, disappear the fact
    that naming what you don’t want
    can’t substitute for knowing what you do. Or—no need—
    let it stand there;
    you still can’t see it.)

    But who needs happy when you’ve got all these lemons. You’re nothing
    if not resourceful. Besides. Cheerful often
    can suffice.

  6. in·fat·u·a·tion (n., offline)

    Isn’t there anything else we can call this? The shift. Not into love—
    this first movement is solitary.

    Infatuation. Like a process an entomologist
    might study. Like an injury that will require you to be driven to the emergency room
    by some inconvenienced friend.

    The infatuated doodle adored initials on Trapper Keepers
    and never shut the fuck up. I guess what I’m saying is

    I hate that word. The condescension built in (and
    the catastrophe). Where is the word
    for what grown-ups feel? People who have survived the main event
    and met the bottom. We who’ve picked up all our bones
    and undertaken the long, slow climb
    to our remembered selves.

    If love’s a fall, this is where you consider dismantling the railing.
    Maybe throw a rock over and listen for it to hit.
    Then sit for awhile.
    What kind of screwdriver will you need. Is it rusted.
    No word for this and no rush, or not much of one, or you don’t think so—after all,
    you’re not an idiot anymore; yet.

  7. Because Immediately After Reading Your Message, I Took My Profile Down and It Felt Fucking Great, Certain Red Flags Notwithstanding

    Because holyshit goodbye.
    Goodbye profiles of adorable sweet
    and age-appropriate men who turn out to love Jesus. Goodbye Jackson Pollock,
    Goodbye wraparound sunglasses
    and carefully tended abs glistening
    in some tropical sun. Goodbye, also, tropical sun
    (stop reminding me
    I haven’t escaped town in an age). Goodbye fake blood,
    prosthetic garotting, all-over
    face paint (I’m nerdy,
    but not like that). Goodbye, “some college,” when
    that lack of subject-verb agreement cries out for “more.”

    Speaking of my arrogance goodbye to your reading material. Sure,
    you might be reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
    (“reading” meaning
    “keeping close in case your iPhone craps out”),
    but I am highly skeptical about Gravity’s Rainbow. (Then again, I never finished
    either.) (And really, not a single book written by a woman?)
    (But moving on.) Goodbye,
    trying to think of a bar I don’t hate
    where I also won’t bump into friends.

    Goodbye getting dressed,
    and getting dressed, and getting dressed again.

    Goodbye, finally, to all of you who wrote perfectly nice messages—not crass,
    not cut-and-paste twee, not mean, (not funny), just perfectly fucking
    polite and decent messages
    that conveyed nothing so much as “I am interested in you as a human being,”
    which I probably ignored, possibly
    unfairly, my fear of being too much to someone more profound, still,
    than my wariness of being too little.

    (and the silence that followed was rightly filled
    with ellipses)

  8. Rule #14: The Rule of Condoms

    Following the fraught, what-will-he-think-of-me calculations
    entailed in deciding to reveal that you, A Lady,
    are nevertheless not an undiscovered continent
    (certain men seeming to require protection from that most of all)
    and sensibly keep prophylactics on hand in case of moments exactly like this one,
    this rule dictates that the first one you come up with

    shall be expired.

  9. You’re too beautiful.

    I don’t trust it. (As in a horror film, perhaps

    I am looking 
    in the wrong direction.)

  10. On Smiles, Part 2

    As you note, I am blessed with a charming smile; however,
    I was not wearing it
    in my picture.
    Have we met somewhere else, then?
    I didn’t think so.