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Or like, coffee

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seen this pic with a ''cherik it!'' comment from l-p-r-o-c-k so I thought, hey, let's give it a go. also, it's possible that I mixed up tinder with grindr, sorry!


So, the thing is.

The thing is, Erik is going to be stoned out of his mind. And, and, alright, maybe he’s at the point of his life where a series of unfortunate events led him to be alone, on a Friday night, with no douchey (freshly ex)boyfriend or Emma to poke fun at the disaster that is his love life. He loves her dearly, but he’s not prepared to nit-pick exactly what went wrong with this relationship just yet. Not that he was too invested, or, even worse, in love, but it doesn’t sting any less to be dumped out of the blue. Whatever, he’ll get over it. He has just enough weed left for approximately 2 joints to roll and get the party started. A party of one, granted, but that hasn’t stopped anybody before. Erik is getting stoned tonight.

He’s thinking about listening the new psychedelic experimental orchestra with synth effects thrown in the mix, the one Alex told him about, so he grabs his phone to look it up online. There, next to the Youtube app, is the Grindr one, which he hasn’t ever used, out of the principle. He did install it a week ago, when he overheard two girls in the cafeteria giggling about the ‘‘epitome of male attractiveness, interning on the third floor, and really, Janet, I don't care if he’s gay, I’d still climb that guy like a tree. I bet I can find him on Grindr right now and save his profile pic’’. So, you know, maybe his interest has been piqued. So that’s how he found himself downloading the app, curious to see this ubermensch, but in the next second Emma showed up and all further investigations have been stopped.

But tonight is the perfect occasion to try out the app, nevermind that he’s against these kind of things, - online dating, hook and sink, smiley face and a dtf? -, Erik’s awful at introductions in real life, he doesn’t imagine the online medium makes it any easier. And there’s also the problem of who exactly ends up using these apps, creepers and mainly people who haven’t had any luck with their pick-up lines in person, so they’re trying them online. Guys that want to fuck and disappear before dawn. Guys who fuck up every relationship they’ve been in so the only prospect of dating is meeting people who’ve yet to know how awful they are. Okay, maybe the last one is all Erik, with this abrasiveness and cynicism.

He opens the app and signs up, completes the account details as quickly as possible, makes up a short bio and sets a 10 mile radius, and starts perusing the site. Swipe left, swipe right. Wait, which was which? Whatever, 5 generic dudes later, Erik’s kinda disappointed in the offer and moves on to rolling his joint. He does this all with an economy of movement, he’s only had two beers and they haven’t slowed him yet, he’s in his prime, he’s gonna have the best evening out of this shitty month. He puts on the first playlist he finds, lights up the blunt and leans back on his couch, closing his eyes. The sour taste of weed punches his lungs and after three smokes he already starts feeling a little weightless. Closing his eyes, he can just imagine himself floating away from his shitty life. Deep inhales, long exhales, the music's an eclectic mix of sounds and he starts bobbing his hair to the beat. Whatever worries he has, they're drowning in the bass. And all the stress from the last job, his account savings dwindling and his current unemployment, his recently dumped status, all of it is not making the burden on his shoulders any lighter. He finishes his joint and looks for another song to keep his mood up.

His phones buzzes next to his leg.

Oh shit, one of the first dude he’d swiped messaged him. His icon is a small photo of a guy and a blonde woman, Erik thought he’d declined him, but if this guy’s talking to him, apparently he’s been doing it all wrong. His face grimaces as he remembers the other dudes with sleazy pictures he’s also matched. Whatever, he’ll delete the app later and save himself the trouble of telling them to fuck off. Now the first one, this Charles, he’s fairly attractive, but obviously straight, judging by the cozy picture of the woman snuggled up next to him. What’s his deal, Erik thinks, is he looking for a threesome or just that deep in the closet that he needs to affirm his heterosexuality on a gay dating app. Charles is all friendly conversation, inane stuff about the weather and what’s your job, getting-to-know-you questions. Erik is answering them, briskly but still answering, out of a strange sense of mischief. He lights the second joint and immerses himself in unravelling the mystery of the straight dude who’s seemingly clueless on what Grinder really is.

So when Charles messages him ‘‘So what do you like to do for a first date?’, Erik thinks, fuck it, and types back ‘‘Anal’’, waits for a second, debates adding a ‘‘bareback’’ - it is a bit extreme after all, and continues with ‘‘or like, coffee’’. Ha, take that, you stuck up dude. It should be enough to clue in this Charles guy exactly on what kind of app he’s signed up. He laughs and waits to see Charles’ response. But then he surprises him with his reply ‘‘Is the third date a wedding - or maybe, somethings as scandalous as dinner?’’. Damn.

‘‘I wouldn’t say scandalous, but I can do some pretty indecent stuff at dinner, too’’, Erik writes back, feeling a bit foolish. The guy seems nonplussed with his replies. This is not going the way Erik envisioned. ‘‘Oh, yeah, like what?’’, and what is that, flirting? Is Charles, the happy straight dude on Grindr, flirting with him? Erik looks around and grabs the last remains of his beer, swallows it in one gulp and looks back at the screen. Should he flirt back? He is a bit high, but not enough to sabotage a relationship. Damn it, conscience, he was having a good time.

‘‘Won’t the blonde chick be upset if I tell you?’’, there, he sent it. No direct inquisition as to who she is, but still, a reminder for Charles to not step over his line.

‘‘Who? Oh. She’d be ecstatic actually’’ and, what? Erik doesn’t get any change to write his indignant response, when Charles follows with ‘‘she’s my sister’’. Okay, that makes sense. A bit? ‘‘She set up my account, I didn’t get to choose that pic’’, so the mystery of the woman beaming up in the photo is cleared. His sister. Charles has a sister. This tiny revelation makes Erik feel better, for whatever unknown cause. This stranger who’s been talking to him for the past hour is not actually in a relationship, and he may not be interested in women after all. Maybe all of Erik’s presumptions were wrong.

‘‘I thought you were straight’’, he texts.

‘‘Nope’’, Charles answers, with a winky face. Oh. Erik has been unknowingly been chatted up after all.

‘‘Well then, I guess you’ll see in person what I like on the third date then’’

‘‘So, coffee tomorrow?’’

It’s on.