Tinder Annals: ONE BAD CHERRY AKA: BASIC INSTINCT

Mediocrity, cha ching.

“I was paying over three grand a month for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco. And that’s why I decided to move here and buy a house. I get that I’m displacing people …  and families. You should have seen the family that sold their home to me. Nice people. Wish they could have stayed, but it just made sense for them – financially – to sell their house to me. They wanted to be able to send their kids to college one day. And there’s nothing I can do about that – it’s just true,” my date looked down at his drink, swirling the ice around. It took him eight minutes to order it. And now he was looking down at this top shelf liquor with mild disdain. I guess we were all feeling some buyers remorse on this date.

This little speech about “displacing people” was his way of letting me know that he owned a big fancy house. But mostly it felt like a douchey ploy, veiled as a confession to absolve him of his classist guilt and create a veneer of intimacy.

I could hear myself say, “that sounds tough.”

Moving on.

Not sure how we got to the next topic: FRUIT. He told me that he didn’t eat fruit. WHY? When he was four years old, he ate a bad cherry and that turned him off fruit forever.

“I think it must have been rotten,” he said.

“How about peaches?”

“Nope.”

“Apricots?”

“No.”

“What about apples?”

“No.”

“Pears?”

“No.”

“Pineapple?”

“No fruit of any kind.”

“Really? Just because of one bad cherry?”

“Well, I’ll eat tomato sauce. Also, pumpkin pie,” One Bad Cherry volunteered.

We spent the next ten minutes brainstorming different foods that OBC would eat. On the list: ketchup and banana cream pie. But not apple pie. If this was a metaphor for OBC’s life experience, it wasn’t a favorable one. And I won’t put you through the torture of reading the dialogue. And by the way, I hate the word “brainstorming.” I must really be in a state of self-loathing to use it.

Of course I’m in a state of self loathing, because, how about this painful reminder? I’m 37 years old, on a Tinder date in a dive bar, literally talking about fruit for twenty minutes – with nothing to cushion the blows, drinking a diet coke at 8:00 PM – because I have “the gift” of recovering from alcoholism.

Yeah. Let that sink in.

After we stopped talking about the fruit that OBC wouldn’t eat, I looked up at the television. A movie was playing with no sound. Rosie Perez was in it. OBC decided to check IMDB and see what movies Rosie Perez was in, so he could determine what was playing on the television.

OBC pulled his phone out of his pocket. Along with the word “brainstorming”, I also don’t like it when anyone looks at their phone in my presence. (It’s a weird quirk that I have which probably explains why I’m alone all the time.) Anyway, OBC turns on his phone and Tinder pops up – right where he’d left off from swiping while he was in the bathroom.

While OBC fiddles with his phone, I think of a brilliant performance art piece: I write a book titled Good On Paper – and I write down the name of every man I’ve ever been with and then I burn it. And maybe kill myself afterward. Genius. Now normally I’d write this idea down in the notes app on my phone, which is how I keep track of all my material. But you know how i feel about the taking out the phone. I live by my own credo. This idea would have to be memorized and reconstructed at a later time. OBC was on his phone still, reading the entire biography of Rosie Perez out loud. I was eager for a turn of events. Seriously anything. And you know what? God answered my prayers, because, just then a drunk man approached our table. He swayed from side to side, barely able to stand upright. Finally, something interesting..

“You look like Bradley Cooper,” the man said, pointing at my date. He pivoted to me, finger still pointing …

“BUT YOU. You … You look like Sharon Stone.”

I took a deep breath and let those words wash over me.

“Really?”

“It’s true.  I can see it,” OBC said.

I know what you’re thinking right now. IS THAT TRUE? Before you give it anymore thought – don’t. Not a relevant question. And that’s because of one reason: I NEEDED TO BELIEVE IT. Kind of like when you see two people, with flowers tucked behind their ears, clasping their hands together in frenzied desperation, exchanging vows on a beach – telling each other that they’ll be there for each other until one of them dies – and this is exactly what they want, this arrangement is their dream. THEY NEED IT TO BELIEVE IT. THEY NEED IT, LIKE I NEED TO BE SHARON STONE. There are a few kinds of people in this world : 1) happy people who can somehow bend their dreams and hopes to fit their mediocre reality and 2) discontented, miserable, disappointed people who live their lives feeling like they are meant for BIG THINGS –  delusions of grandeur, never realized. And then there’s another kind of person: the kind that doesn’t know their dreams. And that’s maybe the saddest kind of person. And maybe I was that person. But, I did know one thing for sure: This, here, now – THIS WAS NOT MY DREAM.

But back to the scene at hand: Rosie Perez is on TV – I can’t hear anything she is saying. My date is some loaded billionaire web designer from San Francisco with a fancy raincoat, who doesn’t eat fruit, who looks like he just graduated high school – I can’t hear what he’s saying. The drunk guy is slurring something and he’s about to get escorted from the premises – I can’t hear what he’s saying.

Because I’m Sharon fucking Stone.

Now, don’t judge me – because I am about to tell you something that will confuse you: I drove OBC home that night. The details why are boring. I summed it all up for you with a haiku, to save time:

burberry doucher

called an Uber, no ride home

my problem: too nice

Or to sum it up more succinctly:

remember, swipe left

smart does not mean chemistry

I did not fuck him

That’s two haikus. My point: I got to see firsthand the gigantic monster of a home that One Bad Cherry purchased, complete with Adirondack chairs. And lastly, I got to hear him say these words:

“Some people will never know what it’s like to purchase a house like this before they’re like … thirty five.” Those might have been the exact last words he said to me. I don’t know.

I tried to erase the whole thing from my mind. And as is evidence by this blog entry (and other things I’ve done and said in this short lifetime): I FAILED.

On the drive home, I gripped the steering wheel. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34. Repeating the Fibonacci Sequence (up to 34) as loud as I could. There has to be some reason for all of this. There has to be some formula for why this is happening. It couldn’t be that I’m some empty-body-shell that floats around, in order to facilitate OTHER people’s dreams.

When I got home, I opened the door to my apartment, walked through my living room, through the kitchen, and directly into my bedroom. It was midnight. I didn’t take off my shoes. I didn’t take off my makeup or my clothes. I just lay down on my bed and opened my lap top, and scrolled through Netflix until I found it: Basic Instinct.

I leaned back on my pillow, watching the credits roll up the screen. Five minutes in, Sharon Stone is totally naked, having sex in a giant bed. It was 1992 probably. For those of you who’ve already seen this movie, it’s an unforgettable scene.  With absolute command, Sharon Stone ties her lover to the bed with a white scarf. With just as much deliberation, she fucks him while reaching under the covers to grab an ice pick … and …

she drives the ice pick

into his heart with passion

makes me feel alive

The end. That wasn’t a very good haiku, was it? You were hoping for something bigger, better, maybe more intense? Exactly. Now you know how it feels.

Happy Holidays to all you lovebirds out there.

A bowl of cherries

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