Hey, is that Coffee?

“I like books, theatre, and leather” read, the Scruff profile.

This was one of the most enchanting of Scruff profiles. The world of gay dating apps has always sucked. Mostly, it’s men who have been heavily photo shopped and/or look like Elmer Fudd writing very judgmental commentary.

To my fellow gays, “hey, we’re still marginalized group, get your head out of your asses.” This is a side note.

Not surprisingly, Riverside has never attracted the gays quite like (nearby) Palm Springs. Even with two gays bars in the Riverside city limits, Riverside remained very straight and highly lesbian oriented (lesbians just love to u-haul to Riverside). Bored with the five gay men, who call Riverside, home, I ventured into further depths of the Inland Empire (the region in which Riverside is located in).

His t-shirt read, “I like dick.” Enthralled, I messaged him. He didn’t have bathroom selfies or annoying profile summaries, emphasizing the need for an athletic guy, with a big ego (this is a reference to the male anatomy). Witty banter exchanged. We agreed to meet at that the 90’s style coffee house, “Back 2 the Grind.”

Upon arriving at the coffee shop, T-shirt (as I would like to call him) sat under a disco ball. He had a beer and see-through thermos of cold brew coffee. He was quirky, very quirky. In typical thirty-something talk, we complained about bed bugs, gentrification and bitchy millennial gays. (As I always told my therapist, if I stopped complaining, I’d be down a hobby). The coffee at “Back 2 the Grind” was most unappetizing. Rather than enduring a bland cappuccino, I suggested we head to the other hipster haven, “ Augie’s.”

After ordering a more appetizing cappuccino at Augie’s (New York City still does coffee better), something unusual caught my attention. The clear thermos of cold brewed coffee turned purple. It looked more like a fine Malbec than anything made with beans. T-shirt kept talking.

“Hey, is that wine? I asked bluntly.

“Yup, I just love walking around with wine everywhere,” he said, with a giggle.

“I thought I was a lush,” I told him.

We laughed. Nervously, I hoped nobody noticed. He had it prominently displayed on the communal table. The boozy thermos became second nature. I had more pressing first world problems on the cranium.

“Hey, come with me to Trader Joe’s. I need to get my grocery shopping done.” I told him.

He shook his head, yes. We traveled the 2.5 miles up Magnolia Avenue. We hit a fast changing yellow light. The red wine spilled on the passenger’s seat. My car smelled like a wine bar. Awkwardness followed. He didn’t think much of it. Fearing getting pulled-over, the drive to Trader Joe’s was nerve wracking. The windows were open wide to let out the sweet fumes of alcoholic grapes. Once, I reached the parking lot, fear diminished.

“Put that wine away, or else we’ll all go to jail, I told him.

He agreed. We were finally in the air-conditioned heaven of a super market. Trader Joes became symbolic. It was my first date at a supermarket. After my grocery shopping finished, T-Shirt and his thermos of wine were dropped off in Downtown. Naturally, he gave me an after Trader Joe’s kiss.

We never hung out again. Scruff bored the shit out of me. It was deleted. Instead of crying over being single, I am braced my title, “single, childfree, and loving it.” Oddly, Mr. “I love books, theatre and leather” still fascinates me. He’s probably in a dungeon with a whip, and stack of LGBT friendly novels.

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