Tea, Crumpets, and Cardigans

The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel always exuded old New York glamour. The tea, sandwiches, and little desserts serve at high tea were scrumptious, in a rich people kind of way. I sat across from my L.A. bestie, Nicole. She didn’t like desserts. I gladly ate the sweets for her. The bill arrived.

“Oy, $70 for snacks and tea, I can’t believe you convinced me to come here,” I said, dreading to put my credit card down.

“It’s a life experience,” she replied.

A half hour later, we left the Plaza Hotel’s 1% bubble. On a 3 train, we traveled up to my beloved Harlem, aka, home. Unlike the fabulousness of the Plaza, my apartment was an old tenement with a twist. I lived on the fifth floor, in a spacious studio. Nicole just loved stairs. She adored them, couldn’t get enough of them.

“Why don’t you move to an elevator building? I would not want to drag my big suitcase up all these stairs.” She said, huffing and puffing.

“C’mon, just a few more flights to go,” I said.

My apartment was quite warm and semi empty, since I had just moved from the East 20’s, also known as six blocks above the East Village. The apartment was still barren. Only a foldout couch and air mattress greeted us. Nicole sat on the couch, still recovering from the long journey. Sadly, I had to return the air mattress to Krista, who lived in Tribeca (which is about 30 minutes from Harlem, on the subway). Watching the bed deflate was a bit sad. I needed to buy a bed, ASAP. After stuffing the deflated air mattress into a backpack-like casing, I made the journey down to the five flights of stairs.

“You really should’ve moved into an elevator building,” she said again, holding on to the railings.

“I can’t afford it. Stairs are fine. They give my tuckus some exercise,” I said.

Secretly, I agreed with her. Carrying that heavy air mattress was most dreadful. The dreadful journey from the top to bottom of my old tenement didn’t immediately end. Carrying the heavy bag from Seventh Avenue to the subway on Lenox Avenue proved especially grueling, seven minutes of agony.

“Shit, fuck, shit, I should’ve just bought a bed. The brownstones on the side streets are pretty. I will just focus on that,” I said to myself.

The heaviness weighed me down. Schvitizing through my cardigan was most uncomfortable. Alas,reaching the subway platform actually brought relief. The seven-minute journey ended for now. Subway passengers would grow agitated at me for schlepping such a monstrosity. The train took me directly to Franklin Avenue. Afterwards, we walked toward Krista’s Tribeca apartment. It took a long while, but we finally reached our destination. The air mattress was safely returned to its owner. My back didn’t break. Oh, and Krista’s apartment building had an elevator.

Nicole laughed, “You are not good at manual labor.”

“This is true. I hate carrying heavy shit. We’re going to go1 percent-er next time, and take a cab.” I declared.

Now that I live in a track home, I miss climbing up stairs. I miss days were I could start that would commence at the local deli (ordering bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll), but end up at the Plaza. Most of all, I miss Nicole, who passed away a bit over year ago.

Advertisements

Quirky Face

Tuesday and Thursday nights, I took art classes at the local community college. Naturally, it was schlep and schvitz to go up those stairs, carrying art supplies. However, once I reached class, my imagination came alive. “Hipster dinosaurs” became a staple of my portfolio. They wore black-framed glasses, Converse sneakers and really liked coffee shops. One assignment left me a bit baffled.

“Shit, fuck, shit, I have to draw my own self portrait,” I said to myself.

I thought of ways to capture my eccentric personality on paper. Also, I brainstormed how to make myself look skinnier than I actually am. Unlike most handsome men, I had a distinct look. Round rosy cheeks, big brown eyes, very thick glasses, wavy black hair and a unibrow, which would make Frida Kahlo red with envy.

Using charcoal, I drew the outline of my puppy dog cheeks. An eraser was used to distinct shadows on my face. The tortoise shell glasses were the most difficult, since they need to be equally aligned. My hands were black with charcoal. The process was extremely messy. The washing of hands became a treat. Screeching sounds of charcoal against paper, reminded me of chalk on a blackboard. That sound reminded me too much of traumatizing Catholic School years. Regardless of a little childhood trauma, the portrait began resembling me.

After completing the portrait, I had to write a paper on what was learned from the experience. Here’s a Reader’s Digest version. In a world of chiseled faces, six-pack abs, and perfectly quaffed hair, I have never fitted in. If Walter Matthau and that kid from the Wonder Years (Fred Savage) meshed faces, they would look like me. Drawing imperfections was fun. Having chubby cheeks and tortoise shell glasses gave me a distinct quirk. My quirky face is also a tribute to my multicultural heritage. Thanks to a DNA taste, I found out, que soy un Latinx con mucho sabor (Spanish, Irish, Jewish, Native American, West African, Scandinavian, English, and Italian, just to name a few). This cultural diversity is reflected in my looks, which I’m very proud of.

The self-portrait has been in my “Gayve” for many months. It will be mounted to the wall, nestled between “Dia de los Muertos “ art and (my own) “Hipster Dinosaurs.” These days, the “Gayve” will not only be a bookworm’s sanctuary, but also art lover’s dream.

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.

That Poet Dude

Dude, You’re reading “Infinite Jest.” Like, David Foster Wallace is a genius. I’ve gotten all the way to page 400, said, Skylar (that’s his alias).

“Yeah, I am plugging away. I am on page 200,” I said.

We smiled at each. It was thrilling to meet another bookworm, especially a cute one. His style did scream, “Pacific Northwest Reject.” With sandals, ragged jeans, and a hoodie, he stood as that rare creature unique to the gay (the muscle bound/fashion conscious) mainstream.

After an intellectually stimulating conversation, we parted ways. I tried my best to preserve remnants of cynicism. Naively, I kept thinking about my Skylar.

“Gee, I bet he has a huge, huge, huge book collection. We could swap books. We could read James Baldwin, Joan Didion and James Joyce under a grand Sycamore tree. Heck, we could even get into lengthy debates about Dystopia novels vs. the current political climate.

The following week, I arrived promptly at art class. Skylar strolled in a bit late. He traded the hoodie for a “Nirvana” band t-shirt. Rather than have a serious expression, I decided to make eye contact with him. He returned the eye contact, with a smile.

After an hour of studying Post-Impressionists, I needed to tinkle. Miraculously, Skylar appeared.

“Hey, dude, can I read you a poem I wrote? It’s about some dude who committed suicide, he said.

I shook my head. He read with emotion. The men’s room entrance became a little poet’s den. Rather than a tinkle, Skylar and strolled around the campus. Throughout the walk, I wanted to find out if he were gay. The sexuality question was never brought up.

The following week in class, I brainstormed ways to ask him out. Unlike the previous week, he seemed more rush.

“Hey, where are you parked?” I asked.

“Oh, I am walking home,” He said.

He then left the classroom. I went home, regretting not being more up-front.

Skylar grew more and more distant, each week. We said, hi, to each other. He didn’t make much conversation. A month after meeting, I hit a literary milestone. I conquered reading, “Infinite Jest,” with Its 1,000 + pages.

As for my love life, I predictably lost interest in Skylar. After ending the semester, I still wondered if he was gay. It would’ve been great to date a fellow bookworm. My (future) bookworm boyfriend has been probably hiding under a rock (or the Strand Bookstore’s rows of shelves).

Fortunately, I wouldn’t have to hear his depressing poetry. The art class didn’t bring romance. However, I did receive an “A” on my report card (from that class) & a G.P.A. boost.

An Insomniac’s Solitude

A dusty old bookshop is my solitude. Sifting through titles, finding unexpected used gems (at a discount) lifts dark clouds of depression. Stepping into a curious little literary shop, I was met with a fire-breathing dragon.

Shit, fuck, shit, it’s the Fox News Channel Bookshop. Every shelf was littered with Donald Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal.” Like any well-adjusted Democrat, I dashed out of the peculiar bookshop.

Eventually, I woke up in own darkened room. Dashing to the Gay-ve, I turned on the light. Smiling back at me were books by Zadie Smith, James Baldwin, Flannery O’Connor, Hunter S. Thompson, Jane Austen, and many more.

The Fox News Bookshop was just a nightmare. Unfortunately, I had eccentric dreams every night. Sometimes they boarded on avant-garde madness. Other times, fluffy dreams soothed the brain’s intertwined wrinkles.

Surprisingly, sleep anxiety didn’t quite build. Feeling increasingly comfortable, I found myself wandering New York City. Short of subway fare, I purchased a one-way ticket to Harlem, via the Seventh Avenue line.

A well air-conditioned train pulled into the 14th Street Station. Taking a seat on the orange seat, I glanced out the window. Dying animals appeared in between the Uptown and Downtown tracks, as the train sped, uptown.

Horses, dogs, and cats were tied to IV machines, clinging to life. The scene was terrifying and the animal hospice continued to line the tracks, all the way to 125th Street. Once again, I woke up with fear. Turning on the television, I was reminded of my safety zone in sleepy California.

The animal hospice dream finally triggered sleepy anxiety. Having nightmares became a frightening nightly occurrence. Each night, I dreaded sleep, not even sleeping pills could deter a mischievous brain.

I battled my own self-conscious by taking imitative. Sleeping next to a journal, I wrote down the nightly dreams, which stirred up panic. Eventually, the panic was turned to art. It was the equivalent of watching art house cinema, at it’s most raw.

From hamburger eating gold fish to being stranded on islands, every night had a different theme. It added to the crazy mosaic fabric of the dream journal. In the meantime, I continue to embrace stories from the subconscious. Yet, I really hope to never end up at the Fox News Bookshop. My liberal self would not approve.

Ambulance Chasers

Cole Porter dreams, and enchilada wishes happen in the desert. Palm Springs serves as my glittery backyard. It’s where the gay geriatrics lounge with martinis and collect art. They stare at mountains, art deco buildings, and shirtless men (of course). The gay desert is an escape from the shallowness of city life.

I’ve always been an ambulance chaser. This is other wise known as a “daddy chaser.” Although, wrinkles and grey hair are most appealing, age has always been just a number.

Hipster Boy, Meat-head, and Mr. Pseudo Intellectual were just a few of the fellows I dated. Inevitably, these counted as disaster dates. They also led me back to the Townhouse (a Piano bar) in New York City, where dapper older men sang alongside a piano, while sipping booze and discussing the latest Broadway hit.

My visits made me forget about the vile twenty-somethings, mentioned. My fascination for older men grew as I relocated, back to my hometown (which is fairly close to Palm Springs).

As a daddy chaser, I had all the right apps to meet men, virtually. However, after a terrible disaster date, I tried to delete the app. A most appealing man randomly messaged me.

He mirrored Nick Lachey (the cub version). After messaging me, I investigated his profile. “Only twenty-three? Shit” His messages were quite endearing, but I became weary. After disaster dates with Hipster Boy, Meat-Head and Mr. Pseudo Intellectual, dating a twenty-something didn’t appeal to me.

Revolting against common sense and preference, I sent him a message. Surprisingly, he was quite mature for twenty-three. His messages grew increasingly lovely. The messages were endless. Finally, I gave him my phone number, where he asked me out on a date at a Redlands coffee shop.

Obliging, Mr. Twenty-three became an ambulance chaser. My ego was suddenly boosted. However, I grew fearful. “If this works out, would I surrender into a parallel universe of cute couple photos, dinner by candle light, and snuggling on the couch?

Jadedness injected the soul with sharp pangs. Guilt kept me obliged to meet up. Coordinating my outfit, I received a text. “Will have to cancel, sorry.” Gloating, I responded back, “no worries”

“He’s so ghosting. He’s really ghosting” (the act where a fella texts and texts, then suddenly disappears). Surprise, he ended up texting me hours after canceling. Our correspondence continued. In a matter of days, he stopped texting.

It was my first relationship done entirely through text message. Having never met him, physically, I garnered an animosity toward modern technology. Men weren’t meeting other men in the real world, which remains disheartening.

“No cheesy couples’ photos! No romantic dinners! No cuddling on the couch!” I celebrated my spinsterhood. Predictably, Palm Springs beckoned. It’s an ambulance chaser’s dream.

Being the old cat lady would be swell, but what happens at eighty? There will be less of an abundance of older men to date. “ Thanks to modern technology and sophisticated medicine, one hundred year old gay men will still be sipping martinis and singing Cole Porter staples at the piano bar.

Yawn, Otter, Yawn

Fuck, shit, fuck, a tragedy just rocked my campy existence. With tears streaming down, I glanced at the vertical mirror. “Hola, muffin, muff top, that is. For half a decade, my weight had stayed consistent. Finally, bagels, pizza, and nachos had taken their revenge.

Leaving the dressing room, traumatized, the inevitable persisted. I caved in and bought a gym membership. The Treadmill became a major yawn. Power walking and jogging ignited a yearning to eat carbohydrates, drink coffee, and read books.

Rather than dying of boredom, coffee shop culture made a surprise cameo on the treadmill, sans the coffee, or treats. Indie rock, a classic novel and the “infamous” Batman journal sustained a tolerable (working-out) experience.

Glancing around the gym, muscles, six packs and pecs were as common as sweat and germs. The guys had the cheesy,” hi, I’m a Chippendale’s dancer” look. Secretly, I wished to have similarly sculpted features.

Alas, in the gay galaxy, I belonged to the bear tribe. Bears could eat as many burritos as possible and still get dates. Chub and fur were the only pre-requisites.

Confidently, I stepped off the treadmill. Basking in my bit of bohemia, an inevitable interruption serenaded gay eardrums. It was the “Scruff” app notifying me of an interested fellow. “Hello, looking for a nice guy to date,” read the message.

Jaded from past disaster dates, I rolled my eyes. However, after a week of feeling rejected by one’s own trouser size, a date would elevate self-esteem. “ Otter seeking bear,” were very persuasive words (Otter is a hairy, but skinny gay guy.).

We chatted; I sent him sexy pictures of yours truly wearing dazzling cardigans. He showed off his colorful tattoos. As expected, I asked him out on a proper date. Being a man of great taste, he naturally accepted.

Meeting at Simple Simon’s (a cool deli in Downtown Riverside), we locked eyes. If you thought, Barbara Streisand came out of the bushes to serenade two gay stereotypes, then you’re somewhat wrong. An awkward handshake greeted me, upon meeting.

His brightly colored personality was a distinct grey in real life. Sitting a table by the window, we ate. Conversation was forced. Diagnosing myself with a slow death from boredom, I threw random and funny topics to gab about. Drinking was one such topic. He was disturbed. “Drinking is stupid.” Geez, in all of California, I find the one gay, who hates booze.

Observing him eat a croissant sandwich served as the only excitement. Finally, hitting the wall of boredom, he took a last bite. The date ended. We parted ways. Like many mature acting gay guys, I immediately deleted him from Scruff. “Going on treadmill for five hours would’ve been more delightful, rejection loomed.

Upon returning home, dad observed sadness. I confessed everything and told dad, “He doesn’t drink alcohol. ”Dad smirked, “never trust a man, who doesn’t drink.” As the old cliché goes, “father really does know best.”

Recovering from chronic boredom, I delved back into my coffee-centric/book-centric life. Most surprisingly, I returned to the treadmill and had burrito daydreams, like a good bear should.

It’s Raining Glitter

“Mama, I’m not pretty enough to be a drag queen.” Much to my school and family’s shock, I didn’t grow up to be a drag queen. Pretty heels, fluffy dresses and lavish wigs didn’t quite appeal to a boy, who digs for his wardrobe in a pile of wrinkles clothes.

Predictably, the idea of drag queens remained fun, energetic, and admirable. While at the Strand bookshop (here in NYC), I found holiness. “Howdy, RuPaul. It was a miracle, a RuPaul prayer candle. It would be perfect to ship over to dad’s house, as a care package.”

Giggling, I (mentally) time traveled back to Christmas time at our family home in California. Father and I have opposing tastes on television shows. He prefers news and the History channel. Old sitcoms and reality shows (yes, I’m embarrassed to admit it) keep me flying across the country to watch television.

Our TV tastes reflect are diverse personalities. Dad is a marine, level headed and not neurotic. Yours truly is a bit eccentric, neurotic, oh and gay, very gay. When daddy and I agree to watch a TV show together, a drag queen gets her wings.

It did happen on a fateful and very starry night. “That’s a real lady. I don’t believe that’s a drag queen,” proclaimed, dad. The film credits to John Water’s “Polyester” bursting into the screen. Divine (one of my most famous drag queens and an icon) was the star.

As a huge John Waters fan, I found it humorous to expose daddy to a raunchy and very campy cinematic experience. Daddy repeated those faithful words, “I don’t believe she’s a drag queen. She a lady, look at her.”

“Daddy, it’s Divine in the starring role. She’s the most famous drag queen of all.” After a few glasses of wine, he glared into the screen, “oh shit, you’re right. She’s so convincing.” Laughing hysterically, culture shock rocked our family room. Daddy was enjoying John Waters’ filthy humor as much as his gay son.

Proudly, he became an instant John Waters fan. Months later, I stood in front of the RuPaul prayer candle. $18 for this? Do I really want to buy it? Convinced by dad, it was purchased. A few days later, it was shipped to California, along with a Rubik’s cube, paper dolls, and Andy Warhol knock-off portraits.

Gladness bestowed a glittery heart. I loved home. While other boys had to pretend to love football, I could watch campy films with dad and not hide my oddities. Normal is boring. A bloke in high heels and lavish wigs is not.

Coffee and Prozac

In high school, my trousers would never fit correctly, which, created a wedgie, a terribly obvious wedgie. I could throw a coat over it during winter, but my bum was unavoidable. The terribly cruel kids in high school nicknamed me, “the never ending wedgie.”

Wedgies were out of style by 1999. However, days of fantasizing about graduating high school and being an accepted freak of nature never died out, passed 1999. Uncovering my tribe became a monumental dream. I’d be the toast of the art world, an Oscar winner and Pulitzer Prize winning author.

Fast forward, if you attempted to find my art at the cinema, a museum or indie bookshop, then disappointment would engulf your soul. Although, I wrote many stories and even written the first draft of a novel, I still struggled to get my art into the world. In fact, as a thirty year old, feelings of awkwardness and aloofness never left.

More surprisingly, I was feeling out of place in New York City. Twas the geographical location, I ran away to not be an outsider. As my thirties progressed, not only was it rigorous to develop a writing a career, but change was needed, and inevitable.

New York’s stifling sidewalks were suffocating. Therefore, escaping became the dream. After failed attempts at moving to Los Angeles and Portland, escaping disappointment came in reading books.

Randomly, I sought to find the right career path. Reading and writing were the only hobbies, which tickeled my fancy. How could I make a career of that? Then, I remembered high school and the fine literature digested. Randomly, I decided to become a high school English teacher. Along with academia, I decided to make a bold step, geographically.

Upon taking my morning breakfast of a coffee, bagel, and Prozac, I checked on my frequent flyer miles. Bravely, I researched how many miles would be needed for a one-ticket to Southern California.

Having more than plenty of miles, I booked the one way ticket from New York La Guardia to Ontairo, CA. By June 1st, New York would be another chapter in lie, albeit, a very interesting chapter. Soon, Riverside would become my bohemian enclave.

With only two months left in the Northeast, I brainstormed a bucket list of experiences, still needed to be had in the city. After living in New York, on and off for nearly a decade, there wasn’t much left. Coffee shop adventures, book shopping sprees and walks in Harlem were more thrilling than a visit to the top of the 30 Rock.

Waiting out the move proved most difficult. In many ways, I was stuck in my old life, but change loomed nearer and nearer. Impatience hindered enjoyment, but attempted to be a happy (as happy as a cranky New York resident could aspire to be).

Escape through the written word became most beneficial. Would I survive the next few months of waiting? of course. Ironically, the place and institution I desired to escape turned itself into the dream of the late 2010’s. Only, I would avoid all trousers, which gave me never ending wedgies.

Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Only Zombies

Back in my days as a lad, nobody walked with heads down. Folks acknowledged each other, enjoyed the scenery, and were aware of surroundings. Nowadays, most people walk, while glaring at their phones.

They bump into people, things, and it’s funny, but tragic. Staring at a mobile makes me quite dizzy. In the grand tradition of being single, I succumbed to dating apps. Even this bookworm-extraordinaire had a Tinder account.

Tired of rejection, but mostly bored with the same faces, I took a bold step for spinsters everywhere. I deleted the Tinder application, along with Grinder. On that park bench in Harlem, overlooking ducks, I was officially off the Tinder/Grinder market. In fact, I was dating myself. I was such a cheap date, too.

There were romantic outings to my favorite used bookshop, dinners at the Polish diner, and romantic rendezvous by the fireplace, on my computer, naturally. Weekends were spent huddled in intimate coffee shops, reveling in the sweet scent of Oregon based coffee.

Opportunities to date actual guys arose. However, I really enjoyed my own company. I didn’t want anyone interfering in my introverted happiness. Then, I ended up in my therapist’s office.

“I don’t want a husband, a boyfriend, or a relationship, I just love my alone time.” Thinking my dear shrink would call me out for living a depressed life, I was applauded. Feeling validated, I headed to the used bookshop to celebrate.

Standing in line, I smiled and thought to myself, “look, at me! I’m independent. I don’t need a fella to fulfill life’s emptiness. I have my imagination and artistry to fill in any empty void.

Venturing toward the cash register, I placed my books down. Staring up, he stood, triumphantly. Blue eyes, a cardigan, and messy brown hair, I met the cutest bookworm in New York.

“Wow, you found A Clockwork Orange, used. Now, that’s a steal. You never see that these days,” he said, winking. Eyes wide with literary lust, I stumbled on words. He loaded the bag with books and extra bookmarks. He wished me a happy evening.

Stepping into a freezing East Village sidewalk, I was dazed. “I want to be a spinster. If a cute bookworm like him did come around, I’d have to say, the hell with spinsterhood.”

Instead of re-uploading dating apps and seeking a man with a large book collection, I took myself on a date, Indian food (to be exact). If one can’t find a man to warm you up in the late fall, curry is a most appropriate substitute.