On the morning I decide to join Tinder, I’m shelving books on the third floor of the bookstore I work at, in the poetry section, and find myself flipping through one of them. The book in hand is called “Rumi Day By Day.” Rumi is a 13th-century poet and Sufi mystic. This little book compiles 365 of his most inspired lines and sayings, one for each day of the year. The day it falls open to is day #150 which reads—
“Lust is like a drug addiction: it strangles the intellect and confuses the mind.”
On the opposite page, on day #153, it says—
“Every single part in this world longs for its counterpart.”
I shut the book and stuff it between two other books. I’m not sure where I stuff it because when I come back to the Rs several minutes later, again on the verge of tears, I can’t find it. I ask around if anyone can find it. Nobody can find it.
When I get home I talk with Brian about Tinder, what his experience on Tinder has been thus far. He says that it’s super easy, claims that his profile is super effective and I don’t doubt him. His breasts are large and his cleavage makes deep shadows. Despite his male identification, Brian hasn’t given up the advantage of breasts. He’s not sure he ever will. They’re priceless, he says, absolutely without price.
He shows me one gem of a conversation that begins with his suitor asking—
WANT TO LET ME SINK MY COCK INTO YOU?
To which Brian replies—
why is your cock worth my time
From there the conversation only gets more crass and something is said of a cock eight and an half inches long. This fact has yet to be proven as said cock lives in Canada, and being a cock in Canada, cock picks are an expensive expense to send down the border. I’ll keep you posted on cock size.
Speaking of cock, Brian has a dildo that Brian can only describe as moderately sized and this I can only describe as entirely inaccurate. Upon moving into our new cottage together, Brian asks me if it would be too much if the dildo was displayed on one of our bookshelves. I say it depends on the size. When I wake the next morning, it’s perched atop the uppermost shelf and is decidedly not moderately sized. If it is moderately sized, what this says about me and mine is unsettling and begs the question if my joining Tinder is a good idea at all. I ask Brian to put the dildo in a place I’ll never see it again. Brian only smiles. I haven’t seen the dildo since. I’m afraid to know where he put it.
Brian’s Tinder bio is as follows—
Plagued writer, lowly bookseller, failing buddhist, enthusiastic existentialist. Generally in the camp of burn it all down.
Trans (he/him), sex positive, pansexual, polyamorous.
Looking for people to read with, play outside with, sleep with, and/or plot the coming end of days with.
If you’re just looking to fuck, don’t bother wooing. Just ask.
Brian tells me the most interesting thing about his Tinder experience is how his suitors ask the big question on everyone’s mind. My favorite is as follows—
silly question haha not that it matters too much.. may i ask if you have a penis or vagina? just curious lol i dont care what you do and respect all peoples. i respect your pronouns and will call you whatever you’d like me to. i just wanted to know where to put my dick
As I stand over Brian’s hunched shoulders and watch him swipe left and right, left, left and right, I do my best not to stare down his shirt, his breasts undulating with every flick of a finger. Brian doesn’t wear bras because men don’t wear bras. I once made a point that most men don’t have breasts, but this did not go over gladly. I won’t be bringing it up again.
How to describe Brian’s type? After hundreds of witnessed swipes, his type can only be described as awful. Perfectly respectable and put-together young men and women get passed up for older men with long and silky hair, Fabio-esque if not for its dirty brown quality, pulled back into ponytails and sometimes dreads. People like that. People with guitars. People who, just looking at, you know only talk about flames and hatehatehate and hating everything. Anarchists. You know, hipsters.
My type includes girls of the petite and frail variety, any color hair but preferably dyed something in the realms of blonde to blue and can likely, most of the time, be classified into the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” genre of girl. From my source at Wikipedia—
Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) is a stock character type in films. Film critic Nathan Rabin, who coined the term after observing Kirsten Dunst’s character in Elizabethtown (2005), describes the MPDG as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” MPDGs are said to help men without pursuing their own happiness, and such characters never grow up; thus, their men never grow up. […] The stock character has no discernible inner life, and usually only exists to provide the protagonist some important life lessons.
As a broodingly soulful young man myself, I begin to wonder if my type (the MPDG) even exists in the real world. I wonder if my type is an illusion, a figment of someone else’s imagination. All information I have on love has come from movies and books and porn. If I really think about it, it’s tough to find good examples of love in the real world that make all this searching worth it. If love is like the moving pictures, I would do anything—get out of bed even—to find love. But if love is more like the old creep who wanders our bookstore—hitting on my younger coworkers and when asked if he needs help finding anything responds with “No hun, I’m looking for my dead wife, she’s here, somewhere” and then he’s off, his eyes on the high shelves looking presumably for his dead wife—if love is like that, I don’t think all this swiping and numbing and strangling lust of confusion is worth it. (On a side note, they do speak of a ghost that haunts this building and say his name is Frank, but I do hope it’s really this creep’s dead wife. I hope one day that old man opens a book, finds his dead wife in there, and we never see him again.)
Before I join Tinder, Brian offers his assistance as photographer. This is for my Tinder profile since I have so few photos of my own to choose from. Many are taken, but few are used. Brian tells me that too many of them he would swipe left. I want to point out that I’m not his hipster-anarchist-alcoholic type, but decide not to. I’d rather not talk about his hipster-anarchist-alcoholic type because it involves the words hipster, anarchist and alcoholic, and Brian would not appreciate this because he is all three.
Brian’s Facebook still has photos from his pre-transition and his pictures can only be described as Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG)—a startling resemblance to Jennifer Lawrence if she had short, Hot Topic blue hair, if Jennifer Lawrence was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. That’s how Brian looks on Facebook. It doesn’t take much digging.
Brian does not look like Jennifer Lawrence anymore. The biweekly testosterone injections have had a clear impact on his jaw and even his scent is muskier and he no longer shaves his pits which I find disgusting in the presence of large breasts, or small breasts for that matter. Though facial hair has yet to grow, there’s a darkness to his cheeks and chin and upper lip as if a mere sheet of pale skin separates a forest of stubble from the waiting world.
Oh, and as for the dildo I’ve never seen again, I do see it again. It turns up some weeks later in our bookstore between the Qs and Ss, perched erect and watchful in the spot where the “Rumi Day By Day” book was supposed to be.
join man next week for Journal #3 (in which said man gets a tinder, PART II)