I’m going to press pause on my own Tinder adventure because nothing much is happening. Also, Brian’s Tinder adventure is infinitely more interesting. I’ll continue with the mouse girl another time, or I won’t, because spoiler alert—the mouse girl never responds. We can talk about this and its suicidal implications in another post, when I’m fully recovered, when I’ve had my sleep.
This week I’m going to focus on Brian because Brian met someone and just the other night this someone tried to tell Brian that he loves Brian. This someone’s name is Tommy. According to Brian’s phone, his full name is Tommy Tinder. Tommy Tinder met Brian just over two weeks ago, on Tinder. Two weeks later he’s already doing things like “trying” to tell Brian he loves Brian.
“What do you mean he tried to tell you?” I ask Brian.
“How do you mean?”
“Did he try and fail? Did he stutter? Did he not say anything at all and the try was merely a figment of your imagination, an open mouth, a sigh with no sound?”
Brian takes some time to answer, doesn’t really answer at all.
“He told me loved me,” Brian says, and it’s clear that Brian holds back smile, or a grimace—it’s never easy to tell. And what else is clear is the fact that what Brian meant by “try” was that Tommy Tinder wanted Brian to say it back and Brian didn’t. In this respect, Tommy Tinder tried and failed.
And I’m getting ahead of myself, because tragic love stories don’t often begin with the first utterance of love. In this case it starts two weeks prior when Tommy Tinder super liked! Brian. For the ignorant and uninitiated, a super like! is like a like only it’s super effective because you get only one super like! every 12 hours. Tinder notifies you when you receive a super like! and when you come across this person in your digital deck of humans, there is no secret, this person liked you, this person really really liked you, and this gives you pause. It gave Brian pause because this was not the type of person Brian would normally like. This Tommy Tinder was holding a chicken in a farm field and was definitely not Brian’s usual hipster-alcoholic-anarchist type, at least not at first glance. What happens is that Brian is flattered by this super like! and decides to give Tommy Tinder a chance.
I won’t bore you with the formalities of their opening remarks, but it doesn’t take long for their conversation to grow interesting (though I will say that Tommy Tinder did message Brian first with a mere three letters—hii—and I’ve made a note of his use of a hii with two i’s and plan to, one day, use it myself). At night, when Brian is asleep, I lurk in the dim glow of his phone (for research) and scroll through the conversation. I turn up some dirt, some manure if you will. I’ll begin with Tommy Tinder’s slow understanding of Brian’s genitals.
Its reminded me of something else i wanted to know about you and to ask aha. When i look at your name i wonder if you go by bri? And also if you like being called dude and bro because i would expect you would
—It’s important for me to note that this message doesn’t even make sense in context, but please, bear with myself and Tommy Tinder because Tommy Tinder is confused—
Also so i was wondering too are you more correctly gay? Because of how you make me gay? i am trying to phrase it right so i get the right answer aha
To which Brian responds that he only goes by Brian, as Bri is too close to Brianna, but dude and bro are acceptable if you must. Brian says that yes, maybe you are probably gay, if you want to be with me. However, Brian says that he himself is pansexual, that he’s attracted to all forms and genders and genitals, so the word “gay” is far too limiting in his enlightened worldview.
Alright and so also what in your opinion would you call me? Like just to be honest i grew up straight but crossed dressed throughout middle school till like a year and a half ago with lots of breaks and random decisions to ‘move on.’ Made out with a dude and that made my dick twitch then also got a blowjob too for sure. Then like pornography wise its like usually straight or female trans like with dicks just to be clear. Like male gay porn tends to be raunchy for me but i like dicks and cum too lol. I just want your opinion haha. As far as anyone in general that is knows I’m straight. Also, if you liked just boys you’d be gay right. I like being correct on it but its also really humorous in a confusing way
To which Brian responds with a reiteration of what he’s already said, then follows with some information far too personal to be placed in this blog. I’m not a monster.
Their conversation moves from Tinder to text and they meet up. One text in particular from after their first date stands out—
I wondered if you had a dick before I met you in person seriously. if you had one when it comes down to it I wouldn’t let you fuck me but id still suck your dick and fuck you lol… because I don’t want to hurt lol idk don’t have the mindset lately
Now I would love to put more of this conversation in, but it’s a doozy, it’s a long one, and I’m not that great of an investigative journalist. I apologize if none of that made sense up there. I’m not sure it made much sense to me.
Some things you should know about Tommy Tinder and the town he grew up in—
Tommy Tinder has lived all his life in Lynberg, WA, a small conservative town of about 12,000 people. Lynberg is situated about 15 miles north of us and nudges right up against the Canadian border. Being a conservative community, Lynberg is religious to the extreme and has more churches per capita than any town should know what to do with (fun fact: they once held this world record), but Lynbergians do know what to do with them. They go to them every Sunday, often to more than one. On Sundays they’re all church hoppers. I’m not joking. Also, I’m not explaining Lynberg very well, I’m not doing Lynberg much justice. They’re famous for their dairy, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry farms, at least in Lynberg. Here they’re famous for the smell that wafts down to fight with the salty scent of the bay—it’s cow shit.
Last fall when I started working at the bookstore, they were just then opening a second location up in Lynberg. This is how I met Brian as Brian was hired at the same time as myself, though he was hired for the Lynberg location. Brian suspects his hiring was for political reasons. The political reason being the existence of a transgender man working in a small right-wing community where their dedicated Lynbergians come out in droves to place pro-life* pamphlets, complete with photos of aborted fetuses, into our children books and then complain to their pastors, who then complain to our bookstore, that Christianity should not be lumped in the same section as these “mythologies.” Jesus should not be touching Buddha. Long story short, Jesus no longer touches Buddha. This is Lynberg. This is where Tommy Tinder lives.
*A customer once asked Brian if he was pro-abortion. Brian responded that he doesn’t think anyone is “pro-abortion.” However, after witnessing the sheer number of teenage pregnancies in Lynberg, he has since changed his tune. Brian is pro-abortion.
Tommy Tinder still lives with his parents in a small suburban house just off Front Street, the street that cuts right through Lynberg’s quaint, Dutch-style downtown. Tommy Tinder’s father is a working class man and although I do not know what he does for a living (again, I’m terrible at this), I know that every night after a long day at work he retreats to the garage he’s converted into his own cavernous studio. There he works tirelessly on his masterpiece. He disappears there every night and does not emerge from this creative darkness till the early hours of the morning when he joins his wife (known to me as Mrs. Tinder) and sleeps with her, un-touching, in an even darker darkness. He repeats this every night, tirelessly, except for Saturday when he rises with the glory of God’s morning light and makes his coffee with an extra kick in his step, some gospel hallelujah humming off his lips, and he prepares for his mission. From the garage he takes a large burlap sack—four feet by four feet—that holds his completed masterpiece and in his faded red pickup he descends the 15 miles south to the hellfires of our downtown here in Bellingham. On the corner of Holly and Railroad he meets with his comrades, and there he debuts his masterpiece, a massive painted plywood sign that reads—
REPENT TO JESUS OR BURN
Intricate flames, painted with the full spectrum of hellfire, licks up from the bottom of the sign and claws at the blackened, charred letters that read BURN. It truly is a masterpiece, and he displays this masterpiece all day in the street under the sun and chants new testament gospel at the passerby who do their very best not to make eye contact.
One of his favorite memorized passages is as follows—
“AND HE OPENED THE BOTTOMLESS PIT, AND SMOKE AROSE OUT OF THE PIT LIKE THE SMOKE OF A GREAT FURNACE. SO THE SUN AND THE AIR WERE DARKENED BECAUSE OF THE SMOKE OF THE PIT. THEN OUT OF THE SMOKE LOCUSTS CAME UPON THE EARTH. AND TO THEM WAS GIVEN POWER, AS THE SCORPIONS OF EARTH HAVE POWER. […] IN THOSE DAYS MEN WILL SEEK DEATH AND WILL NOT FIND IT; THEY WILL DESIRE TO DIE, AND DEATH WILL FLEE FROM THEM.”
And from the raging forest fires that burn in the North, smoke drifts across the sky, threatens to blacken the sun. He raises his sign higher, breathes in the ash.
At night when the man I call Father Tinder comes home, he comes home to a full-cooked meal prepared painstakingly by his wife, by Mother Tinder. He sits at the head of the table, a proud and accomplished look etched across his hell-burned face, pale skin peeling away, and they pray, all three of them together. In the silence of scraping cutlery they eat, until Father Tinder breaks it. He speaks of his day and the heathens and the homosexuals and the one young shit who broke his sign—smashed it right across the street—after Father Tinder called this passerby a hellhound of the ninth circle. The mother takes the father’s hand in hers, says nothing.
“It’s a cruel world out there, son,” says the father, “but we do what we can.” He looks to Tommy, his mouth full of food, and Tommy nods. When the eating is done, father excuses Tommy from the table, and Tommy retreats. Little does father know that in the dark confines of Tommy’s room, Tommy is texting one of these transgender-hellhound-heathens and confessing how he made out with a dude once, and that in fact, his dick definitely twitched.
The father is the last to leave the table, the mother having long since gone to bed, and he sits there in his quiet world and contemplates the day’s sufferings. After a day of rest on the seventh, on Monday he starts afresh on a new masterpiece, one that sprays higher fire and brimstone and flame.
This is the home life of Tommy Tinder. This is the life that Brian destroys.
join man next week for journal #6 (in which said man discusses Brian and Brian’s destruction of Tommy Tinder’s home life)