A friend of mine recently asked me why I am not on Tinder.
I paused for a second, a wild stream of visual cues flowing in my head
but no words at that moment to exactly answer that question.
There lies no judgment in me for people for whom it works
but in my own twisted mind full of second-hand books that smell like tea
and library stamps as old as me,
a digital imprint as that struggles at the borders of my comfort zone.
I haven’t yet grasped the idea of swiping left or right.
People say I have to go after what I want but this doesn’t quite seem like seeking love yet
but squeezing possibilities out of the hope and dreaminess
uncertainty has latent in it in such a way that the tiniest thread persists in you
when you call quits.
No, I don’t think I quite fit in that narrative.
before and when I go out with you, I don’t want to have a safety net of what you do
or the weighing insecurity of who you did.
I don’t care if you’re 6’2” or the next fraction of measurement and
neither do I want unsolicited dick pictures in my inbox floating next to blank ‘Hi’s’
that were thrown in like bait in the sea.
No. That’s not what I believe in.
I believe in first dates where you can tell me more about what you do for passion instead of profession.
I don’t want small talk.
I don’t want to know where you’re from or who’s in your family but
how you feel when I say the word ‘home’ and what that means to you.
Would there be kitchen stools, pajamas, little legs and hot chocolate
or a glass of bourbon mixed in parts with fear and dread?
Tell me about your childhood dreams.
Tell me what you wanted to be when you were little and why you never became them.
Tell me why you believed all those people who said that superheroes weren’t real or that fish whisperer wasn’t on the hot job market.
Tell me what a fish whisperer meant in your little head and bright eyes, in the first place.
No, I don’t really want to know which school you went to but what you learnt,
un-learnt and re-learned.
Did you smile in your high school year book or were you afraid your braces would haunt
that beautiful broad grin of yours?
I want to know how you talk to your mother
and if she adjusted your tie on your prom night before you left into your version of adulthood?
Did you dance that night?
Tell me who that least popular kid in school was and if you ever gave them company
so that they didn’t feel shunned in the cruelty that some school lives can be…
tell me, were you that kid?
I’d like it known that I would rather have you turning up at my doorstep
with nothing more than a smile and enough meaningful conversation.
I fall in love with the small, important things.
Do you like cats or dogs?
If you have one of them divine beings, did you buy or adopt them?
Do you like tea or coffee?
Tell me, I need to know exactly what you take in it, how many cubes of sugar and all
and where you best like to drink it.
What do you first think of when I say the word ‘fuck’ or how weird ‘lovemaking’ sounds to you?
We’re still both strangers here and I don’t judge
and so, I’d like to know if you think drunken nights with nakedness are more intimate than
sharing a morning breakfast together still clothed in the modesty clinging to
our carnal expressions of the previous night.
I want to know everything I can
from how you smile when you blush or if you have deep dimples I’d want to kiss
in a three-dimensional world.
I want to see how you talk about your favourite fictional character
and if gym means making an impression or fitness.
I want to know what ice-cream flavours you like and
how you walk on the crosswalk as cars wait for you to pass
and if you ever gesture them thanks for stopping.
I have to know how your grandparents kissed you as a child and
how they looked at each other
and if you ever think you can ever have that with someone.
I want to know when you last sent a postcard to someone
and if you ever wrote a love letter.
No, something would seem amiss if I swiped you right on the best pictures of yourself.
Until I know the rhythm with which you walk, the hand you wear your watch on,
how you treat a waiter or a child
and what tune you may whistle on a sunny day,
I can’t swipe you right.
In my little twisted mind full of second-hand books that smell like tea
and library stamps as old as me,
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