Previously: The Wheel Winds Again
He found me on Grindr because of the name I used in that gay dating application. I was Finn, and he was Jake the Dog. For those who watch shows on Cartoon Network, the unmistakable association creates a connection. Conversations flowed as we have one thing to bind us - our hook-up names - and on the third day of the Scorpion Week, just when I was wrapping up my three-day room cleaning, I decided to remove my account after accepting his dinner invitation.
"As a courtesy," I told him.
"You're going too fast," he warned.
Jake the Dog and I agreed to meet at a gourmet restaurant that serves artisan Cronuts. He was a bulky guy in his early thirties. He had a tribal-inspired tattoo on his forearm, uses a mix of English and Tagalog to speak his mind, and wore signature clothes that made mine look like they were bought from a thrift shop. Impressions alone suggest that his hypermasculine metrosexual vibe is out of my league, but it's still too early to judge how this hangout would end.
There is still time to make an impression.
It turns out, the first few minutes was devoid of pretensions. We were evenly matched - in the head - and because we belong to the same generation. I have barely warmed up my seat when the restaurant owner asked us to move upstairs and join their trivia game. Looking for ways to impress my date, I urged him to accept the challenge despite my limited knowledge of the quiz topics.
We squeezed the small talks between the gaming rounds. Flesh outs of the half truths we told each other during our morning online banters: that he works in the advertising industry; that he attended his Freshman year at the very halls of my university; and that, he is into intense sports like surfing and kickboxing. I was just at the tip of the iceberg, of knowing him in-depth when my date confessed his love of photography. When he shared his Instagram to show his pictures; of his out-of-town trips and foodie adventures, I was not prepared for the big revelation:
That the guy in front of me was a TV personality.