A Tinder Tale

by Jenna Marie. Published on February 22, 2021.

I have dissected tinder dating front and back and in and out. It is a science. My bio: “a good catholic girl with an ass tattoo.” I think it is a good summation of my personality: brash, inappropriate wit hidden behind the psychological weight of a lapsed faith following 13 years of indoctrination. It also forces my matches to say something first while thinking about my ass.

Most guys ask what the tattoo is (a rose). He just parroted.

“I’m a good catholic boy with an ass tattoo and then some.”

I knew he had tattoos. I could see them in his photos. I knew he had long hair and that he wore it wrapped on top of his head, lopsided like a cheerleader in 2006.

“Swooning,” I responded.

We were both bored. It was a holiday and everyone had the day off. He told me he was in town to visit friends. He normally lives across an ocean. I drove 15 minutes to pick him up. We would get food or go to a museum or whatever. I didn’t really care. I couldn’t figure out whether I would actually like him or not, but he seemed like my type, and I don’t get a lot of those where I live.

He strolled up to my car wearing a beat-up sherpa collar jacket and doc marten loafers. I melted.

Conversation was a little bit awkward. I immediately tried to figure out his sign. It’s Pisces. My Capricorn ass loves a water sign.

He is from rural North Carolina by way of Sydney, Australia. he is soft-spoken and he smiles a lot. His lips are pillowy. He wears silver signet rings on his fingers. I can’t see his tattoos under his clothes. I need him to take off his clothes.

We get food. We try to go to a museum but it’s closed. I ask him if he wants to come back to my place. He agrees.

We lie on my bed. We listen to music. Toro y Moi, frank ocean. He touches my hair. We kiss. His pants already look firm. He is so attentive. He looks at my eyes. I take off my shirt and he stares at me for a beat. He uses his tongue to scoop my top lip into his mouth. He breathes in my ear. When I kiss his neck, he coos. When I touch his dick, he twitches with anticipation. he kneels before me and slides his fingers in, his arm bolstered on his knee for maximum leverage and depth. It is very intense.

When he cums, he shudders and writhes and moans. It is so, so beautiful.

“You’re the hottest person I’ve ever slept with,” I blurt. He doesn’t believe me.

He spends the night. I don’t like it when people spend the night. My space and my sleep are sacred to me. I neglect my routines when people infiltrate my space. But I didn’t want him to leave.

I dropped him off at his accommodations and went to work. around noon, he messaged me:

“Are you done soon? come get me.”

I leave early that day. I pick him up-- this time he’s packed a bag-- and take him home. We get naked slowly this time. We fuck. He is so beautiful. I paint his nails. I finger-comb his hair. I trace his tattoos. A lotus behind his ear. a rabbit on his knee. A heart-shaped balloon near his elbow. A dagger on the soft, soft skin under his ribs.

He eats my front. He eats my back. I try my hardest to seem chill. I know I probably seem nervous. He tells me to “stop giving a fuck”.

It started to snow that night. I told him he might be snowed in and he said he wouldn’t mind. We wake up the next morning wrapped in blankets white and warm. We make tea. he likes his with a splash of milk. I open the blinds and we watch the snow through the windows. It’s really beautiful, really fucking beautiful. I snap photos of him surreptitiously. he rests his elbows on my knees, his hand on my belly. It is the first time in my life that I reciprocate and appreciate and crave the touch of a partner. I slip my hands under his sweatshirt and dig my fingernails into the flesh on his back.

We live inside a terrarium for four days and nights. A snow globe. We tell secrets. I learn of his family and he learns of mine. We brush our teeth and take showers. I watch him wash his hair. I rest my head in the crook of his neck and I breathe deeply.

We walk to the store for wine and something sweet. he asks me to take a video of him running through the snow and he laughs with genuine, childlike enthusiasm. It makes me smile, even though my toes are wet and frozen.

At the end of four nights, we know that it’s time. We embrace. He’s here for a few more days so we make plans to see each other one last time. He forgets to pack his shirt and when I point it out he tells me to keep it.

“it looks good on you,” he says, staring at my face.

We meet up a few days later. We go out to eat-- we share wine and dim sum. he closes his eyes when he chews, which is simultaneously endearing and annoying. I’m overwhelmed by the ease with which we link arms, the way he touches the back of my neck, the way we orbit one another. we are complete strangers in passing. I feel deep, aching happy-sadness.

We say goodbye, for good. I’ll never see him again. We retreat to our respective hemispheres. I remain fascinated with his distant life, though our time together already feels long ago. I flayed my brain for a person I did not and do not know, cracked my skull open like an egg; I let him into the folds and creases, and I think he will inhabit those hollow spaces for a while. He reminds me of freedom, of hunger, of coziness and warmth, of an impossibly small blip on my timeline where, for four days, I was aware of the skin that wraps me up and nothing else.