Love In The Time of Tinder

Oh, but you’re my muse. He’ll understand in a way only writers can. His eyes cringe like crinkly almonds. They widen, out come those crooked teeth. Swipe left. Swipe right. He’s tall for his face. His torso’s too pale. He has not that perfect wavy hair, neither black nor brown. Just spare strands, prickly. He’s prickly.

He’s leaning in closer, his hand grazes my knee. He’s leaning in closer, I tell you the azaan sounds different tonight. Cheapskates. You don’t know Fifty Shades is horrible till you know it’s horrible. Star Wars? Garba. No Garba. But ice cream? The pasta looks the same everywhere, better cheese, more chicken. He’s laughing, there’s a steely glint in them eyes. Mongolian. Japanese. Think of all things Asian. And he’s from the hills, he says. Where do they make them so beautiful in the hills? Book me a ticket. Swipe left. Swipe right.

Where do you stay? Oh, that’s half a minute away. Where have you lived, my entire life? You’re here to get laid. How’s that worked out for you so far? Not regularly. Not yet. Let’s hold hands. Let’s not hold hands. You sleep facing the sky, your mouth wide open, your eyes half shut. Your feet dangle off the edge of the bed. You haven’t any space for me. And that’s not okay? You’re humming some tunes, your guitar’s full of motes. Awkward. You’re not awkward. You haven’t much to hide. You’re lying wide open, your eyes doing those crazy circles, induced by smoke, induced by grass.” Swipe left. Swipe right.

You look about fifteen, you’re a decade longer. Hungry eyes. Raggedly breath. There’s some muscle in those arms, I can tell, I dare not protest. You’re smirking, there’s a wolf in your laugh. Chuckle. Grin. Chuckle. What’s so funny? How many fingers are these? Do you remember my name? Can your fingers entwine in mine? That’s the best part about this city. There are stars. You can never see those stars from where we come from, there’s too much smoke. Crinkly eyes, what dulls them? What brightens your day, your mind? Misanthrope. Nihilist. Where are the words coming from? Is life a movie? Is there a tune playing in loop inside your head, the way it’s mine? Swipe left? Swipe right?

Annoying siblings. Doodles in class. Music theory. Too much hash. Poetry. Desserts. Brisingr. Guitar. Lost. Confused. Check. Check. Check. Giggle. You’re funny. I’m funnier. But you’re funny. That should count. Major brownie points. And some cream. You can cash them out later. Much later. For now, I have you right here. Are you okay with that? Is this enough? I can’t give you more. I have some more muses. They refuse to leave. They can’t leave. What would I be, if not for them? Without them? I wouldn’t be me. I’m weird, you say. I should get that tattooed. I will. Right here, on the corner of my shoulder, where you were hunting for the other. I can feel shivers up my spine, where your spindly fingers trace the rough surface of my skin. Shockwaves, I call them. And you chuckle. Isn’t that the whole night? Shockwaves and you. Swipe left. Swipe right.

 You’re leaving. You want that ending. I’m not sure if you should stay. This is new. This is alien. I don’t know you. I don’t seem to recollect. Grin. That eyebrow raise. You save expressions for 3 a.m. Right now, you’re sage. Swipe left? Swipe right?

Swipe right.

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