• Cole Grissom

G is for...Guppy

I feel I need to start by stating—I am not an idiot. I’m just...I’m not. I may do stupid things, throw out jokes that don’t land, antagonize train riders who stand idle, blocking open doors—but I’m not an idiot. This is why the last few weeks have truly baffled me.


I guess I should’ve known better. I should have seen the signs, should have felt my desperation bubbling to the surface...but I didn’t. I didn’t even think anything was off until I googled the time difference between New York and the Middle East.


Note to readers: an 8pm conference call with ‘the Middle East’ is 2-4am their time…


It started one particularly thirsty afternoon. I was swiping to the point of carpal tunnel when The Italian popped up. He was hot. Athletic, but clearly ate pizza. Kisses his mother, but for sure gets into bar fights. It was something I didn’t even realize I wanted—an elevated Staten Island wet dream—and, lucky for me, after selling some sort of business to Google, this one lived in Hell’s Kitchen. Hark! Was this my husband?! I swiped right so fast my phone skidded out of my hand, landing hard somewhere out of sight. I wish I could say this was some cinematic moment—but my hands were just greasy from the food I was using to dampen my emotions. I looked around, searching for the hiding place my overzealous gesturing had unearthed, and then, from under the couch, I caught a glimpse of the screen lighting up in explosive confirmation—we’d matched.


I scrambled, dodging the dust and errant almond that’d rolled from my cheese plate, and pulled my phone to safety. I scanned his pictures and reconfirmed I needed to get my hands on this heavenly creature. Just as I was scrolling to his final, most delicious photo, I received an alert—he’d messaged.


“Hey there, sexy ;)”


Grammar, a compliment, AND a winky face. I was sold.


“Hey there ;)”


I don’t know what it was about his demeanor, but something forced my coy response. It was like an out of body experience. His top-ness was dominating me through the phone. I had no choice but to submit.


What was happening?


“You look like a good boy”


I blushed.


Omg, do I really?!


None of this made sense in my head, but my body refused to abort this opportunity for submission.


“*blush emoji*”


And then came his number. I sent mine back to see how dominant he would be—would he text first? Would he pussy out and wait for me? I got my answer almost immediately when his green bubble appeared in a new text chat.


NOT thrilled by the green, but beggars can’t be choosers, I guess...


“I want to take you to dinner. Have you ever been to Gramercy Tavern?”


I hadn’t—but I’d always wanted to go. This was The Power-Lesbian’s favorite restaurant and it boasted delish dishes and steep price tags. I’d heard about it for years. Without thinking through any logistics, I texted,


“I’m in.”


“Great. I have a bunch of dates this week, but does next Friday work for you?”


Interesting.


I can’t say his radical transparency was the biggest turn on, but something about it was refreshing? I don’t know. At the very least, it was intriguingly different. If you’re an even moderately attractive gay man living in Manhattan, you’re going on dates, or hookups, or texting—something. So, sure—let's put it on the table. The candid nature of his confession lulled me into trusting him sooner than I should have—sexting sooner than I should have...


We were somewhere between “daddy’s going to rail you harder than you’ve ever been railed in your life” and “yes, please” when he abruptly interrupted to confirm our reservation.


“Look. Let’s do 9 on Friday. I have a work call at 8. I know the maitre d’; he got us a table. Fair warning—we used to fuck.”


Interesting.


“And he’s going to want me to fuck him that night after dinner.”


“That makes me uncomfortable.”


“But babe—sometimes I just get horny.”


I’m smarter than this…


“Not on our first date. I’m getting laid or no one’s getting laid.”


“Well...I mean...I kind of already told him…”


“You what?!”


“He’s super cute, babe. Here, look at his pic.”


And then he sent through a picture of a man’s spread asshole.


That looks familiar…


Then another pic came through—this time of a face—followed quickly by another. In that moment it became crystal clear to me why that asshole looked familiar...I’d eaten it before. In fact, I’d eaten it several times. Now, in the grand scheme of New York dating, this incident isn’t necessarily unheard of. It’s a shockingly small city. But, the thing was…this guy didn’t work at Gramercy Tavern. I know he didn’t. We’d been out not a month before and even if he’d changed jobs since, there was no way he’d worked there long enough to make this story plausible.

Red flag.


“Huh. That’s weird. I’ve been out with that guy. Are you sure that’s the maitre d’?”


“Oh, fuck. No, that’s The Makeup Artist. Sorry, my phone is acting so weird.”


Huh. Now, I suppose this was possible—maybe he’d saved the photos in a ‘conquests’ folder, but...something felt off. I tucked the oddity away and proceeded with caution. Unfortunately, my desperation wasn’t going to let me walk away from this.


Idiot.


He sent me the ‘correct’ pics and then went on to describe an elaborate scene that ended with the three of us lying spent in his bed. I was simultaneously offended and impossibly hard. I didn’t know what magical spell he’d cast over me, but I needed more. I was enchanted by his brazen disregard. It was intoxicating.


“Can I see more of you? Please?”


Then he hit me with one of the longest dicks I have ever seen. Giant. A fasting dick. I’d lose so much weight if we dated—there’d be no way I could eat within hours of this monster piercing my insides.


“Fuck!”


“Thanks, baby.”


Then he hit me with another. It looked even bigger than the first one. Holy fuck, my hole will never be the same after this. My rectum clenched in anticipation of the stretch. To distract from the inevitable distention, I took in the rest of the photo. One of my favorite things to do is scan nudes for context clues. It’s surprising how much information you can surface from unkempt bedrooms lurking behind cracked doors, or forgotten drugs strewn across side tables that are inching into view. His photos offered little insight other than some dingy baseboards, peeling paint, and cheap-ass door knobs. In theory, not the biggest big deal, but something about it didn’t sit right with me—and I couldn’t pinpoint why… I looked back at his profile to see if I could figure it out. And there, hiding in the final paragraph, was the mention of a newly purchased Hamptons house. Huh. Now, look, the mention of a Hamptons house on these profiles should be taken with a grain of salt. Not that they’re lying about it—necessarily—but...it stands to reason that their situation isn’t as black and white as it’s usually presented. And with the questionable apartment sneaking into the background of his photos, it made me start to wonder...


Big-ass red flag—fervently waving in the breeze.


“So, what turns you on about that pic…”


I wish I could say I kept my wits about me and figured out what his deal was...but I didn’t. I was dick-matized and allowed him to spend the next few days seducing me. The sexting was out of control. It was hot. I felt like he was inside my head, knowing what I needed—or wanted—without having to ask. He was turning me into a submissive bottom, the likes of which I’d only seen in porn, and I couldn’t get enough. The closer we got to our date, the more excited I became. I needed to be near him.


The Monday before our dinner he texted me while he was out to drinks with a colleague.


“Hey”


That was uncharacteristically short.


“Hey. How is everything?”


“Fine, fine. Just here with a coworker. He’s a really nice guy, but, to be honest, I’m so intimidated. He’s just so successful and it seems like he has his shit together in a real way. I… I’m sure you’d love him.”


“What?”


“Yeah, I just... I think you would really like him. I showed him your pic. He thinks you’re really hot.”


“Ok…”


“Do you want me to give him your number?”


“Wait. What?! What’s happening right now?”


“Sorry, there’s just this part of me that really gets off on being humiliated. He’s so successful and you’re so hot—it would turn me on so much knowing you two got together.”


I didn’t know how to respond. These gays are crazy. I know I should have cut ties right there. But instead, I sat down the phone and ignored his request. What the hell? Thinking back, I should have let him. Maybe the successful one didn’t have paint peeling from his dingy baseboards.


He seemed to take the hint and went radio silent until the next day.


“So, we still on for Friday?”


“Yeah, that sounds great. You said your work call was done at 9?”


“I should be out by 9, yes.”


“Wow. That’s, really late for a meeting. That must suck.”


“Yeah, but it’s ok. It’s with the Middle East. It’s the only time that works for them.”


“Oh, ok!”


Now, on the surface this made sense...in that, the time zone of another country could necessitate a specific meeting time—but something about this struck me as odd. He didn’t know this, but my aunt and uncle used to live in the Middle East—it’s a long story. We didn’t speak often when they lived there, but enough for me to know the time difference didn’t add up. I googled it just in case, and, sure enough, that would have made it something like 4am their time. That’s...not a thing.


“You, know, it’s weird, but I was just thinking about it—isn’t that like...4am their time? You have a call with the Middle East at 4am?”


“Oh, I don’t know. Something about their developers. It’s some app. It’s the only time they could meet.”


A red flag so big it could cover the city of New York...comfortably.


“...ok.”


I tried to figure out how I could back him into a corner. Things were—quickly—not adding up and I didn’t know why. I started to wonder...is this man not who he says he is? Was I...being catfished?!? I don’t THINK this has ever happened to me before. I was at a loss. I had to act fast. All I could think to do was,


“Hey, cutie—send me a pic. Throw me a little peace sign in it.”


“Wtf?! A peace sign? Why?!”


“Oh, my friends are just being catfished so much right now. I guess I’m a little gun shy? It would really put my mind at ease.”


I lied. But like, whatever. He was lying about SOMETHING!


Read: Everything.


“Fuck that, man. You don’t trust me? Why the hell not? I’ve been so honest with you, so upfront with everything. I’m so offended you don’t believe me.”


Sigh.


“It’s not you, baby. It’s me. I just—it happened to like 3 or 4 of my friends over the past two weeks. Please?”


“I’m really hurt.”


“I’m sorry :/ ...does that mean no pic?”


“Look, I’ll take a picture for you, but I’m not sending you a fucking peace sign.”

A pic followed immediately after. Now...I don’t know how he thought this picture would assuage any of my suspicions. Sure, this was a picture of the same man—but he was 100% in a library...even though he was allegedly at the ad agency where he worked. Wtf?!


“Oh, cute! Do you...work in a library?”


“No, ad agency, babe. I told you. This is our reference library.”


It’s 2019...in New York City. I am not buying for one second this man works in an ad agency with a REFERENCE LIBRARY.


“Oh, ok.”


Idiothim or me is not 100% clear at this point.


“Running into a meeting. Text me tonight, babe.”


Alright. I didn’t know what this guy’s MO was, but I sure as hell wasn't going to show up to this dinner reservation without getting to the bottom of his tomfoolery. I looked back through his photos trying to figure out if there were any clues. I mean, he looked slightly different in every picture, but there easily could have been an old photo mixed in there. That was a dead end. I scrutinized identifying features in each of his pictures—hoping to identify a discrepancy—but, unfortunately, even the peeling paint was consistent. And then I saw it. It didn’t jump out, but instead quietly called to me. It was right in front of me the whole time, so obvious I can’t believe I didn’t see it from the beginning. At the center of each of his photos was the clue I’d been looking for—the reflection of an iPhone. His texts were green. This man was allegedly texting from an android and taking selfies with an iPhone. I...was not talking to the man in these photos. I tried to plan my next course of action. Obviously, he was hip to my suspicion. I needed to be careful. Luckily, I had plans that evening and was able to set any thoughts of him aside for the time being. I knew he would eventually set himself up—I just had to wait for my opportunity.


Low and behold, his next text was the perfect ‘set’ for me to spike the ball right over the net. A new picture. A mirror selfie very clearly at a different weight than the one from the reference library allegedly snapped that afternoon, taken—with an iPhone.


“Hey there. Just hopping into the shower. Thought you might like this—even though there’s no

peace sign…”


“I love it! Oh! I didn’t realize you had an iPhone! Can we FaceTime?”


“Sure, sure. After I get out of the shower,” he responded with green text bubbles.


That was the key with these idiots—outsmart them by acting dumber than they are.


I didn’t hear back from him until hours later. Apparently, his father had been suddenly admitted to the hospital… #same


I asked if he wanted to FaceTime to talk about it, instead he brought up how annoyed he still was about my accusations. He told me we could FaceTime the next morning. Clearly that wasn’t going to happen. So, I deleted our thread and opened up my apps again, hoping to find a good one this time.


Spoiler: he never texted back...


It didn’t take long before I matched with a handsome man, who actually turned out to be two men—as he was in a relationship. They were looking for a third. My hopes and dreams were a desolate wasteland at this point, so I went for it. There was a lot of interesting sexual back and forth, but something about it felt...off. After exchanging numbers—another effing green text—it seemed as if the man on the other end forgot which partner he was… He’d been messaging on the app as The Chef, but texted me as The Lawyer! I’d had it. Was this another liar or just a fucking idiot?!


“I’m sorry. I am absolutely The Chef. I just saw The Lawyer laying next to me in bed and got confused—I’m so tired.”


“You...got confused about who you are?”


“I’m really sleepy. Trust me—it’s me.”


“Send me a pic of you two in bed.”


“Oh, he’s asleep. :(”


“No big deal. Just sneak a pic of him.”


“Oh no. I just woke him up!”


“Sorry!!”


Like MAYBE 2 minutes later I got hit with…


“Here. He made me get up and take a photo of us in the bathroom. He took it on his iPhone and then texted it to me.”


The photo that arrived had been filtered and photo edited within an inch of its life. There was no way on god’s green earth this man was who he said he was either. I asked him to share a screenshot of his Instagram—where I suspected all these photos had been sourced—and he had the audacity to send me some cobbled together photoshop fuckery that I refused to entertain. I’d been duped for the second time in one day! I was done. I deleted our exchange and blocked his number from my phone.


I would say that I’d been catfished—twice—but that implies a level of professionalism, finesse. That’s not what happened here. These boys were floundering in a habitat far too large for their talents or skills—nothing more than guppies.

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