Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dating Series: Looking For A Love Jones, Part 3


We release an installment of "Looking for a Love Jones" each week. If you'd like to share it, you can do so with the hashtag #lookingforalovejones & tag @rivaflowz and @bae_app on IG or Twitter.




Dating apps are a thing. I try to convince myself that someone will come waltzing into my life. They'll show up on an afternoon stroll, a visit to the bookstore, or an introduction through a friend, but I've met the most interesting guys via apps. After a twelve to fifteen hour workday, coupled with an urge to sip Riesling in a robe on my couch, I find my occasional after-work soiree becoming the swipe-left-swipe-right.

Hey. Wassup. Hello.

I probably sang this, when I found Ricky's profile on the Bae App. He was standing in the middle of a New York City block at sunset, in his profile pic, with a tailored Ludlow suit, and a smile that the twinkling skyscrapers were competing with.

& apparently someone is turning the tables in my favor because we were a match. Boom. 

Ricky sent the first message:
"I'm interested."

I preferred guys that were blunt, and I was excited that he started with intention, "So am I. What part of NYC are you in?"

"Harlem, for now. I'm working on a few big projects; I might end up in Los Angeles or D.C."

Ambition. Check. 

"Oh, awesome, I'm in D.C. all the time. I'm not in California as much, these days."

He replied instantly, "Maybe I can give you a reason..."

I laughed and poured myself another glass of wine, I could tell we would be talking for a while, "Perhaps. What's taking you so far away from NYC?"

"The market for apps. I need to network in different spaces. I think I've got NYC covered."

"Sounds interesting. I'm an intermediate coder and designer, but I only use it for my blog. I'm a huge techie, though. I think it's awesome when folks use their abilities to make our lives a little easier."

"Can I make your life a little easier?"

Ricky was smooth. We messaged back and forth, on the app, for hours, and I waited for him to say something surly or unwarranted. He failed to. Every once in a while, actually more often than one might think, you hit the jackpot with a dating app. 

Cha-ching. 

I got a text in the middle of the workday, "Moe's, Fort Greene, 9pm."

Raymond was always sending cryptic messages, instead of expressing what we were going to be doing. I rolled my eyes and added the event to my calendar, knowing I had nothing to do. 

I grabbed a Uber, after work, to the bar. Moe's was a small spot that was packed because they had a great taco night, good music, and inexpensive drink specials. I needed to unwind, after a hectic workday, and couldn't wait to get my hands on a martini. 

Upon entrance, I spotted Raymond and his best friend Ty sitting at the bar. They had two empty pitchers in front of them, and I could tell they were preparing to order more. I threw my arms around both of their necks, "What's up, punks?"

Raymond turned around on his bar stool and rolled his eyes, "For such a girly girl, you're such a boy."

Ty laughed, "Right? If I couldn't see those amazing legs, I would've thought you were the homie."

I punched Ty in the arm, "I am the homie."

Ty flirted, "Not tonight."

Ray didn't like his comment and coughed, "Chill." 

Ty raised his hands in defeat and turned his barstool back to the bar. 

"I didn't think you were going to make it."

"You've been acting up lately, but you're still my family."

"We are not family." 

Ray said this firmly; it was the first time he'd ever refuted me saying this during all of our years of friendship.

I ignored him, "What are you drinking?"

"Sangria. What do you mean I've been acting up?"

I guffawed, "That whole thing with Mason, the other day, wasn't you acting up?"

"That was me letting him know that he better treat you right."

"Oh. What are you going to do, if he doesn't?"

I poked at Ray's arms. I knew he took offense to me making fun of the fact that he was a few inches shorter than me and rather slim. 

"I'm gonna...yo, stop trying to play me."

I laughed and signaled the bartender, while flexing my arm, "I think he's gonna need another drink, something strong."

I pulled up to the destination he'd given me, right on time. I wouldn't usually agree to meet up with someone, in a place like this, but I figured I owed Travis for curving him during our first go round. For two weeks, I heard nothing from him, and suddenly he sent me a text asking me to accompany him to an event in Red Hook. This time, I wouldn't let my feelings get the best of me.

The address he gave me was near a ton of warehouses, and it was starting to get dark. I sat in my car after I text him that I'd arrived and locked the doors until he showed up. It didn't seem as if there was anyone around. 

After a few minutes, a black Lexus pulled up alongside my CRV. He didn't even have to step out of the car for me to know it was him; it was his style. Travis stepped out of the car and walked up to my window, I cracked it. 

"If we didn't have so many mutual friends on social media I wouldn't be here.  If you try anything and I'm telling your aunt."

I discovered that I knew his aunt, she was one of my university professors. 

He laughed, "This is a weird spot to meet up. You're right. I promise that you can trust me. I have Bae App credentials, Facebook credentials. Would you like to see my drivers license, too?"

I rolled my eyes at his jokes, "Nah. Just behave yourself."

I turned off my engine and got out of the car and let him lead me to our destination. He dressed in all linen and fly shoes while I'd worn a cotton one-piece. I was suddenly feeling underdressed. 

"Did we have to wear anything, in particular, for this outing?"

He looked down at his clothes, "I'm like this, all of the time. Don't mind me. You're good for where we're going."

We walked up to a large black door at one of the warehouses. Travis opened an app on his phone, pressed a button, and the door opened. 

"Cool, what is this?"

"You'll see."

We stepped into the building, and I realized it was an art gallery. There was one security guard at the entrance.

"Hey, Travis! Long time no see!"

They hugged.

She spoke again, "Is this Erica?"

He smiled, "Yea, this is her."

She extended her hand and shook mine, "It's nice to meet you. Enjoy your visit."

The gallery was empty, except for Travis, the security guard, and I. 

"So when does the event start?"

Travis looked at one of the pieces, as if in deep thought, "It's already begun, this showing is for you." 

I was impressed. We walked around the building, and I spotted paintings I knew and ones that weren't familiar: Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Keith Haring...

"Are these originals?"

"Absolutely."

I ran my fingers along the edges of a Wiley piece, "Why aren't they in a museum?"

"This is someone's private collection."

I raised my eyebrow, "Whose?

Travis grabbed my hand and pulled me to the back of the gallery, "You'll find out, in due time." 

There was a large curtain, at the back of the gallery. A huge sign was in front of it, it stated, "Only open curtain, with owner's permission. The piece is sensitive to light." 

I looked at Travis; he nodded, "Go ahead. Open it." 

See you next week?