Grind Dates No. 5 & 6: The Griffin and The Cat.
My last day in Paris started with a lunch date. As I had mentioned, someone had recognized me on grindr the night before. After a quick memory searching I remembered him. I’d kissed him a while ago when he was in town visiting friends of my friends. That night had been a bit crazy. I kissed two or three guys, and so did he, and so did my friend, and so did his friend. It was a kissing clusterfuck. Nothing more happened, I never saw him again. ‘The Griffin’ mentioned he wanted to see me, I thought “why not?”, I was kind of intrigued to see this man in bright light. I told him I wanted to eat at this vegetarian restaurant in the marais, he offered to join. I showered and walked over to the spot. He lived close by. I was a bit late. He was waiting for me outside.
First… err… second? impression: just like shrimp, everything was good but the head. He had bad skin, but he was tall, slender, and very stylishly dressed. He asked if we could speak French, I said we’d be better off sitting in silence. We spoke English. He was nice. We discussed how small the gay world was. We formaly introduced ourselves and asked all the standard “what do you do’s”, “where are you from’s”, and “how do you know’s…” now that it was bright, we were sober, and there was no loud music. I ordered the ‘chilli sin carne‘, he ordered the ‘parmentier’ I believe. We shared some wine, and had coffee after the meal. C’est tout. ‘The Griffin’ paid for my food.
I wasn’t very sure what to think of the encounter… Did he want sex? Did I want sex? Certainly not this early. I told him I had to meet a friend in half hour. I told him we should talk later that evening. In reality, I had another date lined up.
He walked me to the metro where I said I had to go the opposite direction as him. I lied. I had no idea where i was going but i wanted to figure it out on my own. We said goodbye and I turned the corner. I texted ‘The Cat’. He didn’t reply. I had met this one a couple days ago on grindr and we’d decided we’d finally meet after several unsuccessful attempts. I called, he answered. Between his French accent, the crappy cellphone reception, and the noise of the streets, it was hard to understand what he was saying, but somehow I deciphered he wanted me to meet him in front of Centre Pompideu. I hung up the phone and texted him to confirm. I can read French better than I can understand ESL over the phone. He realized I had texted him earlier and said he’d meet me outside the metro ‘arts et metieres’ instead since I was there and it was on his way. I waited for about 20 minutes and then I finally saw him.
To say that his picture on grindr did not accurately portray him is an understatement! On grindr, he’s this sexy, scruffy French garçon smoking a cigarette and giving a James Dean-esque look that says ‘I like rough sex’. In person, he was this frail, hunched, red head with a voice that screams ‘I’m the thing pedophile priests’ dreams are made of”. OK maybe I am being a bit rough, but I meant both statements in the nicest way. After all, he was indeed a very nice guy. We walked and talked all the way to a coffee shop in front of Canal St. Martin, or as he put it in tourist terms “the canal where they filmed the movie Amelie”. I swear that movie must be every Parisian’s way of connecting to the world, it is certainly not the first nor the last time someone will point out something in Paris and say “have you seen the movie Amelie?…”
I ordered a beer, he ordered some coffee. ‘The Cat’ was really nice. He was smart, witty, interestingly dressed (in a good way), and well traveled (by Parisian standards). We finished our drink and he suggested we strolled along the canal. We did. It was a cute walk. There was a bit of sprinkly rain, but the sun was out, and Paris just looked like the Paris you see in movies… perhaps ‘Amelie’?
We walked back towards Republique and parted ways. He had a meeting to go to, I had a nap to take. I got back to the hotel and made plans with ‘Gong Girl’ to meet later for drinks and dancing. I woke up at 22h, we texted each other, and coincidentally met where we met the first time I saw her. She was with some friends celebrating this other girl’s birthday. There was a beautiful French gay boy with them (he was taken) that I couldn’t stop staring at. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. My last night was short, but fun.