Tinder Diaries: The Burner In The Park

eat-us-henry-eat-us-allIn trawling through folders on my laptop for some old work I’ve just come across some diaries I wrote about Tinder dating last year in the US and Canada. This one is pretty funny to look back on, especially since I’ve now been to Burning Man! Thought I’d share, cos what the hell. I have heaps more where this came from.

May 28, 2015

The Burner in the park…

I had a little meet-up in the park last night with a guy called Phoenix. He told me he used to live in the same house as me. As well as rather liking the name Phoenix I liked this small coincidence, and I quite liked his photos too. They highlighted him and his bare torso at Burning Man in the Black Rock desert.

I’ve never been but as we know, there are plenty of people here in Vancouver who frequent Burning Man. I’m always interested to know more about what goes on there in this week-long, arty, drug-fuelled party, even though my probing pretty much always leads to the same thing – a longwinded story about someone tripping their tits off and getting lost in a sandstorm.

Nevertheless I arranged to meet Phoenix with some other friends at sunset. He ambled over to the picnic blanket I was on with Ula, sporting the same bearded chin, the same dark sunglasses, the same warm smile I’d admired in his photos and held out his hand. This time it was minus the flaming torches he’d been twirling in the desert but still, very attractive, I thought.

And then my eyes travelled down.

We started to chat, but as Phoenix stood there switching from barefoot to foot in the grass, waxing lyrical about someone tripping their tits off and getting lost in a sandstorm, (see?) I found it increasingly difficult to pull my eyes away from his head-fuckingly loud patchwork pants. Patterns of orange stripes, pink flowers and turquoise hoops blended and billowed about his bottom half like a circus tent, all topped off with a luminous pink T-shirt.

I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed. In my head I was begging the sun to set faster so my eyes wouldn’t have to hurt anymore. Even though Phoenix seemed very nice (and seemed only too happy to help Ula and I drink the wine we’d brought with us) I couldn’t help envisioning our future together and the brightest part of it was always going to be his trousers.

I’ve dated people in this uniform before. I know enough to be sure that along with these wardrobe choices usually comes a fear of deodorant and washing dishes and almost always, unfortunately, an abject state of poverty. I tried to think rationally about it. Phoenix was clearly fun and adventurous, both traits I love in a man.

Maybe he had a bit of money stashed away that he wasn’t planning to spend on a clapped out RV and an art installation shaped like a double helix; money for a family, a house, a jaunt around Japan to see some sumo wrestlers (something I would most definitely do before buying a house).

The thing is though, even if we went out a second time, and a third time and he wore something normal every time, I would always be waiting for the moment Phoenix wore the pants again, and no one wants to live in fear.

It’s such a shame but Ula and I had to leave Phoenix in the park where we met, billowing softly to himself in the breeze. At least I learnt a bit more about Burning Man, though.