Pinkroadster

red bricks

The first thing Jean—aka Pinkroadster—was concerned with when I met her for coffee in White Plains was how she appeared to me; that is, did I mind that she was much plainer in person than she had been in the picture she had put up of herself online. That is, until she had changed her photo for another the night before. That is, did I mind that she had done that? That is, could I like her this way?

Before that, she was absolutely, drop dead stunning. In person, she was attractive enough, but no head-turner. Still, it’s embarrassing when no sooner than two people from Match do meet, they start analyzing Match itself. It means it’s dead in the water: if that, Match itself is the only thing two people can muster up to talk about together, if the only common denominator between two people is the online dating service they used to bring them together, and to discuss their past experiences, all of which ipso facto must not have worked out, then there is equally as little promise they will either.

Still, I remained intellectually curious to hear Jean, a well-paid accountant, break down in percentages the men she found eligible candidates. Just by showing up, by my not cancelling at the last minute, or wishing to change the date, I realized, by her reckoning, I was already in the top 10%.

From there, though, the odds seemed to decrease exponentially. There, in that last 2 1/2%, by keeping to schedule and my word, is where Jean let me know I happened to be. Somewhere there she was being saved, by her own calculations, it seemed, for some lucky sonovabitch who’d give her the whole farm and a promissory note for collateral.

She told me a tale of being taken out to an expensive steak dinner by a Wall Street executive. When he asked her, she related, “Do you like sex?” she stopped at appetizers, claiming to the gentleman that she was no longer hungry. Her point, I suppose, was to show me she had morals, and that she would not take a man for one single steak if she found his values repellent or unattractive.

“What,” she asked me, “do you think about a question like that?” Naturally, hoping not to just as abruptly end our date at the cafeteria-style coffeehouse we were seated at, not at some fancy joint where the big boys pumped up their cholesterol and balls over a thick slab of Angus, I concurred with Jean’s assessment; without, at the same time, wholly condemning my own semi-salacious and libidinous tendency, so as not to possibly, however slim the chance, find myself in a contradictory bind of logic I could not surmount should the evening pan out in such a way that I was questioned again by Jean over wherefore my fingertips were prowling at the top of her underpants.

But this, I doubted, would ever happen: for by her bringing up the past steakhouse episode and the serious affront to her character it had caused her then, now being displayed as a lesson to me through symbolic narration meant clearly that her response, had she responded to the gentleman in question over her liking of sex, would have have to have been “No”; and if not “No” itself, then something punitive for sex with her, something like offering to her the stars and moon and one’s firstborn’s toenail clippings drowned in Aramaic vinegar and then sealed forever in amber in order to get her pants off, would be required.

She took me entirely wrong when I suggested we go somewhere else to continue our talk. She felt interrupted, dislodged, and altogether, I suppose, minimized. My forehead was hot from all the intellectual fervor. I just needed a change of location, I tried to explain to her, along with an unnecessary apology, as she now stood on the curb of the sidewalk and pointed to the direction she was crossing to, and pointed to the direction perpendicular from hers, where she told me I was to go.

More stories, letters, dates . . .

Free download today and tomorrow (4/26-4/27) :

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Match

 

Match me if you can . . .

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Letters & Stories . . .

_____________________________________

Dear Izabelle:

To the extent that you “don’t like talking about yourself,” I love talking about myself. I’m a born egomaniac. Fortunately, I’ve learned to curb my voracious appetite to take over and subdue an entire dinner table with my tales and wanton arrogance, with an attentive ear. But, alas, most people would, in the end, prefer to hear my ridiculous yarns and bombast over the grayed-out tales of their own lackluster lives. You don’t seem like you’re much of a talker at all, really. I can understand that, with your looks and intelligence a sure bet every time. Me, I just went berserk, long ago and far away, with making myself smart. Sure, it got me into some interesting spots in Budapest & Saint Petersburg & Prague, but it never got me home. That was just dumb luck.

Egbert

_______________________________________

Match Guy Aptitude Test (MGAT)

If you want to succeed at online dating, everybody’s got to pass a test.

Sometimes, during my six month Match.com dating extravaganza, I just wrote the test myself:
Match

(Click here to peek inside the book!)


Please complete the following Match Guy Aptitude Test (MGAT). When finished, please submit your answers to me for correction.

1. The guy on Match is

a) nice but insincere

b) bright but not brilliant

c) dull but not dumb

d) forward-thinking but not revolutionary

e) eager but not crazy

2. The guy on Match lives

a) too far away to commit

b) too far away to love

c) too close for me to see other guys

d) far away enough to miss me when he’s not here

e) around the block

3. The guy on Match is probably

a) a faithful and romantic man at heart

b) a two-bit sonovabitch at heart

c) a tranny

d) a trust fund alcoholic

e) a dangerous sociopath

4. I like the guy on Match because

a) he will eat of my hand, night or day

b) he’s cute enough for now

c) he’s original and daring, even at his own expense

d) he’s rich and famous

e) someone I know dated him already

5. Most guys on Match

a) suck

b) have great six-packs

c) are virgins

d) are cultured, worldly, and speak several languages

e) know how to make a girl laugh

6. The guy on Match probably likes me because

a) like me, he’s thinking about law school

b) like me, he’s thinking about medical school

c) like me, he’s thinking about becoming a chartered financial analyst

d) I wrote him back already one time

e) he just thinks I’m beautiful, funny, and smart

7. Going out on a date with the guy on Match would probably lead to

a) the feeling that I was being listened to by someone who cares about what I have to say

b) both of us seeing what the other is like

c) my talking to him about stuff that makes me happy as well as concerned

d) unexpected sex with him all night long until the pigeons are cooing

e) a belief in love, even if it doesn’t seem practical

8. Even if in the end it doesn’t work out for me and the guy on Match, I will be happy to have known him because

a) he will have been kind and gentle to me

b) he will have been a solid lover with a great body

c) he will have made me feel good about myself

d) he will have made me realize or affirm that not all guys are shitheads

e) all of the above

9. My number one reservation about going out on a date with the guy on Match is

a) I actually think guys are pretty yucky

b) he’s way older than I am

c) I don’t think he can really be serious about me

d) I’m actually afraid of finding a really good guy

e) I’d like to keep this Match-thing at a distance

10. If I were to go out on a date next weekend with the guy from Match, I’d tell him I’d be comfortable going to

a) that falafel place on Avenue A

b) the Pegu Club in Soho

c) Katz’s on Houston for pastrami sandwiches

d) just anyplace uptown for coffee

e) to dinner somewhere in the Meatpacking District


(Click here to peek at more inside!)

Match. Coming out soon!

Mallory McGiven

I had been lying in bed blue and depressed. Even the pills did nothing. They didn’t make me sleep. Just even more immobilized. And that had made things even worse. The ruffled hawk feather from the dirt hills of Arizona. The bar of hand-poured silver from Eureka. The smooth Petoskey stone from the shore of Lake Michigan. Stashed away. In a shoebox. In another shoebox. All the other shoeboxes. I had had an entire row once that had been thrown away. Automatically. Even those. Hopeless. And even his colorful striped woolen blanket. Folded and dumped in the curbside dumpster. Even my notebooks. Dumped out in the same dumpster. Even there I could not bear witness to, bear to read my own testimonies. My self-deception. Amazing! The one! In love! At last! The same thing. Ad nauseam. Depressing. Even my own confidences with myself had been wistful inventions of the imagination mostly. Mostly like pretty, colorful decals a little girl had once pressed onto square glass bedroom windowpanes to make herself feel better about her grimly lived life—there’s a rainbow! there’s a unicorn! there’s a windmill! there’s a four leaf clover! there’s a smiling sun! Imagined. Made up. Pretty. Make believe. I had disconnected the landline, blocked my cell, same for any messages. I had lain in the lavender oil bathwater and had remembered how beastly he had been, crouching on his elbows lapping up water with his tongue by the lake, who had, it seemed, completely loved me from his ruined castle which love I had not I felt, dozing eventually into oblivion, nor had I accepted had been my own before I had completely slipped away myself.

Match . . .

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Divorced and on the loose, writer Egbert Starr reveals the manic days of his six month plunge into online dating. A cringe-worthy read that’s hard to let go of, he writes over three hundred letters to women online, just as desperate for sex and love as he is. Funny, cruel, sentimental, heartfelt, and just plain ridiculous, these letters stage the outlandish adventures he ends up on—from bi-polar potheads discovered in the forests of New Jersey, to crazed Harvard PhD’s threatening to break down his locked front door.

Match

Click here to take a Peek Inside!

Coming out soon!

Match: The Book—

Everybody has done online dating, but nobody has done online dating the way Egbert Starr has done online dating.

Match

Take a peek inside! It’s all there in the book:

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Coming out soon.

Tracy Kleigman

soviet building 2

Infidelities had not been my thing, not my strong point. Nor polyamorous détente posing as an acceptable spin-about, two-way mirror. My beloved and I, we’d hang out a spell in the local commuter lot sucking down a rum-laced smoothie and watch the parking meters there go to zilch, to zero. This was before the armistice, when public appearances as such were not frowned upon. What keeps the peace makes the peace, the newbies from the inland landlubbers used to say. And I hopped in the passenger seats of some. Fine leather seats. Doe skin floor mats. Skunk pelt shoulder rests. Chip-enhanced hi-def resolution video display on the dash and visor. Putting such spousal considerations in the glove box. Making out like an Aston Martin in spoon time. The fistful of quarters went for a while, and shining the light with my lithium battery torch over the small asphalt plain looking for love again when the high rollers bailed out at 7 pm, it wasn’t so skeezy but it wasn’t exactly not either. It was the crank crank crank near coming into the rush to come on the upcurve slope of the soon to crash downward rollercoaster cliché. So it became a thing. Doing it my way, or doing it your way. Downing that all with wheat ale at 11 pm back with my true love was some time had off 45 NE. Then we’d kick it and rub all night like it was second heaven till dawn.

My Light Blue Blanket Folds

baseball players on bended knee

A little blue man with a rounded blue belly once told me all his woes. He told me that he never rose higher than fetching coins tossed toward a scattered highway basket, where, skirting traffic, he was mocked by other toll-takers safely protected in their metal and glass booths. He claimed to be a hero picking skilletfuls of quarters, nickels, and dimes from the speeding pavement. He told me how a fever killed his sense of smell and wartime cost his hair. Proud though he was to practice fencing with a gentleman whose occupation as a famed ophthalmologist made him feel quick and tall, he was never a guest in that same man’s college drinking club, just a block from Grand Central. He filled me in on the deaths of guppies in his fish tank, boiled alive by accident by a faulty water heater, as a child. And he promptly told me of broken women whom he aptly diagnosed, turning the pages of psychiatric classifications, from a borrowed DSM-5. I felt bad and let him touch me a little bit, and worse to let him go.

(read more & play @ egbertstarr.com)

Home Survey Wheelbarrow News

rounded rocks

I’d changed all the picture places in my house with one another: the daft old woman with the young, blue-eyed fresco; the landscaped lake with the pillows on the dresser; the Spanish seamstress with the Finnish rocks; the mask of evil with the hairless juggler. I switched them, changed them all.

The bed sheets on my bed, I tore them all. I tore to shreds the tiny rosebuds, pink and soft. I shredded three sets of pure white cottons and dumped them outside in a heap. My clownish purple, polka-dotted ones I’d kept for Whitsunday, I cut apart with scissors. Even the gold ones, sewn for Cleopatra, I ripped to garden rags.

All my hats that I had worn for years, I tossed them too. My lucky Filson, I gave away to a stranger in his cups. Three straw ones I set beside fallen scarecrows in three empty autumn fields. My others, whose styles I won’t mention, like pints of blood, I donated to Good Will.

Anything I had to remind me of you, I was beside myself. Grief with Anger. Sadness with Guilt. Joy with Misgivings. Anxiety with Pleasure. I had crossed and crossed myself so many times, I became embedded with my lustrous poverty, almost barren through such eroded wealth.

A Birthday Prayer

frozen gap

Winter is coming, and my tires are very thin. Lincoln’s bushy hairline barely clears the tread when I push a penny in. The cloves I planted on Columbus Day, the scapes they might by springtime’s greening be trimmed back, and grown to bulbs of garlic by July. So much is uncertain, while others are too clear: through ignorance, malice, and folly I lost the woman I love.

Through hours of stacking and tarping down, I ought to have enough wood to last me, to be just warm enough. I know for some there are the famed Snows of Kilimanjaro. But for me, I had just as soon be lost in an Irish public house, drinking and muting myself, guilty as a Christmas ghost. What it were to be a little kinder in my past. We, too, had quarreled though it never made time pass. It only made me brutal, recalcitrant, and increasingly deaf.

It made me care more and more about the fistful of coins I had left in my glove-box, and whichever rows I had of withering corn to get me through it. I became rustic against my own good and yours. O, these things, this blank apostrophe, are far from me now, and just like all the light, carefree change I once had tossed into the great River Danube, today’s lost treasure is become a heavy sunken thing to me.

The golden coy fish I have seen a-swimming in the bluestone opening in the hidden woods, to know their muddy bodies are safe there later on throughout the coldest months ahead is no little human comfort. And if I am graced to make it ‘round the snowy corners for the getting of a loaf of bread and chicken, and you are blessed with enough darkened morning peace without me, may it all to have been plenty.