The First Date: A Fictional Anthology (cause it aint gonna happen) by Jack Niemczyk

For those of you who don’t know me personally — which I hope is the case for most perusers of this piece — I am in the fortunate yet unfortunate population that has never been on a date, never been asked, never gone, and most importantly never had the microaggression-riddled debate of who is picking up the check. So my knowledge of this realm is akin to my familiarity with the popular heterosexual phenomenon known as baseball: exclusively derived from what I have witnessed in passing or via the occasional bad porn. But alas, I have spent many years of my life wondering what being courted in any capacity would actually feel like. In my mind, this is how I envision a successful homosexual date — which yes, I concede to be an oxymoron — or alternatively, how a fruitful¹ gay romantic encounter may unfold.

The day — I say “day” because, ideally, this is an engagement that lasts 24 hours from inauguration to fruition², though take note that only about 8 of those hours are spent with said suitor — begins classic rom-com style. I rise to the nostalgically nuanced sound of circa-2019 Zac Efron singing a rendition of Get’Cha Head in the Game³ set to the tune of Begin the Beguine. As my crusted eyes slowly begin to open like a garage door that is altogether too old, I notice he is completely nude — the way it should be. I lazily look over to my IKEA DEKAD alarm clock, which reads the inauspicious time of 1:32 pm. Ah yes, morning. “It is time to embark upon your day,” whispers the ghost of Elizabeth Taylor as she drapes me in a robe fit only to kill my rich husband of 35+ years or join Liz Gillies in the reboot of Dynasty. I rhythmically saunter into the kitchen to find the naked Chef Jamie Oliver preparing his famous proper-bottom-breakfast⁴ of ice cereal with pineapple juice and sausage. As the pigeons tweet the tune of Beyonce and Nicki Minaj’s reverent hymn Feeling Myself Remix, I spend my “morning” sparsely nibbling on the most important meal of the day while ravenously consuming vintage game shows until I realize that my date will soon officially commence. As such, I begin the ritualistic preparations for my night on the town until a note slowly appears, written on the dust-covered glass of my window and reading as follows:

“Unfortunately, my darling, I cannot fulfill our prior arrangement to dress you tonight — but do not distress, I am promptly sending my body-double,” signed Karl Lagerfeld.

His body-double, none other than a week old clementine with some cotton balls and sunglasses, was virtually indistinguishable and equally iconic. We settle on a 90’s Chanel-inspired outfit showcasing the simplicity of all-black-everything yet dripping with ornate gold and pearl accouterments. Contributing towards the seamless juxtaposition, my makeup consists of a simple base with two symmetrical black wings — each almost as sharp as my wit. The ghost of Elisabeth Taylor douses me in her signature scent Bal а Versailles Jean Desprez mixed with a splash of her urine. As I look in the mirror before my final departure, I take off nothing because screw that Nazi B*tch. I retreat from my sensible 3-bedroom apartment and suddenly [insert ostentatious gasp], “An elevator, pour moi?” Alas, descending six flights of stairs would have left me moist and it’s impolite to start until everyone has been served. As I exit the elevator and approach my stoop, a Tesla convertible⁵ is waiting patiently.

His name is Adam and he’s at least 6’5 with dark curly hair. In his possession are massive biceps to choke the near life out of me, but the comforting “dad bod” to cuddle me back to life. He resides in the Upper West Side and considers himself a photographer/art collector/Juilliard pianist/chef/stock market person by trade. Devastatingly, both his parents are dead. He has a ludicrously-fast wit, enabling us to simultaneously engage in intelligent conversations and laugh at our stupidity. He takes me to art openings and secret subway speakeasies where rats serve fruity6 libations like the one-and-only Americana film The Muppets take Manhattan. We spend the night dancing, laughing, getting blackout drunk, and then retiring to his place for some good old-fashioned fun: throwing up a little bit. We prepare for bed by watching 2010-era reruns of Four Weddings and eating leftover cake while shit-talking the contestants. As the night winds down, we smoke a lovely blunt and engage in some adult activities before cuddling the night away. The following morning, he serves me eggs benedict7 in bed and escorts me back to my own residence, showered with flowers and gifts, and asks when he might have the pleasure again.

Given the above scenario, it should be wholly discernible that I have absolutely no grasp on this “dating world” and, frankly, I’m not sure how else to express my benightedness. It may sound cynical for someone this young to express my lack of tenacity in this province of human connection, but I just don’t see it happening. “No one could love me,” I often joke as I’m three fruity8 cocktails deep at bottomless brunch on Avenue B. My acquaintances often interpret that contemptuous adage as insecurity about my looks, personality, or way of life. However, I love myself more than any man, woman or child ever could. I don’t need nobody, but a gnawing thought occasionally drifts through my noodle, and I find myself distraught that I have never been enough for someone to ask me to a simple dinner.

As I watch rom-coms with friends and discuss the highs and lows of dating and they insist on how terrible men are, I begin to feel… something. I feel a wound that never seems to heal. I see my peers cry at the end of The Notebook and blast Adele at 3 am, but I mourn for a different reason. According to my current trajectory, I will never be able to understand how they feel during those moments. I have never had someone proud to introduce me to their family, never had someone to argue with and sometimes gaslight, never experienced a breakup, and had friends console me. I have never witnessed the good or the bad or the ugly of relationships, but I have spent the last several years trying with no avail. Luckily, this skewed ideology is often fleeting and I eventually remind myself that no one deserves me. After all, I may never experience any of the joy, hurt, or love… but at least I never have to decide who picks up the check.

¹Haha fruit
²Again haha fruit
³How’s your head?
⁴There’s a joke there
⁵I am not sure if this is a real car due to my homosexual tendencies, but it smells rich and fun. 6Once again haha fruit
7Extra hollandaise please (theres a joke there)
8It’s a running gag — you get it

Jack Niemczyk is currently SINGLE studying Creative Writing at Pace University, and hopes to one day go into the marvelously malicious field that is known as “Comedy”. This is his first piece to be published and he is so grateful for this opportunity! “While it may be the first, it certainly won’t be the last.” A quote normally saved for older white men when eating pistachios after work, but it applies for this too. You can find him on Instagram @Jack.nym, @jacknym on Twitter, and @Jack-Niemczyk on Venmo wink wink. Thank you once again Mixed Mag for publishing my first piece!!

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