THAT WEIRD MOMENT WHEN YOU SWAP NUMBERS – New Rules Novel | New Rules Novel

MASON - CHAPTER 42

THAT WEIRD MOMENT WHEN YOU SWAP NUMBERS

There is always something cleansing about crossing back over the Williamsburg Bridge at the end of the night. Looking back over at the Manhattan skyline and knowing that the city is there when you want it, but there is always a quick escape. Viv was keen to get food, so I suggested my local.

Vinnie’s Pizza is almost full when we get there, a boozy bunch of people but everyone is always pretty friendly. I love the little booths and the fact that their specials board is cool enough to have its own Tumblr page.

I grab a Margarita slice, she goes for one that looks mostly white – we both cover them with chili and parmesan as some dude slides into the both next to us, we acknowledge him, which he takes as an invitation to tell us about his failed date.

“No one wants to see photos of your friends’ wedding on a first date.” He says, making Viv laugh in short bursts that sneak out the sides of her mouth.

“That is no way legit,” I agree between mouthfuls.

“Ridiculous, right?” he said, “And all the questions. Work. Family. She went straight for the neck. Can’t people just talk shit for a while, build a bit of chemistry?”

“Did you guys have chemisty?” Viv said.

“How is that going to happen when she gets down to the business questions right off the bat?”

“True. You know I read today that there is a guy on Tinder who just has a photo of his bank balance.”

“How’s he doing?” I ask, instantly realizing that he is obviously killing it. She just nods.

“That is such bullshit.” He says, “It gives the whole thing a bad name.”

“Really. You don’t think all the dick pics and lame pic up lines have that covered?” She added.

“You can’t give Tinder credit for dick pics. I reckon back in the day, plenty of dudes snuck into caves and drew dick pics for those cave women.” I said.

“Can’t blame them. All those girls walking around in fur all day.” He says.

“Get this, a guy at work was showing me a bunch of holiday pictures on his phone the other day, just swiping through them, when a huge dick pic pops up. He felt stink, just kept going until I called him on it, but it was no big deal. The dick pic has become an everyday thing.”

The dude makes a weird face that Viv was obviously creeped out by,

“I do feel for you though.” She says, “Dating in this city is people meeting up and telling the other person how great they are. It’s fucken tragic. Everyone is so busy, so it’s this race to see who is funnier, cooler, or more connected.”

“Perhaps…”

“No.” She answered quickly, “But I like the offline initiative.”

Outside we said goodbye to our new friend, wishing him well on his adventures. She was heading down towards the park while I was going up to Greenpoint. Was I implying something by getting food with her after the gig. Surely not. We were both just going the same way home and hungry. No, was all good. We chatted how it was a fun night, how cool Emma was, about her amazing ideas, of the few vague mutual friends we had.

“We should catch up again sometime,” she says, “I’ll give you my number.”

In New York, that phrase was often said in isolation, without the expectation of an exchange. If someone wants to contact you, they will find a way. I dig into my back pocket for my phone and unlock it.

“It’s Viv.” She says.

“Really. Come on. I’m not that useless.”

“Just checking.”

In reality I did struggle with names, but I just hoped that was a common thing with guys. There were those times when you enter a girl’s name, and pretend to write her name but have to put in ‘black hair tattoos’ instead, and fail to get in touch due to maintenance of having to devise an elaborate plan to find out her name. Although, once in that scenario I told a girl to meet me at a local bar, so I could get the bartender to ask her. She was too hot to pass up. Never underestimate the importance of a solid local and your relationship with its bar tender.

This wasn’t like that though. This was just a mate’s scenario – the ongoing extension of the New York network. At least I hope it was. She was cute, but not really my type and certainly not the smartest play in the scheme of things. I entered her name and handed her the phone to put in the number.

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