BEWARE! Your Tinder Date may actually be a federal agent looking to disappear you for practicing your First Amendment rights! Spread the word!
Signs that he is IN FACT here to throw you into an unmarked van:
- His profile pic looks like this: sport sunglasses, baseball cap, and a black polo unbuttoned just far enough to show off the veins of his meat-log neck. Maybe an American flag background. Maybe an arm outstretched, dead catfish in hand.
- He proposes meeting at your apartment. Public places just creep him out, you know?
- When you insist on meeting at a public café, he shows up in said sunglasses and baseball cap. Even indoors, he refuses to take them off. “Stoned?” you joke. “What? No. NEVER,” he says emphatically, as if his every word is being recorded.
- During your date, he keeps referring to his squad, which he eventually clarifies, breathily, is made up of his best buds from Beta Theta Classa Traita or whatever.
- He calls your mayor a “really nice guy,” and when you ask him how you met the mayor, he fumbles and ends his sentence with “just a work thing.”
- He immediately covers his face when you go in for a selfie, and then hastily explains that he doesn’t like having his face on the Internet. You remind him that his face is on Tinder. To this he just laughs and scratches his ear.
- He says Bill Barr is actually just really misunderstood. He’s a really nice guy, too, you know.
- He asks you about your friends, and when you give non-responses, he keeps going. “You mentioned a Tiana? Who’s she? What sort of activities do you two do together?” Did you mention her? You don’t think you did. When you reply coyly, “Do you have a little fantasy, Tinder Boy?” he turns beet red and exclaims, “I just want to know more about your life.”
- He takes a remarkably long bathroom break, and because your café is small and quiet, you can hear him muttering to himself while he’s in there. When he returns, he’s plastering a “Let’s Start Over” smile across his pencil-thin lips.
- When you mention the months of protests, the ones met by police violence, the new squad of federal agents shoving people into unmarked vans, he responds, “They’re not disappearing people. It’s all lies. They’re just processing criminals and sending them on their way.”
- He asks what you like to do in your spare time. You respond, “mostly play video games and rant on the internet.” “Is that right?” he asks, suddenly bright. “What do you like to, um, “rant,” about?” Like that word is unfamiliar to him. You’re feeling the date’s dying breath on you, so you say something you know will send him out the door. “I mostly rant about Trump. How evil he is.” But instead of ducking out, he leans in. For a moment, he lowers his sunglasses and you see that his eyes are a remarkable blue. “Tell me more.”
- He insists on going back to your apartment after your coffees are empty. You wink and say, “I am a take-him-home-on-the-first-date kind of girl. How could you tell? It’s my “DTF the Patriarchy shirt, isn’t it?” He laughs and itches at his ear, which you see now has a piece in it.
- At the door to your apartment he is giddy, bouncing on the balls of his feet, breathing deep. You turn and tilt your head to the side, smile like this is the best decision you’ve made in a while. A long while. He leans in, sunglasses discarded, earpiece between his fingers. You touch the collar of his polo. You clutch it in your palm, unlock your apartment door, and lead him inside. It takes him a moment. The candles, the music, the pentagram drawn in paint on your bedroom floor. “Kinky?” he says as if in question. “We don’t have to do it there, do we?” He points to the pentagram. You laugh. He laughs. You pace to a bedroom dresser and produce silk ties. “Alright,” he says, “I’m okay with that.” He’s already unbuttoning his polo, but you stop him. You take each of his wrists in a gentle grip and tie the silk around them and through the iron baseboards of your bed. You tell him you need to slip into something more comfortable, so you retreat to the bathroom. Your familiar, a one-eyed black cat named Lucy-Fur, greets you. “Tell the others. We have him.” She licks your palm and replies, “Yes, High Priestess.” When you return to the bedroom, your date wears a look of confusion, growing uncertainty. You smile. You tell him not to worry. You’re not here to disappear him. Only process him and send him on his way.