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Maybe the Worst Date of My Life: Mr. Lunatarium


I’m constantly seeing people I want to become friends with.

The older Asian man under the bridge waving a kitana in circles through the air (skillfully, and with the blade wrapped, so it is more a taichi movement, kendo informed practice)

The man in all black spandex with an expandable drinking dish key chained on his side satchel with a tiny white dog poking out of it (maybe it’s more his dog I’m interested in introducing myself to)

I’m ready to be excited again.

I’m married, but I maybe I will return to online dating (to meet, not sleep with, anonymous people).

I don’t completely reflect on dating with rosy hues, there was a lot of disappointment when a strong of uninteresting folks were passing through my hours, and it took an hour or two of simple banter to discern it.

I met one person I knew I despised within seconds of greeting his lanky, disheveled figure in Tompkins Square Park. He made it clear he thought I was an idiot because every two minutes he brought up how much younger than him I was. My reason for meeting him was shallow. In photos on the dating site he held a striking resemblance to Jermaine Clement, and I fancy the Kiwi’s furrowed brow when he feigns rage. But this guy’s shallow outstripped mine.

All he wanted to do was brag about finding the Lunatarium, albeit it sounded really cool, but he didn’t want to talk about it, he wanted to reiterate his pivotal role in its founding. The Lunatarium has been closed since 2004.

He talked nothing of starting it up again. Cause that’s not what mattered. HE FOUNDED THE LUNATARIUM.

I wanted out, seconds in. He left me feel trepidations – not in a “This guy might rape me” kind of way, but in a “If this guy seems to find me insignificant, why is he asking me if I’d like to get a meal with me?” We had spent a half hour walking around the East Village as he belittled me for knowing so little “at my age (about 30)”, in between bragging. Despite knowing I could excuse myself 5 minutes in, I had created a game of this terrible date. “Challenge yourself to see how much you can stand.” This date had turned into an endurance event.

“Stick it out,” I chanted in my head as my partner droned on.

“This was way before Dumbo became gentrified…”

“Stick it out, stick it out…”

“You were probably 5.”

“I was 19 when the Lunatarium closed… 14 years ago. Why are you still talking about this? What do you do now in all your free time?” I thought to myself.

He never talked about his present. I don’t think he was present in our date, and that was why the remote possibility that I’d eat tacos with him seemed like a great idea to him.

My sense of self value won out, and I told him, “I can’t possibly think you want to spend more time with me. I don’t like you. You don’t like me. Let’s end this and walk way.”

And I left.

Photo courtesy of Bust