Chirpy: Wanna know something?
Chirpy: I’ve never been out with a girl before.
Es: Never been out with a – What? You’re not…
Chirpy: No, no, no, I’m not gay.
Es: Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course.
Chirpy: Of course. I like gay guys. Wait, that came out wrong. I mean, gay guys are nice. Usually. Nice in a normal way. Not that gay guys are not normal, I’m sure they’re –
Es: You should shut up now in case that hole you’re digging swallows you.
Chirpy: Yeah. Damn hole.
Es: What you were saying is…you’ve never been out with a girl?
Chirpy: No. What I mean is, I’ve never been on a proper date with a girl.
Es: You’d rather just hook up in a club and fuck ’em that night? Wonderful.
Chirpy: No! Not that either. I’m more likely to have bummed a guy than had a one night stand. I mean, what I’m trying to say is…I’m a quiet guy, y’know?
Es: It was a joke. I can tell you’re not the kind of guy to fuck on sight. But quiet? Seriously? You haven’t shut –
Chirpy: I know, I know. I’m sorry. I’m nervous, that’s all. I get nervous. And when I get nervous I talk too much and too quickly. So what I’m trying to say is that I get nervous around girls, just like now – although this drinking is helping a bit – and so I’ve never had a proper girlfriend.
Es: I can see that was a big deal, saying that. Well done.
Chirpy: I might be awkward but that’s no reason to fucking patronise me.
Es: Sorry. I think it’s cute anyway.
Chirpy: Great. Just great.
Chirpy: Look, I know ‘cute’ is just the polite way of showing sympathy. Like a dog with a cone on its head. “Aww, look at how cute he is, poor wickle doggie.”
Es: I don’t think you’re a dog.
Chirpy: I’ll take that as a compliment. Thanks for saying I don’t look like a dog.
Es: Jesus. It’s no wonder you’ve never had a fucking girlfriend. It’s such hard work talking to you.
[THE NEXT WEEK]
Chirpy: Glad you could make it.
Es: I invited you, remember? I’m glad you good make it. I was half-expecting you to stand me up tonight, to be honest.
Chirpy: Me stand you up? Yeah right. I can’t believe you even wanted to see me again. Most girls have had enough after talking to me for five minutes.
Es: I’m not surprised.
Chirpy: I try my best, okay? I can’t help being the way I am.
Es: I’m aware of that. And it’s fine. I like you like this. Well, like I said last week, I think your awkwardness is cute. And before you start, not cute like an injured dog, cute like it means you’re interesting and not like most other guys.
Chirpy: You mean…you prefer me over other guys?
Es: Is that so hard to believe?
Chirpy: Yeah. So what you’re saying is…you could have gone out with someone else tonight, but you actively chose me?
Chirpy: So you’re not just really desperate?
Es: Fuck off am I! I’ll have you know I get hit on in bars all the time but I turn them down. They don’t interest me. Sure, they might have muscles the size of Europe and smiles that melt your heart but –
Es: Look. Can I say something?
Chirpy: If it’s about penis size, I’d rather you didn’t. And my penis is substantial enough, thank you very much.
Es: Easy cowboy. I wanted to say – Can I be blunt with you?
Chirpy: I guess. I won’t be held responsible if I start crying though.
Es: Awww, so cute! I’ll be gentle then…I like you, Chirpy. As much as you find it hard to believe, I would rather be here with you than in some horrible dorm room being fucked hard by a hunky man with too much ego for his own good.
Es: But people like you, nice and well-meaning as you are, can be difficult.
Chirpy: So you aren’t just attracted to awkwardness? And here was me starting to think I had a chance with you.
Es: You’re awkward, yes. That’s fine. I like that. I am attracted to it, in a sense. If you compare me to your mom, I’ll put it down to awkwardness, laugh, and move on. And if it turns out you’ve been sitting there jerking off over me –
[CHIRPY’s right hand suddenly pulls out from under the table]
Es: [laughing] – then I’ll assume that’s because you don’t quite know how to act around me.
Es: Like I said, it’s okay. But the thing is, your awkwardness is a problem. As you can imagine, I can’t really be seen to be going out with people like you. I have a certain…image, to protect. I’m supposed to be seen with good-looking guys who are thick as shit.
Chirpy: So why don’t you just go out with those types of people?
Es: Like I said, they’re boring. I’ve fucked plenty of them but I can’t spend time with them. The only boyfriends I’ve had have been people like you.
Chirpy: You’re saying you’re ashamed of being seen with me.
Es: Yes. But please understand, it’s because I need to project a certain image of myself.
Chirpy: I…I think I understand. I don’t really agree, but I understand. You want to be in with the right crowd in order to maintain a certain social standing, even though you don’t really want to know those people.
Es: Precisely. I’m glad you get it. Some guys like you just clam up, start mumbling, and never speak to me again.
Chirpy: I’m not sure how I feel about this.
Es: Okay, look at it like this. You’re my guilty pleasure. Let’s say, in some hypothetical universe, far removed from this reality, that you like Simply Red –
Chirpy: I do like Simply Red.
Es: No you don’t.
Chirpy: I do. “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” is a classic.
Es: You either have the driest sense of humour of anyone I’ve ever met, or you genuinely do like Simply Red.
Es: Well, okay. Everyone has their faults. I’ll let that one slide. So imagine that you’re my Simply Red – you don’t want to admit to anyone that you like them…
Chirpy: I’m not ashamed of liking Simply Red.
Es: You’re not?
Chirpy: No. Like I said, I think “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” is a classic.
Es: You really are something else, you know that?
Es: So what do you say? Be my guilty pleasure? And in return I’ll fulfil your wildest sexual fantasies.
Es: Well, depends how wild your dreams are I suppose.
Chirpy: [disappointed] Oh. How far would you go?
Es: We can skip dinner and go straight to your place if you want. We can discuss exactly what you have in mind on the way.
Es: You’re a nice guy Chirpy. Relax. Don’t be nervous. [to waiter] Hey, could we just pay for these drinks? We’ve had a change of plan.