On a blood-red canvas, with a guy from Tinder.
The process was erotic, messy, clumsy, and hilarious. We couldn’t keep the canvas still and eventually rubbed it all over our bodies like a towel. We took funny photos. I smeared paint on my desk while reaching for my condom drawer. Later, I laid naked atop plastic in globs of blood-colored paint with a man I’d known for less than 24 hours. We showered together, scrubbing the gore off each other’s backs. And I realized: I'd accidentally fallen for this paint-covered man. I smiled.
It was time for Charlie to go. I watched him walk out of my front door with a smudge of color still stuck on his ear. I, still leaking pastel pink like a Care Bear on her period, gave myself the pep talk I reserve for the end of those rare great dates: about surrendering to the possibility that I might not be able to hold on to this strange, sweet man -- and that I might lose him to that familiar abyss of the Tinder date-turned-slow fade. But if he goes through that revolving door, I'm left with a brilliant canvas. And this: there are unique, outlandish, fun, open, and fearless men in this world. But it will take doing unique, outlandish, fun, open, and fearless things to find them.