Sarah: So I am thirty five and don’t have time to play games: are children on the menu for you?
Isaac: Like, do I eat children?
Sarah: Funny. I’m asking if having children is something you are up for, in the hypothetical mid to long term.
Isaac: Oh, No.
Sarah: Just a hard no. Why not?
Isaac: If I had to choose between eating a child, and raising one, I’m not sure where I’d fall on the issue.
Sarah: I’d appreciate it if you’d take this seriously.
Sarah: Do you think you would be a bad father
Isaac: I have no idea. Probably. There was no real parental behavior to model growing up, I’ve never enjoyed the company of children, and I had a vasectomy when I was 22. I probably should have started with the third point.
Sarah: Bullshit. What kind of doctor would give a 22 year old a vasectomy
Isaac: An orthopedic surgeon who is bad at Yahtzee.
Sarah: You gambled for a vasectomy, with an actual doctor, using a dice game for children.
Isaac: I mean, it’s an all ages game. And it’s not all luck, the strategic elements are very underrated.
Sarah: What would he have won?
Isaac: I was going to fight his teenage son.
Sarah: You were going to fight a child?
Isaac: He was at least 19. Maybe a big 17. Either way I didn’t fight him.
Sarah: But you would have?
Isaac: A bet is a bet.
Sarah: I cannot believe that this horrible person exists.
Isaac:I didn’t say he was a good father, but he did a pretty good job on my vasectomy for someone who mostly does hip replacements.
Sarah: I was referring to both of you.
Rebecca: So what do you do for a living?
Isaac: I am a nurse in an assisted care facility.
Rebecca: A male nurse?
Isaac: I mean, I am male and a nurse…so sure.
Rebecca: I thought mostly women did that? Do the male nurses have different duties than the female ones?
Isaac: Again, all just nurses. And unless a patient needed to be breastfed, or hauled out of bed by latching onto a dick, I’m not sure how the responsibilities would differ.
Rebecca: You don’t need to be crass. I just found it surprising is all. Did you want to be a nurse when you were a kid?
Isaac: No, I actually wanted to be a farmer. I found the garden very peaceful and I was always good at growing things.
Rebecca: So why did you become a nurse?
Isaac: I got busted for selling weed and my foster parents said they’d pay for nursing school if I stopped. I don’t know why they picked that instead of something else, but I kept selling weed so I am not in a position to complain.
Rebecca: You don’t have to be insecure about it, I was just asking a question.
Isaac: Alright. What you do for a living.
Rebecca: I am a lawyer?
Isaac: A female lawyer?
Rebecca: This is childish and obvious.
Isaac: Probably, yeah.
Carol: My last three boyfriends were alcoholics, so I need to know if you drink.
Isaac: Not often. Things tend to get a little out of hand when I do.
Carol: Well, you probably have a drinking problem then.
Isaac: No, I have problems when I drink…so I usually don’t. I don’t need anymore electrocution scares to hammer the point home.
Carol: Even one incidence of self destructive binging is enough you should consider enrolling in a program.
Isaac: Look, Carol, I was up until 3am last night pulling rancid salmon guts and dental floss out of a crumb tray…I don’t think a self help cult is going to provide a great deal of additional motivation.
Carol: Why were there fish gut in your crumb tray?
Isaac: My toaster thinks it’s a racoon. I mean, it was, but it’s been toaster for a while and it hasn’t come to terms with it.
Carol: Are you drunk right now?
Isaac: I am not drunk, because I rarely drink, because when I do things get out of hand. If I do drink I only have a couple, which I can do, since I am not an alcoholic. Though I do take random pills on occasion, as I have a stressful home life and it helps to disassociate.
Carol: Have you considered trying to actually resolve your problems instead of dissociating.
Isaac: If I knew how to make my roommate leave I would have done it a long time ago, because he claims that he’s trapped in that room, but I hear him roaming around the house at night…and I’m pretty sure May and him have some sort of pen-pal situation going on.
Carol: I don’t know who May is, but you should stop taking random pills and seek a doctor to provide specific ones.
Isaac: She is my best friend, I don’t have a doctor, and while I’m pretty sure I have some untreated PTSD I don’t think the medical profession is really geared towards my issues.
Carol: I can tell that you are a toxic person that I don’t want in my life. Good luck with your issues.
Isaac: Thank you.
May: Get your shit together, these bitches are about to mob up and throw your ass out.
Isaac: I’m trying, but this is a pretty tough crowd.
May: Yeah, it’s a Wed afternoon speed dating group: it’s all unemployed recent divorcees, chronically single shift workers, and last chancers who got kicked out of the Friday evening group for being toxic narcissists. These are the dregs and you can’t get a nibble. How are you this bad at conversation?
Isaac: I don’t know, they are asking me questions and I’m trying to be as honest as I can.
May: Who told you to be honest? Not me, I am a very dishonest person and I am never single. Also, you are not being honest, you are being passive aggressively direct and super-fucking-clever. Stop Monologuing, stop trying to score points, and show some fucking curiosity.
Isaac: Did you sign up for this? You must be taking someone’s spot.
May: The chick that had this spot faked a phone call so she could dodge your deranged ass. I am sacrificing my dignity to pull you out of this tailspin.
Isaac: Have you gotten any dates?
May: Two so far. Get your head in the game.
Claire: Isaac, that’s an interesting name. What does it mean?
Isaac: Sort of “of god” or “from god”.
Claire: Your parents must have seen you as quite a blessing.
Isaac: One of them, for sure, but it was a complex situation. So what does Claire mean?
Claire: Clear and bright. My mother named me Claire Autumn Day, so I’d always know the feeling in her heart when she thought of me.
Isaac: That’s really nice. Are you guys still close?
Claire: Very much so. I haven’t seen her as much since I moved but we talk everyday. Are you close with your parents?
Isaac: I never met my father, and my mother was there for me as much as she could be, but my extended family was pretty messed up. She died when I was kid though, and I’ve mostly just kicked around since then.
Claire: That must have been tough, but I know a lot of wonderful people that came from chaotic beginnings. I think it makes you appreciate stability and connection more when you have to work hard for it.
Isaac: Yeah, I agree. That is a very thoughtful insight. Umm, why are you in this group? You seem like you could get a date the normal way. Or at least qualify for that stuck up Friday evening group.
Claire: I appreciate that, somewhat. Uh, I guess I’ve traditionally been a very romantic person and tried to seek out perfect situations and people, and it has produced fairly mixed results. I figured, do something completely opposite to my instincts and maybe it will turn into something special. Or at least be an interesting experience that I can grow from.
Isaac: Look, you seem like a genuinely decent person so I need to level with you: I am trying to get a date to go to a thing my friend May invited me to, but I don’t actually know what the thing is…and it could be a storage locker auction, or a sex dungeon, or an actual dungeon…or like, an adult prom. Literally nothing is off the table and I don’t want you going into this blind.
Claire: I will consider it.
Artemis: I’m a Wiccan, does that bother you?
Isaac: Not immediately.
Artemis: Because a lot of people who were raised in conservative environments are uncomfortable with it. Were you raised religious?
Isaac: I wasn’t really raised per se, but there were circumstances occurring around me that informed a kind of…non-standard belief structure. Though I do have a patron…entity, of sorts, that I feel a certain amount of obligation towards.
Artemis: Do you worship it?
Isaac: Not really. It’s more of a concordance than a compact, and I have no idea what it would want from me in return. I did make a Wikipedia page for it a while back. It’s pretty short on details, but I felt like a shout out was warranted.
Artemis: The editors didn’t take it down for not being notable enough?
Isaac: Nope. Though it will crash your computer if you try to load it.
Artemis: What is its name? Your patron thingy.
Isaac: Concepts of that order generally can’t be resolved to a degree where a name would be necessary.
Artemis: What was the name of the Wikipedia article.
Isaac: Septagoat. But that is just a thing I came up with as a kid, not how I think of it now. I probably shouldn’t even have said that much. I got pilled up pretty hard before this and it’s really catching up to me. Don’t mention it to Carol, she’ll make a big thing of it.
Artemis: Um, is this like a Satanic thing? I am not down with black magic. My ex communed with a fire elemental once and cheated on me with my best friend right afterwards.
Isaac: I don’t know if fire elementals are a thing or not, but I feel like that one might be getting thrown under the bus.
Artemis: Please don’t be disrespectful of my beliefs.
Isaac: I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to be. And honestly I likely wouldn’t find your perception of reality any more or less plausible than anyone else’s. I just really need a date for this thing and people are coming in swinging and I’m not coping well.
Artemis: I can understand that. This isn’t really my environment either.
Isaac: Why did you sign up?
Artemis: May paid me to fill out the numbers.
Isaac: Yeah, that makes sense.
Continued in: Part Five