Friday, November 4, 2011


In his photos, he looks like a bulldog. His brow is low and wrinkled, his jaw square, jutted, and firm. A Puerto Rican bulldog. His neck is thrust out at an angle away from broad, muscular shoulders. His arms are thick and strong, his hands naturally curled into fists. He's always got a layer of scruff on his face in the shots I've seen. A mustache that's more silky than thick sits on his upper lip, as if some stray dandelion seeds have come to rest there.

He's hot. I want him.

The thing is, English is not his first language. Every time we talk online, it ends with me near tears of frustration, because I can't understand a damned thing he says. woo like to, was the first thing he ever wrote me. I took it as a positive thing. Like, Woo! I'd sure like to do you! Or even, I would like to, with you! Who's going to object to either one of those?

Hi, I'd write back. You're sexy. Would you like to get together sometime?

suy pa to drivet mi in stamford like to, he wrote back.

Now, there's only one little bit of that sentence—is it a sentence? My late word-loving mother would have gotten out her pencil to diagram it and ended up stabbing herself in the eye, I fear—that I really understand. That is, I was assuming he was in Stamford. And maybe he was calling me pa? I was a little older than he, but only if I'd fathered him in my teens.

tenkio to men like 47.63 8 cut lovet, he'd write a few minutes later. I'd stare at it for several minutes until I realized that the numbers referred to me: I'm 47, six foot three, eight inches cut, and it sounded like he loved it. But tenkio to men? I couldn't even figure out what that might be phonetically.

It used to be that I'd get a couple of message from him and I'd give up for the day, but he's been persistent. caman cenga naoo, he'll greet me. camin tudey stamford for sex my to! Some of the sounds are close enough to things I might want to hear—come on today to stamford for sex with my . . . toe?—but whenever I try to communicate back, it doesn't get any better.

I spoke Spanish fairly fluently in my high school years, but thirty years of disuse have laid that particular skill to rest. I relied on Google translator to help me with my rusty vocabulary. Quiero poner mi pene en su interior, I'd write him, which probably is probably the least erotic way possible en español to say I wanted to put my dick inside him. It's so stiff and formal that it sounded like something the Queen of England might declaim, while in full array.

to drivet, was his quick reply. My stomach sank.

¿Puedo venir a disfrutar del sexo con usted? I asked, hoping (after I inspected all the verbs and nouns) that it would imply a question of whether I could come over and have sex with him.

woo no gut, he wrote back. Wow, no good? I wondered. Then he shot another email. tu vives solito papi. He was asking if I lived alone. Finally, a message I understood.

No vivo solo, I replied. ¿Alguna vez solo en casa? Are you ever home alone?

like sex hot hot tenkio woo camin stamford drivet mi to, was his reply.

And it was there that I gave up again.

I'm honestly not sure what to make of the guy. I think he wants sex, but no matter how carefully and formally I structure my sentence so that I'm pretty sure they're clear, he's always writing back to me about camins and tudeys and drivets.

I need an English-to-bulldog translator, stat.


  1. On quirt a few minutes ago, there were three people available within an hour's drive of me.

    I don't usually enjoy schadenfreude, but it's a relief to my ego, when you have your occasional frustrations.

  2. Kevin,

    I think that if you were to pore over the last couple months' of entries, save for this week you'd find nothing but frustrations. That should be balm enough for anybody's envy.

  3. I...I only consider myself semi-fluent in Spanish, but have no idea what he is saying. At first I thought Spanish as well, but maybe he is going for Portuguese. Or...Italian? I really can't understand the confusion coupled with the times he actually made a connection. My only guess is that he is A) fucking with you; or B) actually speaks a different language but refuses to spell it correctly. Hmm...You have presented me with a fun mystery this morning. Sorry it involves your sexual frustration.


  4. Isn't he asking you to drive to stamford to fuck him?

    Just tell him ¿cuál es su dirección? and grab your keys and head out the

  5. I guess maybe my view of your world is distorted by trying to catch up on your two years of posts.

    OK, how about this? I'm sorry you're only getting a little more than I am right now.

  6. Oh you poor man! I was suffering along with you, reading the failed communication attempts. Of course I wasn't laughing. At all.


  7. Rob,
    If you want, i can ask my spanish and portuguese friend that i talk to every evening and respond to you after that. I don't want you to lose the good time you can have with him.


  8. Not too long ago, I heard a story on radiolab (a show on NPR) about how there are an alarming number of profiles online that aren't actual people, just computer programs spitting out information. You should consider the possibility that this isn't a real person you're chatting with.

  9. I've been reading your blog for some time now and I must sing the praises for your writing you do pass onto us, readers, that every moment being narrated was something absolutely extraordinary. I confess that it instills in me a little dose of healthy envy. Now to the matter at hand, I'm portuguese and I agree with you that he must be spanish, sometimes I amuse myself writing english as it is phonetically pronounced and it yields a very different result whit portuguese phonemes. I can only guess, but I'd say that "woo" is you, "tenkio" is thank you, "lovet" and "drivet" love it and drive it respectively, but then "to" really confuses me, not to mention "gut" and the syntax of the sentence appears somewhat german. Hope this helps, even if it is only a little. I'll ruminate on it a while longer, I do like a good challenge from time to time.


  10. This is crazy. I think Alex is on the right track, though "woo" could be an approximation of "would" for someone who is basically illiterate not only in English but also in his native tongue. I'm speculating that he may be of Quichean stock, or Yucatec Maya or some other indigenous people from Latin America. Huge numbers of those folks can't read or write their native tongue, because hardly anyone else wants to bother with it. They view Spanish as something of a foreign language. Their only English is what little they may pick up on the job site (hence "tenkio" for "thank you").

    Whether that's the reason for his poor skills in both English and Spanish, I can't say. Could even be something totally different, like Iraqi.

    In any event, I imagine that "tenkio to men" is "Thank you too, man."

    Thank you, Rob, for this puzzle and your entertaining account of your efforts to solve it.

  11. Spanish is my first language and nothing he was saying to you has anything to do with mexican, puerto rican, dominican or any other variation of spanish spoken all over Latin America or the rest of the world for that matter. I agree with those whom think he was really -and unfortunately not literally- fucking with you.

  12. Actually, I think I know this person from facebook because a very, very sexy guy wrote to me almost exactly the same thing, but when I confronted him about his lackluster phrasing, in an effort to try and help him, he responded in PERFECT english complete with american slang. If it's him, be cautious, as his entire online persona is fake. :) I hope it's not him tho, as I would hate to burst your smiley bubble....but I would love to have the opportunity to put a smile on your face (naked and ass up).

  13. I would have probably asked for an address and time and then head for the door. Best of luck with that one, Rob.

  14. 2:27 Anonymous,

    I am a Radiolab fan, too. I remember that show. I am pretty sure this guy is a real person. I've run across a couple of the profile bots before and they usually are trying to get people to a specific web site . . . and do it pretty quickly. Unless this one's for performance art, I'm not getting the bot impression.

  15. Anonymous Alex,

    Oh gosh, I never interpreted 'tenkio' as 'thank you.' But that seems right. Tenkio!

    I'm confused by the 'drivet to' bit, too. 'Gut' seems like 'good,' but like you said, it also seems German.

  16. Steve,

    Interesting theory. I figured that the guy wasn't too good in his native tongue, either. He identifies himself as Boricuan, so I don't know what light that sheds on your theory.

    Tenkio to men! (Seriously. Thank you. You and Alex made so much more sense.)

  17. Manuel,

    Regardless of what language he was speaking, even if it was pidgin English, he certainly wasn't spelling it very well. Maybe he was fucking with me. I was kind of hoping not, but that hasn't stopped a lot of people fucking with me who spoke and wrote English quite well.

  18. Sperm Bank,

    Was the guy from my area? If so, you should email me and let me know so we can compare notes.

  19. OK, I'm sorry for comments about the ego boost regarding your frustrations. It's just barely possible that my sex life is better than yours at the moment. I had the sweetest piece of baklava yesterday.

    I'm not usually big on the whole Master/Slave thing, but if that's what it takes to get into this Lebanese grad student on a regular basis, I may have to sacrifice.