Manero

Available (and Online)

By: Leo_72

Long sleepless nights went by, not many answers came along. Tears started drying up as I stopped asking for another chance. I got tired of being the trending topic of my happy friends. The smile of my son became enough to get me through the day. The memories of who I was 15 years ago started coming back, and the voice telling me that it was time to move on got louder every day.

One night after almost 10 years of what I thought was a fun marriage, I had become a statistic—the half of one of those many couples that don’t survive the changes brought on them by becoming parents. From a more positive perspective, there was something to be (modestly) proud of: I was one of those rare guys who got kicked out of the house for something other than cheating.

Some friends blamed postpartum depression, and my constant traveling sure played a role. There was the instability of being an artist, the stubbornness of wanting to be in the Rome of the modern world and, maybe, her frustration with an unfulfilling career path. A lot of things had caused the demise of our marriage, but I couldn’t accept it at first.

One day, as I was on what seemed like a never-ending tour through my friends’ couches, I realized that I had reached a crossroad. I could keep on making mixtapes for my ex, continue to tell her friends how much I missed her and freak out every time I saw her on WhatsApp late at night. Or I could just move on.

So I did. I moved on, and for the first time I managed to say it loud, without gasping, when somebody asked: I am separated.

Suddenly, New York showed a face that I hadn’t seen before: I had moved here more than a decade ago with my fiancé, and got married soon after, so I was completely clueless to the dating game in the Big City. Should I join a yoga class? Should I just hit Union Pool or the Bomba party every time I could? How about chatting to the MILFs at the playground? Should I start a to-do list with some of those lonely female friends? Getting laid and that little kick to my self-confidence that would come with it felt like a necessary first step to get a lot of baggage off my brain and start building a new life.

As the spring came along, the city became sexier: panty hose, colorful skirts, sophisticated coats, fashion attitude, makeup, trimmed hairs, some skin, more smiles, interesting books on the subway. I would go out for a run and get excited watching the beauties of New York, asking myself in a silent voice: “Which one of you, ladies, is going to get all the love this humble soul has to give? You? What about you, the one without a ring?”

For years, I had listened to my female friends complain about the lack of good men in the Big Apple, and now there I was: a not-so-bad-looking gentleman with very-well-trained ears to listen to what women had to say and then translate it into what they might really want.

But I was still clueless on how or where to start, until one of my friends pulled out his phone. In less than a minute he showed me about five girls he was dating at the same time. He showed me some sexting. He showed me kinky selfies. He told me there was only one way to do this thing in 2014: ONLINE. DATING.

I created an online profile as soon as I got home. Little did I know when I submitted it that I was signing up for the most amazing, bizarre, addictive and crazy adventure of all my New York City years.

Leo_72 is a DJ and lives in Brooklyn. He can be found in dating sites under a slightly different nickname.