1. Text sparingly the directions to the Vietnamese sandwich shop.
2. No phone-calls.
3. Arrive at least half an hour early so you can make sure he’s not half an hour early.
4. Scope the place for exits.
5. When he arrives stand to greet him. Hug him, but half-heartedly.
6. Keep him on his toes.
7. Outline your philosophy regarding true love: timing, limits, placement. Talk about the Civil War a lot, but call it the War of Northern Aggression.
8. Ask about his childhood fears.
9. Tell him the things that make you want to live: wild strawberries, the possibility of getting hit by lightning, your favorite novels being read in auto-tune.
10. If he asks which Black Flag song is your favorite then you can just shrug and say, “Well, I guess I kind of like them all!”
11. Choose a restaurant that has no air conditioning so you can see how this ding-dong handles pressure.
12. When something is awkward say “Man, that was awkward!” and look deep into his eyes.
13. After a long time of staring, do a slow wink, but not that slow.
14. Indicate a preference for moths, as butterflies are bourgeois.
15. Gauge the reaction.
16. Ask him if he can juggle, if he has upward mobility, safety nets, bona-fides, tattoos of obscure meaning, clean fingernails, knee problems, a favorite member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
17. Don’t take him back to your place unless he has mommy issues.
18. Ask him to roll a cigarette in your presence.
19. Ask which super-power he’d pick for himself.
20. Spout some weird bullshit to see if the guy is legit interested in your rambling or just looking for a place to crash for a night.
21. Chronology is the enemy. Alarm clocks are the tiny death.
22. Never drink more than five screwdrivers in a row.
23. Life is the one thing that makes living worthwhile.
24. Offer to split the check, but whatever is fine.