Because he was visiting from out of town, thinking of moving to New York City,
and, just hours before, had gone to the Museum of Natural History with his cousin.

Because he knew he was meeting a writer later that afternoon and saw
a fluorescent, palm-size, four-dollar pad of paper with a little magnet

to lock it and a cartoon tyrannosaurus on the cover. Because the T. rex
was bordered in glitter and wearing a backward baseball cap and saying

the word REXCELLENT! Because he didn’t think it’d be too goofy
and knew a writer could always use a notepad. Because he didn’t spend the date

saying that he always thought he could be a writer, using our time to workshop
possible material with me instead of asking what being one is actually like.

Because what being one is actually like (and now I’m speaking about being
a girl on a dating app) is often difficult: a place where men don’t ask you questions,

don’t treat you as an individual, are sometimes swiping and setting up
their next date under the table when you come back from the bathroom.

Because this guy didn’t go overboard, either — didn’t talk about when I’d meet
his parents, acting as though I checked a girlfriend or a wife box, casting me in a part.

Because he didn’t think girls don’t like dinosaurs. Because he didn’t assume
he was entitled to have sex with me because he bought me a taco.

Because our date was an hour. Because what he gave me was light
and easy to carry. Because when it was clear we weren’t a romantic match,

it was OK. Because we were headed in the same direction, and I pointed
him toward the Strand bookstore. Because he said, I almost forgot,

and reached into his pocket and pulled out this notebook.
Because he was looking forward to meeting me. Because he thought

I’d appreciate the gesture, that the cover and the sentiment might bring me
a small amount of joy, which turned out to be true.