Timo is dreaming of a throuple as they go into Decision Day... but they do finally make a choice and hang up on one last Caller.

And before that, each of the final two Callers already locked in their choice: to either take an all-expenses-paid vacation with Timo or a cash prize instead.

In this episode, you'll hear all three reveals– and then Timo and their Callers will face each other to talk about the decisions they each made and why.

It's an emotional episode– I shed some tears while producing these interviews and also later while editing them. Because Decision Day is when the truth is told and souls are bared. And I wouldn't trust anyone more than Timo and their final two Callers to be honest with one another while holding space for a lot of care. It's a beautiful thing to witness.


Previously on Hang Up…

Timo: I will go down on you probably.

Timo went on a final date with Billy and Salix.

Billy: May the Three-Way Begin.

It was the last chance for all three of them to get the answers they need to make their big decisions.

Timo: Do you think I’m too old for you?

All leading up to today cause it’s DECISION DAY, y’all!! 

Welcome to Hang Up, a reality dating show with no rings attached. I’m your host, Zakiya Gibbons.

For the past six weeks, our Star Timo went on themed dates with each of their Callers. All of these dates were exclusively over the phone.

The Star and their Callers have never seen each other. And, they all changed their names so they couldn’t find each other outside of the show. The Callers only had one date per week to stand out from the crowd and woo the Star.

And if they couldn’t establish a clear connection, they got the hang up, eliminating them from the show. That brings us to today, where I will be meeting Timo in person for the first time. Then, they’ll decide who to hang up on for the *last time*. Either Salix.

Salix: I think that we would have a great time. But if Timo picks Billy, I think they would also have like a really good connection and have a great time as well. 

Or Billy.

Billy: A maybe feels like a no and and no means there's a better yes somewhere or more compatible yes elsewhere so yeah.

And finally, the winning Caller will reveal their choice: an all expenses paid vacation with Timo sponsored by Both& Apparel, or hang up on them, and take the cash prize of one thousand dollars. 

Which Caller will Timo choose?

Timo: I want to make out with both of you.

I know it’s hard, but only one Caller can win…

Timo: My biggest hope is that we all link arms and like make out.

No, really, they’ll have to choose one person.

Timo: Three way make out sess, three way make out sess.

Well… let’s start sorting this out so we can get to the hang up.

Zakiya OK I’m gonna take a breath. 

Timo Zakiya. You're here with me. 

Timo Hello? Hello. 

Zakiya I just exhaled the most desperate horniest sigh right into the mic. 

Timo I am not worthy of any of that. That's. That's. You know. I'm over here. I know I'm over here all confused cause I'm like, wait, I'm meeting somebody today and I'm like, wait, but Zakiya. 

Zakiya I meant to say hello. But all that came out was [sigh]. I mean, you… It is so good to meet you in person. You are a dream to look at. Holy shit. Let me fucking focus. It is not about me. Just like I had. I had to name the fact that like, yes, you are indeed very sexy. 

Timo Well it is kind of about you. Because I do have a present for you. 

Zakiya Oh, my God. I'm unraveling. Looks like a beautiful t shirt. Oh, my God. 

Timo You said you wanted it on a T-shirt. 

Zakiya Okay. It is a white t shirt that says I'm a bouquet of neuroses with a bouquet of flowers with three red flags and lightning bolts. I love this so much. 

Timo Okay, good. I just thought it was... 

Zakiya This is perfect. 

Timo Okay. Okay. I'm so glad because I just wanted to make sure you guys have a little something for my end cause, like, I'm going to be sad when this is over and I'm going to have a lot of things to remember y'all by, and I want you to have something me by. 

Zakiya Wow. Thank you, Timo. And the fact that you're giving us a gift when it was just your birthday this week. Happy birthday. 

Timo Thank you.

Zakiya Well are you hoping you'll be getting a big present today in the form of an all expenses paid vacation? 

Timo Oh, my God, That would be dreamy. And I'm really, really nervous and excited because I think I do know. I think I know. I think I know what direction I'm going here. And yeah, so I'm just all on edge and a tingle, so fingers crossed. 

Zakiya Yes. Okay. So let me just say it is the big day. It is Decision Day. 

Zakiya Yes. So today we're finally going to hear what you, Billy and Salix are choosing to do. And right after we talk, Salix and Billy are going to join me here to lock in their decisions, also in person. And they'll choose to either walk away with you and go on an all expenses paid vacation or they will walk away without you and with $1,000 in their pocket. 

Timo Come on, come on. Now that you've met me, you know they shouldn't choose the thousand dollars, right? 

Zakiya I mean, I hear you. I'm also on pins and needles, and, you know, you have your own decision to make today— the final hang up. So, Timo, you've been through a lot. I must say. It's been six weeks of dating over the phone, which involved a ghosting, a mystery caller who turns out you actually know and made out with, uncomfortable hang ups and catching some pretty strong feelings for our final two Callers. 

Timo This is true. This is a, that's a good summary when you put it that way. I'm like, yeah, actually, has been pretty, um, eventful. 

Zakiya Do you feel like you've earned the title The Unspeakable Olian Timo, your namesake, for all your heroic acts? 

Timo You know that I think, I think I still have a little more to do to earn that title. But, you know, it's aspirational. And maybe this is one step to getting me closer to that. 

Zakiya Well, you had your final date with Salix and Billy last week. What were you surprised by? 

Timo Oh, I was… Billy said like that they don't really like vacations, there was something about them not liking vacations in there.


Billy I feel so conflicted about the vacation vibe. 

So that was kind of a turning moment where I was just like, what does that mean? Like, okay, you know, so that was a little surprising. But I mean, there wasn't anything like threw me off in terms of like, Oh, I didn't expect that, you know, from somebody. Like I just felt like I was a deepening of my understanding of each of them.

Zakiya Well, how much are you considering whether they'll choose the cash or the vacation? 

Timo I can't even think about it anymore. Like, I guess I'm already in a spiral. I've been spiraling. If I think about that because that's a factor, I. I can't read anybody's mind. I just have to hope and trust that whoever I choose wants me back. So, you know. And that's how it always is, right? 

Zakiya Yeah, you're right. Like, all you can do at the end of the day is be in communication with yourself and how you're feeling.

Timo Yeah.

Zakiya Can you mood board yourself from this past week for me? Like, what have you been feeling and what's been going through your head from, you know, the three way date until right now? 

Timo A lot of it has been my reflection on not just what I've experienced on this dating show, although, you know, it has been really revealing to me and like helpful in a lot of ways, but also thinking about like. Hmm. You know, coming out of my past relationships, coming out of my time, not dating, what am I actually looking for? Like, what am I feeling for? Not just looking for, but what am I feeling for? And so I need for sunshine and play into my life. Like I'm a pretty serious person in a lot of ways. I mean, I, I have the the goofy gene. I have the jokes, okay. But I also need somebody to help, like bring me back to the light a lot because I do get really, I don't know, shit’s heavy. Like life is heavy. I need somebody who can help me remind myself that there is joy to be had. So that's been a reflection I've been feeling so that my mood board is, you know, like sunrises and like slow, deep breaths. And flowers, like the flowers I brought. 

Zakiya And those, I'm assuming those flowers are for the Caller you choose, you're planning on choosing? 

Timo Yeah. 

Zakiya You said you had an idea of what direction you're headed in.

Timo Yeah.

Zakiya Have you decided who you're going to hang up on? 

Timo I think I have. Yeah. I mean. I mean, it made my stomach, go like ooh like a little butterfly. A little flip. But yeah, I think I have. I wrote it on my… I wrote it like, when I was like, going to. I was reminding myself to pick up flowers before the recording. And I said, pick up flowers for. You know. So, like, I wrote it on my little whatever erase board. And so, yeah, I think it's, I think it's I think it's locked in. 

Zakiya Was there a moment you can point to that solidified your decision? 

Timo Yeah. So I was pacing around and I was like, you know, I was like, telling my kid, I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I have to make this decision… like, Saturday. It is the day. The day is coming. I have to make this decision.” And yeah, I just said, you know, “I don't know how to make this decision. I don't feel like there's a good or a like a right or wrong choice here.” And she said, this is what you told me right after you came out of the date and how you were feeling. And I was like, okay, okay, all right. And then, you know, she just went on, she's like, this was what was exciting. And and these were your doubts and all of that. So it really helped me just to echo back, to hear my own words was, yeah, it just helped. 

Zakiya Mhm. Okay. Timo, today you're going to meet Billy and Salix in person. Fantasy is about to meet reality. Are you at all worried that they--

Timo I'm so worried. Let me stop you right there. I'm so worried. 

Zakiya Yeah, I was going to ask, like, what's your biggest fear for today? 

Timo Um. Just. Oh, man. It's the fear that I have had since I was but a wee child of just disappointing people. 

Zakiya Yeah, that's real. 

Timo Yeah. I don't like disappointing people. Yeah. And but I also do like, I will go back to that. I feel very reassured that these are two human beings that are genuine, and I felt a real connection with both of them and that I don't feel like there's this this dead end to either of them, like regard, you know, like to whoever I don't choose. Like, I don't feel like that's the end of the story. I still feel hopeful. 

Zakiya Yeah. Yeah. I was going to ask, like, what's your biggest hope for today? 

Timo Yeah, my biggest hope is that we all link arms and like make out. 

Zakiya All right. Timo. 

Timo Oh, my god. Is this it? 

Zakiya It is time for the final hang up. 

Timo I'm so sweaty. 

Zakiya Me too. 

Timo I feel like I need to brace myself. 

Zakiya Take breaths if you want. It'll all be okay. 

Timo Okay? Yeah. 

While Timo takes some breaths… it’s time for their Callers to lock in their decisions. We’ve brought in high tech isolation chambers so that no one sees each other before the big reveal. Timo is being escorted to theirs now. And we’re bringing Salix into the studio.

Zakiya Hi, Salix. 

Salix Hi, Zakiya. 

Zakiya I am so excited to be here with you in person. And I have to say, you look so cute. I'm living for this outfit. 

Salix Thank you.

Zakiya Can you describe your ensemble?

Salix Well, I am wearing a little beanie that has little cat ears on it. Oh, this chain that I'm wearing, it's like a dog chain, I actually got it— me and my dog have matching chains. And I'm wearing this body suit I guess right is this a body suit?. 

Zakiya I would say it's a body suit, yeah. 

Salix But it has like these high cuts goes up like to my ribs. Kind of. 

Zakiya Very sexy. 

Salix And I'm wearing it like Hot Topic studded belt. 

Zakiya It is giving a Hot Topic and I love it. 

Salix With black skinny jeans, I guess, and a black hip bag. And then I'm wearing some, some cute cowboy boots gotta finish it off with cowboy boots.

Zakiya You look so adorable. And I have to shout out the the face shimmer glitter. 

Salix Oh, yeah. I have glitter on my face because that's, because that's makeup. 

Zakiya Because that is makeup. You look so amazing. What a great final decision day outfit. I mean, yeah, today's the day. Final decision day. Do you think you'll win? 

Salix Um I don't know. Maybe. I think that I have, like, a decent chance at it, but, like, I think that having our like three way call was, like, so wild because I felt like just like the chemistry just between the three of us in that call was like, really good. 

Zakiya OK it was, it was. 

Salix I was like, I don't know, like, it's so hard to say cause I just think that, like, it could really just go either way. And I think that, like, if Timo picks me, I think that we would have a great time. But if Timo picks Billy, I think they would also have like a really good connection and have a great time as well. 

Zakiya So yeah. So are you crushing on Billy a little bit? 

Salix I mean, I definitely would like to meet Billy. 

Zakiya Well, I'm sure. I mean, that will be happening later today. 

Salix Oh, okay. 

Zakiya Yeah. So you're here to lock in your decision whether you want to go on an all expenses paid vacation with Timo or hang up on Timo and take the cash prize instead. Of course, the final outcome is not fully up to you. Timo is about to put their heart on the line, so you have to as well. Once you lock your answer in, you can't go back and change your mind. Are you ready? 

Salix I'm ready. 

Zakiya Salix, if you're the winning caller, what will you choose? 

Salix If I'm the winning Caller, then I choose {beep}

Zakiya Got it. Salix. You're locked in. And next time we talk, it'll be on the hotline to hear who Timo is going to hang up on. 

Now, it’s time for Billy to lock in his decision.

Zakiya Hi, Billy. 

Billy Hi Zakiya. I'm looking at you.

Zakiya I know we're here together in the flesh right now. 

Billy Human formation. 

Zakiya Yes. Oh, it is so good to see you. 

Billy Same. 

Zakiya Do you mind describing your outfit and what's going on? I'm living for it. 

Billy Sure. So I play roller derby, and we have a game today. Like, sort of a for funsy Halloween. So I'm wearing a tuxedo T with my derby name on the back of it. Some booty shorts, tights. I've got a really thick, like, handlebar mustache painted on my face. Yeah. Probably lookin a little wild for a radio show. 

Zakiya Honestly, I feel like it's extremely fitting for Hang Up. It's just giving gender fuck. Queer as hell in your face. And I'm like, yeah, this makes sense. 

Billy That’s awesome, I'm glad. 

Zakiya Okay, so you have a roller derby competition today. It is the final hang up. Decision Day. It is a big day for you. Yes. Dum dum, dum. 

Billy Yeah. 

Zakiya Do you think you'll win? 

Billy I don't. 

Zakiya But you don't think you're going to win or you don't have feelings? 

Billy I don't think so. 

Zakiya Why do you feel that way? 

Billy I, I feel like my guts kind of feel like those two might make the most sense. And so I think that's kind of where I am. 

Zakiya You're saying that you think Salix and Timo make the most sense? 

Billy I do. I mean, not to say that I don't think Timo and I, I carry, like, a really sweet, rad dynamic. I think just if I… If it really were an either/or, which those of us who live in like more of a non monogamous frame. Like that's not really the thing. But if it if that's the frame then like yeah, to me, that choosing would make the most sense to me. 

Zakiya Okay, so you feel like you're not going to win. How do you feel about that? Feeling that way? 

Billy Yeah, I think I feel good. Like I, I really like the idea of like, like a maybe feels like a no and and no means there's a better yes somewhere or more compatible yes elsewhere so. Yeah. Like that, that's my present place, I guess. 

Zakiya Okay. So. You're here to lock in your decision. Once you lock your answer in, you can't go back and change your mind. Are you ready? 

Billy I'm ready. 

Zakiya Billy. 

Billy Yes. 

Zakiya If you are the winning Caller, what will you choose? 

Billy If I am the winning Caller, I am planning to choose {beep} 

Zakiya Billy. 

Billy Yeah. 

Zakiya You're locked in. 

Billy I feel locked. 

Zakiya Next time we talk, it'll be on the hotline to hear who Timo's going to hang up on. 

Coming up, Timo really does choose just one winning caller.

Timo: I’ve missed you both, I’m so nervous. 

Stay on the line!

Robot voice: Welcome to the Hang Up hotline. Salix and Billy are already on the line. Please say the password.

Zakiya: Bouquet of neuroses

Robot voice: You may enter.

Billy Hello.

Salix Hello

Timo Hi. Oh, I've missed you both. I'm so nervous.

Zakiya So, Timo? 

Timo Yeah. 

Zakiya Have you made your decision? 

Timo I have made my decision. Yeah. 

Zakiya So you, Salix and Billy have all been through a lot together. What do you want to say to them before the hang up? 

Timo I want to make out with both of you. Please let's still hang out. 

Salix Three way make out sess. 

Timo Threeway make out sess [singing]. 

Timo Like I'm not kidding. Like if we take nothing else away. Yeah. I just… I really have appreciated both of you. Yeah. Thank you. That's what I got to say. 

Zakiya Okay. So, Timo, which caller are you choosing to hang up on for the last time? 

Timo The person I’m going to… Okay. The person I'm going to hang up on… is Billy. 

Billy Cool.

Zakiya Well, Salix. You're the winner. 

Salix Yeah.

Timo Like can we break the silence a bit? Oh, my God. 

Salix Wow. Okay, I don't know if you heard my audible gasp, but... 

Zakiya Salix how are you feeling? 

Salix Great. I mean, I'm a little overwhelmed right now. That's crazy. But it's good. It's good. 

Zakiya Well, now that the final hang up is over, we're going to get off the hotline and chat IRL. So Salix, we’ll see you in person in a minute. But first, we want to meet Billy. Billy, come on in. 

Timo Hello! Oh my god. 

Billy Hi, how are you? 

Timo I’m so good. Look at you. 

Billy Well thank you. Thank you this is so sweet same.

Zakiya What are y’all’s first impressions of each other? Because y'all are just vibing already. 

Timo I'm like, yes, I know you. I mean, I feel like we've been to the same party at some point, you know? I mean, like, there's something so familiar about you and, like, I don’t know, it all connects. 

Billy Yeah. Yeah, I love hearing that. You're a total babe. 

Timo You’re a total... 

Billy I know. It's really fun to see you in human form.

Zakiya Well, do y'all want to sit down? And, you know, we can hear what Billy would have chose if, if they'd have won. First of all, Billy, thank you for doing this. I know it's not fun to stick around and have a conversation right after you get a hang up. How are you feeling right now? 

Billy It feels pretty fun, like if there's a form of rejection that's worth celebration, this feels like that, totally. I feel good. I feel really good. 

Zakiya Well, Billy, you seem like you said, yeah, very, like, grounded and in a, like, a celebratory mood. But I have to ask, do you wish you had done or said anything differently to not get the hang up? 

Billy No, I don't. I don't really like I really felt like I was able to be genuine considering like how much I can and it's in in all truth that's like been a really fabulous like reflection of me like staying in my values. Yeah. No, don’t think so. No. 

Timo Short answer. No. 

Zakiya And I respect that. I respect that. Earlier today, Billy joined me in the studio and locked in their decision. 

Timo Oh my gosh. 

Zakiya So, Timo, what do you think she chose? 

Timo I don't. I am going to toot my own horn and be, like, you chose the vacation. 

Zakiya Okay, well, we're going to hear what Billy locked in, so. 

Billy It's gonna play.

Timo What? Okay okay.

Zakiya Let's hear it. 


Billy If I am the winning Caller, I am planning to choose the thousand dollars. 

Timo You choose the money!!

Billy But, there's a bajillion buts in there. 

Zakiya And we're going to get into it, and we're going to, we're going to get into it. We'll hear from you in a minute. But first I want to hear Timo, it seemed like there was a burst of emotions that moment. You threw your arms in the air and you pointed at Billy saying "you took the money.” But like, not in, like, a “fuck you” way. Like I was sensing some surprise. Maybe some, like, oh, you took the money. But also, like, all right, you took the money. It seemed like a mix, a ball of different things. How do you feel hearing that? 

Timo Like, I know what she wanted. I don't know. How do I feel about it? I feel like whatever Billy chose is going to be the thing that was going to serve them best. So I'm like, not like, “Oh my gosh.” But also I'm like slightly like relieved that I didn't… you know what I mean? Like, I didn't put it, you know, it'd be a little bit more awkward if I was like, I choose you and you chose the money. You know what I mean? Like, that would have been a little bit more awkward, made it a little awkward. I'm good. I feel relieved that we're on the same wavelength. 

Zakiya So, Billy, why did you decide to take the cash? 

Billy Yeah. First and foremost, I love being compensated for labor, so. 

Timo Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, absolutely. 

Billy And yeah, but I think I think the follow up to that is like that would feel like the better path. So whether whether this was like right now or in the future or whatever like that felt like the better path to like offering generosity knowing that I'm not the kind of person who is like up for a multi-day in the beginnings of a relationship typically, But yeah, it didn't feel like it was like a rejection. I guess. Like, I think I was just like, cool like I see Salix and Timo and like my decision is like not as much a reflection about like this relationship if that makes sense. Just kind of the calculation of like. 

Timo You heard it here first. We're in a relationship. 

Billy As I project all my hopes and dreams and just… like, yeah, I think it felt less weighted for that reason and so that yeah, like making kind of a more sensible choice or like being that this is my voice of reason and like that it's not a reflection of our dynamic or that kind of thing. Yeah. 

Zakiya So it's not. And just for the record, my follow ups aren't me like digging in, like I don't believe, I just want to make sure I'm understanding everything you’re saying. 

Billy I also am very not understandable sometimes.

Zakiya And also this is like a really weird scenario. So like I'm gonna ask some follow ups...

Billy Yeah like I'm not here for scarcity, I'm not here for... all those things. No, go ahead. 

Zakiya Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you're saying that your decision to take the money is not a reflection of Timo or how you feel about them or where you want it to go. So it's a reflection of what if you were to fill in that blank?

Billy Yeah I think it’s just a reflection of like, labor, I guess. And that would feel like better payback. And I love the idea of just like having fun to put into community, put into shared space, like the good, the like, I like the idea of budgeting via my values. 

Timo Yeah. I see you, comrade.

Zakiya So just to be clear, when you say labor, you mean like the time you spent on the show? 

Billy Yeah, totally. Just like organizing, coordinating. Yeah, like navigating feelings like I'm big feeler, so it’s definitely. Yeah. 

Zakiya So Billy, when did you lock in your decision for yourself? Like, when did you decide?

Billy Well. I feel like I like locked in my decision. I really see that, Salix and Timo togethering. And then, yeah, and then I was like, cool, then I just need to make this decision. My mind is just like, I don't... As much as I would like to convince myself that I am a vacation human. 

Timo What do you have against vacations? 

Billy I don't have anything about vacations, but I do have something against, like early on vacations. I think that's why. The multi day experience for me has just exploded in my face on a few occasions.

Timo You know, I feel like I have an Etch a Sketch brain because I've experience similar things and I’m like but it'll be different this time. 

Billy Yeah. Totally

Zakiya Well Billy I totally hear and respect what you're saying about your reasonings for taking the cash. But I am curious. I just have to ask. Yeah. What would have… what would it have taken for you to say yes to the vacation, if anything? 

Billy Well, I mean, I think there's a strong possibility. If in the three way it felt like a like a big lean toward each other. I think that is maybe a moment but also… I think I would have gone for cash cause I just wanted agency over that.

Timo I respect that for sure.

Zakiya So, does it feel like you and Timo aren't aligned on how you feel about each other? How do you feel about y’all’s alignment? 

Billy You're asking me? 

Zakiya Yes

Billy Okay.

Timo Tell me. 

Billy I'm wondering or something I'm thinking about is maybe not presently because I'm imagining you and Salix will want me to explore. And as much as I love being a third, which is true. Yeah, I think. I think. I would. Yeah. I think I feel excitement for that. And I think that means that maybe we're not in the matchiest place presently. Also just like real reality and capacity. Like I just don't trust folks when they're in like the freshness of something to be able to connect super good with, like another new human and that's me just being cautionary, I don't think any of us is like we don't match. And, you know, I think in this moment, it's just like I like to be a realist. So I think I'm hopeful in the way that I like want to know this human if we want to share that and like grow from there. And I do also yeah I do feel enthusiasm for like them and Salix and like want, you know, that is a new adventure and I think I'm not quite in a place where I'm like I have the capacity to like make all the room in the world for all the new relationship blossomings, and those kinds of things. So that was all over the place. 

Zakiya No, no, I know. I understand. I think what I'm hearing you say is that there has been talk, whether it's joke, whether there's a kernel of truth, whether it's the full truth of like, oh, like, let's all three, like, see where this goes. And you're saying that you don't have the capacity for that and that you want Timo and Salix to have the space to just get to know each other without you as a third element in the mix. Is that is that accurate? 

Billy I think that's like where I'm at not having any information. 

Zakiya Right, Right. 

Billy Yeah, kind of. I think that's like that's my like healthy... 

Zakiya Yeah. 

Billy Where I'm at, like, not, not like reaching into spaces like, that kind of thing. 

Zakiya So, Timo, how do you feel hearing all that? 

Timo I feel like we are very much on the same wavelength in that way. Like you have this way of being both grounded and expansive that I really appreciate. And you seem to also have like a really clear sense of your boundaries and what you can offer and what you need for yourself. And like, I am so excited to get to know you better and like in whatever form that takes, really grateful for you. 

Billy Same thanks. And yeah, and, and. 

Timo Also Roxanne's a big fan of yours. 

Billy I love Roxanne. I feel like we had so much to talk about. 

Timo I can't wait to introduce you guys in person. 

Billy Yeah, I'm having a really hard time to just not be like, can I make this musical recommendation? 

Timo Oh, you're coming to the Christmas party, alright. 

Zakiya You got that Christmas party invite. 

Zakiya Well Billy, what did you learn from this experience that you want to take into your dating life? 

Billy That I can, like, be choosy and still make bad ass relationships along the way. 

Timo Yes. 

Billy This has felt really, in all truth, like really affirming. I think in a number of ways. 

Zakiya Yeah. I see you're getting emotional. 

Billy I am. It's brutal. There's a lot of dating ways that are like pretty garbage, like pretty harmful, and people fucking hate conflict. 

Zakiya Yeah, Yeah. 

Billy It's like, real. It's like a real vulnerability and conflict feel like deep allergies. And those are things I feel really cozy with between, like, my work in organizing and like, being in so many communities. Like I'm very much a yes to those things. And so like to be in these spaces where the values have really felt like full up with like communication and care and like honesty and like, like making space for, like, all kinds of feelings. Like, all those things is like, oh, I'm not just imagining these possibilities. Like they exist. Yeah. Thanks, y'all. 

Billy Goodbye for now. 

Timo Good bye. 

Billy Oh, yeah, like so long farewell, goodnight. 

Billy I feel like Roxanne would really appreciate this.

Timo To you and you and you and you. 

Timo Goodbye. 

Timo Beep, beep, beep. 

Coming up, Timo meets the winning Caller in person for the first time.

Salix: it was surreal. And now we're for real. 

Stay on the line!

Zakiya Okay. Timo, are you ready to meet Salix? 

Timo I'm so ready. I'm so excited. 

Zakiya Okay so Salix, come on out. 

Timo Hello? 

Salix Oh, my gosh, what?

Timo Here's some flowers. 

Salix That's so nice of you, why did you get me flowers? 

Timo You brought me catboy. Oh, my God. I'm so happy to see you. You wore the ears and everything. Wow. Thank you for coming. 

Salix These are just my public ears. 

Timo Oh you have some other ones? Some like special ones. I'm like, ehm, trying to keep my hands to myself. I know we just met.

Zakiya So Timo tell me, why did you choose Salix? 

Timo Oh, for a number of reasons. I just felt like we connected in, like, so many ways, and we get each other's references. I feel like we have the same kind of nerdy thing going on and, like, everything just felt... just so, connected in an easy way and playful and like, that's just really important to me. And you just seem like an incredibly special person. And I wanted to meet you like, for real. 

Salix Thank you. I'm blushing.

Zakiya Well how does it feel to be the winning caller? 

Salix It feels surreal. It feels very surreal. Like, I don't know. It's exciting, though, it's like, it's really. It's really cool. 

Timo But now it's for real. 

Salix Yeah, it was surreal. And now we're for real. 

Zakiya Okay, well, you've been on hold long enough. It's time to let your call ring through. Salix has already locked in their choice. They either chose Timo and the vacation.

Timo You better choose me.

Zakiya Or they chose to give them the hang up and take the cash prize. So let's hear what they chose. 

Salix If I'm the winning caller, then I choose to go on vacation. 

Timo Yes! We're going on vacation, we're going on vacation. I'm so excited. Yes. Oh, my God. Thank you for taking a risk. We'll like go have fun. 

Zakiya Timo, I was going to ask how you're feeling, but, like, clearly you're excited. What else is going through your head? What else are you feeling? 

Timo What I'm feeling is like this is it, this is so much more like I don't know that I ever could expect. Like, I don't know. I feel a real connection. I'm really excited to just, I don't know, hang out with you more. 

Salix I'm excited too. 

Timo I'm all shy all the sudden like we haven't been talking for six weeks.

Zakiya Okay, so let's go take a seat and talk about all these emotions and all the things to come. 

Timo Okay. 

Zakiya I'm so glad to be here with y'all. And I must say, the energy is so cute and lovely. And a lot has happened today. Timo, how have your feelings changed from the beginning of the day up to now? 

Timo I've had about three bouts of nervous sweats, you know what I mean? Like just different a lot of like, highs and lows, like the butterflies this that I've been feeling like, you know, there's just a lot going on. But now I just, you know, there's been also stages of relief and release, you know, like everything that we discussed and how things went with Billy was so reaffirming and wonderful. And I felt really good about how everything unfolded that way. And like my last one thing was like, okay, well maybe Salix is going to be like, No. And here we are and I chose you Pikachu. So, yeah, it feels really good. I'm elated really, yeah.

Zakiya So, Salix, why did you decide to take the vacation? 

Salix I felt like we had a really good connection this whole time, and it was just something that really was, it was just like, I want to explore this more. Like, this is really cool. Like what a what a like, strange way to meet someone. And it just was like, yeah, I mean, this this person seems really cool, and I want to get to know you better. 

Zakiya Y'all essentially chose each other. So where do y'all go from here? 

Timo On vacation.

Salix I was gonna say. 

Timo I don't know, we're going to, like find out, right? Like, I don't know. I think we're going to play some DND and we're going to play some games and we're going to like, I don't know. What do you think? Can I take you out on a date? 

Salix I would love that. 

Timo Awesome, let's go. 

Zakiya Ooh. So, Timo, you said your daughter said something to you that made you lock in your decision. So what did she say? 

Timo Yeah. So my daughter was, like, repeating back to me the things that kind of, like, were knocking around in my head, especially after the last date. And, you know, basically reaffirmed to me that, like, the only thing that I was having any misgivings about was the age thing. And like, she was just like, no, but you know that, you know, this is like this is not that kind of big a deal. And if it doesn't matter to Salix and it doesn't matter for you, right? Like, I was like, yeah, that's all good. And then, like also talked about, she also repeated back to me what I had said to her after that, which is that this like connection of like there's a level of earnestness and seriousness, but also so much play and so much fun that I think that we both really connect on. Like, I could be on a vacation with you, you know what I mean? I was like we’re gonna tear it up, we're gonna have fun, and it's going to be very cute. And. And I wanted to meet catboy. So there was that. 

Zakiya Who's cowboy? 

Timo Oh, Catboy. 

Zakiya Oh, Catboy. Here's clearly catboy, with the cat ears and all. 

Timo Yeah. 

Zakiya Okay. Yes. So Salix, a.k.a. Cat Boy. Tell me about your thought process to to get to the vacation, choosing the vacation. How much did you consider taking the cash? 

Salix Um, honestly, it was never an option for me. I kind of, like, went into this being like, I just want to see, like, how I vibe with, with this person and like, if it goes well, like, I mean it, I would like to go and get to know them more. And, and it just like went even better than I could have like, hoped for. And so I was just like, “Fuck, yeah, we're taking the vacation.” Like, I mean, money is always nice, but at the end of the day, it's like, like, how can you put a price on like creating a new connection with someone and getting that opportunity?

Timo Swoon.

Zakiya That is so beautiful. Oh, my gosh. 

Salix This is an easy decision for me. 

Timo I love it. 

Zakiya This has been quite an experience. So what did you learn about yourself? Question for both of you. 

Salix I think for me, it's just been. I don't know if I kind of like. Like I think just like I am desirable. Like, there's things about me that people like and want to see more of because that's like been something that's been kind of hard of like being single for so long. I thought like, I don't see that out of like friendships, but like romantically, it's kind of feels like I always, like, have crushes on other people and it's never reciprocated and like, you know, I like try to take it with a grain of salt. But it does bruise the ego a little bit after so many times. So I think that's been it's been like a really cool experience for me. 

Timo What I've learned about myself? I have learned that. Maybe I'm not as difficult as I think I am. You know what I mean? Or difficult to connect with or appreciate. You know, like in those ways, like similar to what you're saying. Because sometimes I've felt like I come across a certain way in physical presence, and then when people get to know me, they're like, Well, that maybe doesn't match as well as I thought it would, ou know what I mean? And so having having an opportunity to put my my inner self like, you know, to really vocalize who I am first and I'm, I am still lovable and attractive. You know, inside. Like that, I guess that would be something that's that this has been affirming for me. And then I still have the courage to, you know, to take some risks and put myself out there, and I can be safe doing that. 

Zakiya You know, you both said that you learned through this experience that you are desirable. 

Timo Mm hmm. We deserve good things. That we deserve joy, that we can find those things in unconventional ways. Like that's, yeah, absolutely. 

Salix I love that. 

Zakiya Oh. I'm going to miss talking to you all every week. 

Zakiya I know, right?

Zakiya I already have separation anxiety. But I cannot wait to hear how this vacation goes. So are you all going to keep me updated? 

Timo Oh, my god yes.

Salix We'll have you on speed dial. 

Timo Group chat!

Zakiya Honestly, I will take your call. Face time me in. Well, I guess, you know, first things first before the vacation. 

Timo We get to, like hang out.

Zakiya We can hang out tonight. So let's go turn up and celebrate. 

Timo Fuck yes! 

Before we go, we have a little treat for y’all. After we left the studio, Billy met us at a restaurant for dinner— where he finally got to meet Salix.

Billy Hi I do know you that's so fun. How's it going? Can I give you a hug? 

Salix Good how are you? 

Billy Good. I love that it's you. That is so great. We know each other. 

Zakiya Wait, what? 

Billy Yeah. 

Zakiya Like for real? 

Billy Like in a work context and in a shared community context.

Zakiya When you walked up right now and y'all were greeting each other. So this was your moment when you're like, Oh, Salix this whole time is this person that I know? 

Billy Yes. 

Zakiya Whoa. Y'all were so chill for that big revelation. Yeah. Wow. So y’all know each other in real life?

Billy Yeah. Yeah. In a couple contexts.

Salix It's a small community here. 

Billy It is definitely a small one. 

Salix We’re not like close friends but we’re in like congruent circles

Billy We were just at a party together at my home. Yeah. Yeah. 

After a bit, Billy said they had something to tell Salix and that we would want to record it.

Billy Okay. So Salix. I think it's, like, especially special that it is you because when I met you on our delivery route and I had your phone number, I had to stop myself from, like, trying to go on a date with you, because that would be unprofessional. 

Salix Oh, really? 

Billy Yeah. Like ages ago. And, like asked my coworker about you, cause she also said that you're the cat's meow. 

Timo The cat's meow. 

Salix You could have totally done it. Just saying 

Billy I love that. 

Timo So I wasn't imagining things.

Billy I mean, yes, I don't I don't know your feelings, but I definitely felt a pitter patter for you at some moment. Just wanted to name that.

Salix Wow. That's amazing. I don't know. I guess it feels like more, it makes sense that, like, how we were all, like, vibing so hard in the three way conversation, I was like, Wow, this is like nice. 

Zakiya Well, on that note, perfect timing, we have the bubbles here. 

Everyone Salud! Cheers!

You can see photos right now of Timo, Salix, and Billy on Decision Day… just go to hang up show dot com and become a member. Their outfits are *not* to be missed. Again, our website is hang up show dot com.

Next week… we check in with Timo and Salix *six months* after Decision Day… 

Salix: We've had some mercury in retrograde eclipse season fuckery happen. 

We’ll find out if they make a connection.

Salix: Don't mind my tail butt plug on the counter. Oh, how'd that get in there?

 Or if they decide to hang up on their relationship.

Timo: it's just distant, I guess, between us. I’m not sure that there’s like that spark.

Hang Up is created and produced by me, Caitlin Pierce.

Our host and story editor is Zakiya Gibbons.

Our sound designer, mix engineer, and story editor is Ben Montoya.

And that’s it— our whole team is just three people. We put so much time and love into Hang Up because we believe in this show— And we get to make it weird and silly and queer and exactly what we want it to be because we are independent.

But to stay independent, we need your support. Here’s a few ways you can help:

  • Rate Hang Up with 5 stars on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

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We can’t do it alone— thank you for your support.

Our sounding board is Allison Behringer, Karla Corrales, Chioke I’Anson, and Grayum Vickers.

Music by Jeff Carter and Stephen Pathe of Sandy - hear more at sandy-sounds.com

Show Art by Alex Teschel

Season Two Art by Marquez Torres.

Recordings by Roman Garcia of KUNM.

This episode uses many sounds from Freesound, for the full list check out our website— hangupshow.com.

Special thanks to Bess Friedman, Trevor Birt, Oliver Yaney, Toni of Albuquerque Social Club, Michael Burdick of Sidewinders, Quinn Heraty, Nellie Giles, and the Radio Diaries team. 

Thanks also to the people supporting us at Radiotopia and PRX.

Hang Up is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent, creator-owned, listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at Radiotopia.fm.

Our paid members can see photos of Timo and the two final Callers below!

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S2 Episode 7: Decision Day (!!!) + PHOTOS