We've been through a lot this season. Starting with Timo getting back into dating after an 18 month break, then pretty quickly getting ghosted, and after that, finding out they actually know one of the Callers already... extremely well. All of this lead up to an unforgettable and somewhat shocking Decision Day.

And now, we're fast forwarding six months after that day to check in with Timo and the winning Caller. That's right, this episode was put together an entire HALF YEAR later. For our Season 1, it was only half the time– three months later.

Why did it take so long? You'll have to listen to find out.


Before we get into it, just a reminder that this is our next to last episode in Season 2— so if you haven’t listened to the rest of the season, there’s about to be some spoilers!

Welcome to Hang Up, a reality dating show with no rings attached.

I’m your host, Zakiya Gibbons.

Here’s everything that’s happened so far.

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

Billy: Wanna Date? Wanna try a date?

Salix: I tend to develop crushes on friends.

Timo: I will go down on you, probably

The Star and their Callers never saw each other and they all changed their names so they couldn’t find each other outside of the show.

Cedar: Not being able to see, smell, touch the person. It’s just mind boggling.

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.

Ryan: Talk to you later… well I guess not.

Then, the winning caller revealed their choice: an all expenses paid vacation with Timo sponsored by Both & Apparel. Or hang up on Timo, and take the cash prize of one thousand dollars.

Billy: If I’m the Winning Caller, I am planning to choose…

On Decision Day, Timo chose one final Caller to hang up on.

Timo: The person I’m gonna hang up on is Billy.

Revealing our winner… Salix!

Salix: I’m a little overwhelmed right now that’s crazy.

Salix then revealed their choice.

Salix: I choose to go on vacation.

Their chemistry on Decision Day was palpable.

Timo: Yay! We’re going on vacation…

Then, their relationship went off the hotline and into the real world… where things got real.

Timo: I felt like I already made a promise I couldn't live up to by even daring to hope by joining the podcast. Like, why would I think that I could hope this much and be this like open to it when I know we live in a broken world and it was only a matter of time.

So in today’s episode, we check in with Timo and Salix and on the status of their vacation.

Salix: I guess this is not happening.

Find out this week on Hang Up.

First up, I sit down with Salix— and you know we gotta start with a fit check.

Salix: I am wearing fishnets. 

Zakiya: Let me see, let me see. Oh, yes! 

Salix: Fishnets with the, with the boots. I gotta keep up with my slutty femboy twink persona. 

Zakiya: Yes, you do. 

Salix: I set a precedent. 

Zakiya: You really did. Salix, hi. 

Salix: Hi, Zakiya.

Zakiya: I feel like I always start all of my, um, greetings with, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee. I'm just genuinely so excited to talk to you because it's been an entire six months since we last talked. 

Salix: Oh my gosh, has it really? That's crazy. 

Zakiya: I know! So even though Decision Day was literally half a year ago, I still remember it so vividly. My favorite part of Decision Day, other than your outfit, uh, was when you and Timo were jumping up and down and hugging and holding hands after they found out that you chose the vacation.

Salix: They brought me flowers. That was so nice. They really didn't have to do that. That was so sweet. I was like, aw.

Zakiya: Yeah, I forgot about the flowers. It was so sweet. It was just like such a sweet energy, but you still haven't gone on the vacation with Timo. So what in the world happened after that really sweet and flirty decision day?

Salix: So pretty soon after that, we like went on our first like real date and yeah. And we, we also went on this really cute date to, uh, the, They have this interactive museum here. It's normally like just kids go in and you can like, it's like one of those like hands on places, but they have adult nights. And so we went to an adult night there and it was super fun. We had a great time.

Zakiya: I love that y'all went to a hands on museum. I'm curious if y'all were hands on with each other.

Salix: Um, it's, uh, it's been, it's been... Not, not really. I think that we’re both like a little, a little shy. I'm not a much of an instigator. I'm a, I'm a bottom. 

Zakiya: I feel like Timo said the same thing, if I'm remembering correctly, that they're not much of an instigator. Okay. So, but, but there was still like flirty, romantic energy… 

Salix: Yeah. No, definitely. Like, I think the, the, the vibes were there. The energy was there. I think that we're maybe both just like a little bit less on the proactive side. Um, I'm like, I'm like open to it.

Zakiya: Yeah. Okay, so y'all went on a couple super cute dates. What happened after that? 

Salix: Yeah, so we had, we had those dates. They were, and they were going really well. We wanted to plan to do something else, but then, um, Timo was kind of reached out to me saying that like, they were just dealing with some personal stuff and I was like, okay, that's like, that's fine. That's fair. Like, I, I'm not going to try and like, I don't, I don't want to like push the being like, Oh, like, well, we, we need to go on the, let's like, let's go on a date when you're like dealing with this heavy stuff. Um, and so I was kind of like trying to give like a little bit of space. And then it kind of like time kind of kept going by and I kind of tried to reach out a few more times and I was like, Hey, like no pressure. Like I know that you're still dealing with stuff, but if, if you do want to hang out, I would still love to hang out. Um, and I was kind of met with radio silence for a few months.

Zakiya: A few months? Okay. 

Salix: Yeah. So, uh, I kind of like, uh, low key ghosted for a while. Um, and I, I kind of like, I don't know, I do like do these silly New Year's cards, and so I reached out to them, and I was like, Hey, like, I have this New Year's card that I would love to send you if you're willing to, like, you know, share your address with me so I can send it to you or whatever, um, and I just, like, nothing.

Zakiya: Okay.

Salix: And so I was like, okay, like, I, you know, I guess, I guess this is not happening. 

Zakiya: It sounds like you triple texted with no response. Like, you know, when you look at your phone and you're like, damn, like all these on one side of the screen and not the other side of the screen. So how did you feel during this radio, this few months of radio silence?

Salix: I mean, it did, it did like feel like a little, like a little shitty to just kind of get, get ghosted after everything. So at that point, I was kind of just like, okay, like, I'll just, if they reach out, cool. If not, then I guess. Then I guess, I, I, then I guess that's that.

Zakiya: Was the vacation on your mind at all? Like, how are you feeling about the looming vacation? 

Salix: Um, I mean, I was still hoping that we were going to go on it.

Zakiya: Oh really?

Salix: I was like, I mean, I would love to go on this vacation still. I was like, I really hope Timo reaches out to me because I want to go on that vacation. If nothing else, it would give us an opportunity to like reconnect after after all of this and and hopefully like provide a space where hopefully Timo didn't have to worry about the other things that were going on. 

Zakiya: I remember Timo would often describe you as sunshine or like very sunny that I feel like that is such like a sunshiny perspective to have on the situation because I can see a lot of other people being like, oh my god, going on a vacation with someone who ghosted me for three months? Like, forget about that. Like, I'm not doing that. You are very mature.

Salix: Uh, I try. I've been through a lot of years of therapy.

Zakiya: It shows. It shows. 

Salix: But I also, I also kind of had like something else to focus on, focus on during that time too. So…

Zakiya: Oh. What does that mean? 

Salix: Um. Uh, I, um, I, I started dating one of my friends from my D& D group. 

Zakiya: From your D&D group? 

Salix: Yeah. 

Zakiya: Okay, this is chaotic good. How did it go from friends to lovers?

Salix: I had like a super huge crush on them and I was like kind of pretty convinced that they were not into me. Um, and so I was kind of like trying to like get over that and, um, and then, oh my God, this is like the nerdiest shit. Me and my D& D group, we went to the Albuquerque Comic Con and, uh, dressed up as our D& D characters. Um, and we ended up hooking up after Comic Con. So, and then, and then we kind of like went from there and started like actually dating. We're doing the poly thing. They have another partner as well and stuff. So. 

Zakiya: I'm so happy for you. I remember, um, a little bit throughout Hang Up, but especially Decision Day, you were talking about desire and not always feeling desired. I'm wondering, was your time on Hang Up, did that help you to feel like worthy of desire after like winning the Star's heart? 

Salix: Absolutely. I don't know how you couldn't like, I was expecting to get out on like the first episode. I was not. I was like, I was like, Oh, this will be ha ha. This will be a cute little fun thing. It'll be a fun story to tell. And then to go from that to like winning allowed me to, to feel a little bit more like I am someone that is like worthy of dating someone and like that, that someone could like, find me like desirable as well.

So, and it's like, I mean, it's an active process. It's, it's, it's a, you, you tell yourself these stories for so many years of like, how you're not good enough, or you're not worthy, or like you're too ugly or you're too fat or you're too like, whatever. All these things that make you feel like you're not good enough. And so that's, that's hard. And I think like, this is definitely like a nice way for me to just be like, these like stories that I've told myself are, they're not true. 

Zakiya: That's beautiful. I really, that doing that kind of self work is scary as hell and hard as hell, and you did it on a podcast, like you didn't have to do all that. And you know, it, it also reminds me that like, not only did Timo choose you and your friend. Remember when Billy was like, “Hey, yo, Salix, I had a crush on you.” And then I don't remember on the three way date. It was giving like throuple energy. I was like, Wait, hold up. Is there about to be a twist I'm unaware of? So that just makes me wonder, are you and Billy in touch at all? 

Salix: I've seen Billy around. We haven't like personally hung out, but like we've been at parties together and actually. Actually, again, Albuquerque is so small. So my, so my, my, my boyfriend, uh, he works at my old job. And so now my boyfriend goes to pick up food from Billy. And so we like go together. They're doing a drag show for the Derby team as like a fundraiser, but I will just barely be missing it because we’re going to be coming back from the vacation that day.

Zakiya: Wait— wait do you mean? Like the vacation with you and Timo??

Salix: Yes.

Zakiya: Wow. Okay. So y'all are going on the vacation together in the end. 

Salix: Yes. In a couple of days. 

Zakiya: Oh shit. In a couple of days. 

Salix: Yeah. We're going next week. 

Zakiya: Okay. I'm still just like processing the fact that it went from three months of no contact to like, okay, so yeah, we're gonna go on vacation, like what happened?

Salix: They did reach out and we're like, sorry, I've been like, I haven't been communicating, but like, can we like meet up and, and, uh, just like catch up? I mean, I was a little nervous. Cause I was like, wow, we haven't talked in a while and now we're going to go catch up and I'm like, now I have this boyfriend. And I'm like, um, and so I was just like, uh, I mean, yeah, I mean, let's meet up and catch up and stuff. And, and I finally got to give them my, my new year's card that I'd saved for them.

Zakiya: Did you feel unsure about where y'all two stood and did you get clarity on that? 

Salix: Um, yeah, I think so. Like, so they had expressed to me that they were like feeling pleasantly surprised cause they were kind of expecting us to meet up and for me to be like, “Yeah, I'm not interested anymore.” We both expressed interest of like, trying to pursue of whatever is there, but it's kind of still like, okay, so what is there? And I think like the, the vacation will be like a good opportunity to kind of like explore that a little bit more. 

Zakiya: Okay, so what do you all have planned? Where are you going? 

Salix: Um, so we're flying into Salt Lake City and we're going to be driving like, uh, I think an hour and a half south. We're planning on spending, um, a day just like hiking up to these hot springs and just like, hanging out, relaxing, they're supposed to be really beautiful, and then we found an airbnb that has like a, um, an arcade.

Zakiya: Cute! Y'all love your games. That’s perfect for y’all.

Salix: We saw them and we were like, yes! I'm really hoping that we'll have time to go to the Great Salt Lake because I've never been there and I really want to. Um, but then I think we also talked about there's like an aviary botanical gardens. 

Zakiya: Wow, okay, itinerary. That sounds perfect. I’m assuming you told your boyfriend about going on a romantic vacation with Timo, how did your boyfriend feel about the vacation?

Salix: They’re really supportive of it, they’re excited for me to go. I was actually just talking with them last night because I was like “I’m excited for this vacation I think it’s gonna be great, but I’m a little bit nervous.” And they were like “It’s gonna be great, you’re gonna have a great time, you’re gonna be really glad that you went on it.” I’m like yeah I know, just like, you know.

Zakiya: Ooh it’s giving secure attachment style, I love that. Do you have any, like, hopes and dreams going into the vacation? 

Salix: I think my biggest expectation right now, or like, hope, is that like, I hope it's not too awkward. It is a really big step because like, you know, like, we've been hanging out and going on dates and kind of getting to know each other, but it is like, as far as like the grand scheme of things we still don't know each other like super great and like we're going like like going on a vacation with someone like traveling with someone that really tells you like, I feel like a lot about you learn about that person a lot when you travel.

Zakiya: It is true. I mean, it sounds like a very, um, beautiful but also sexy vacay. I don't know at least being in nature makes me horny. We know that it makes Timo horny. We know that for a fact. It's on the tape, it's on the record. So, yeah, I know you say you're going into it with zero expectations, but I feel like, 

Salix: I'm bringing some stuff, like, it’s gonna be in the bag. 

Zakiya: You bringing the backpack? 

Salix: I mean, I have stuff that I'm planning on bringing. I'm not… zero expectations of what, whether it's used or not.

Zakiya: Zero expectations, but always prepared. We like that.

Salix: Yeah. Exactly. 

Zakiya: Okay, is there going to be a kitten tail?

Salix: Yeah, there is. I have an old one. I actually ordered a new tail that I'm hoping comes in the mail before, before we leave. I'm not sure if it's going to, but I have another one. I have an old one. 

Zakiya: New tail, who dis?

Salix: Exactly. I got some little cat ears and some lingerie.

Zakiya: Okay, So do you think you might be making a first move? 

Salix: I mean, maybe I'll just like, if anything, be like, “Hey, I have these things if you're interested.”

Zakiya: Just leave a spread on the table Oh, this strap?

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

Zakiya: Okay So it sounds like you've moved past that three months of silence and you're looking forward. Do you think that without the vacation, and, you know, let's be honest, more than a couple check ins from our producer Caitlin. Do you think that Timo would have circled back to you and that y'all would still be in touch?

Salix: I think as much as I would like to say yes, I kind of feel like probably not. I feel like maybe not because they didn't want to, but I think that like, you know, like you're meeting someone then you like kind of ghost them and then you're like, I didn't I really didn't mean to do that but it is what happened and then and then like you get in your head of like Oh god I feel like now it's like weird if I reach out and like I know I've been in like that kind of like a similar situation like that before and I kind of feel like that might have been what would have happened.

Zakiya: Thinking about that, how do you feel going into this vacation?

Salix: We live in such a chaotic world. Like I'm, I'm happy to have any excuse to like, help reinforce, like, you know, making those connections because it's very easy to let things fall by the wayside. We wouldn't even know each other if it wasn't for the podcast. And the fact of the matter is that we did meet through that podcast. And the fact of the matter is that, like, I think this podcast is what helped us to reconnect in a, in a situation where we might not have otherwise.

Zakiya: What are you hoping will happen after the vacation? Like, what's your best case scenario, uh, for your relationship with Timo? 

Salix: I think that my best case, uh, situation would be that kind of like creates more of a jumping off point for us to kind of continue like growing. Um, I'm actually at Timo's house right now, recording in their studio.

Zakiya: Wait, what?

Salix: Yeah. Cause there was, there was the whole like chaotic thing of like, we lost our, where we were supposed to, um, to record and, and Caitlin was texting me and, and, and I was telling, uh, Timo, I was like, oh, well, because we planned to hang out and then I was like, okay, and then I'm going to do my interview with Zakiya after this. And then we're like, oh, shoot, we don't have a place to record anymore. And Timo was like, well, you can record at my studio if you want. 

Zakiya: Wait, wait, I am shook. You were just, you were hanging out at Timo's place, and then you're like, Okay, I'll just stay here to do the interview. What were y'all doing? 

Salix: Um, they're, they're, they were showing me, um, their progress on, on this really cool project that they're working on where, uh, it's the, the Japanese style storytelling. And so they have this like, box that they put on a tricycle and they have, like, all these beautiful paintings that they put in this box and it, like, goes with the story and so they're, like, telling the story and they have these masks that they pull out. It's very elaborate. It's really beautiful. Um, and I met their, I actually met both of their kids today. 

Zakiya: How was it meeting their kids? That feels pretty significant. 

Salix: Yeah, it was, it was cool. Um, their, their youngest is, is really funny. Um, very excited to like share everything. We, we talked about their, their D& D character and I was like, Oh, tell me about your, your little gnome ranger. I'm so excited to hear about this. 

Zakiya: It sounds like your relationship is really growing to say the least. 

Salix: Yeah, definitely. I think so. And, and, uh, It just like feels like pretty natural. So, um, I think just like kind of moving on in that direction and just like seeing where things naturally flow and just like, let it, let it be what it is.

Zakiya: Yeah. Yeah. And it sounds like this vacation is going to be a turning point in your relationship. So I cannot wait to hear how it goes.

Salix: Yeah, I'm excited too. I think it's going to be good. I'm looking forward to it. I think it's going to be a great time. 

Zakiya: I hope it's a great time and I hope you get to use your cat tail.

Salix: Meow. 

Coming up, we find out if Salix and Timo can reconnect on their vacay… or if they’ll decide to hang up on their relationship.

Salix: You want the hot goss

Stay on the line!

Zakiya: Timo and Salix are headed out on their all expenses paid vacation. We asked them to record and send us voice memos checking in along the way. Both together and separately, letting us know what they’re really thinking.

They’re headed to Utah in springtime— on a very early flight.

Timo: We made it to Provo! 

Salix: We’re here. We're very tired. 

Timo: We’re so tired. Oh my god.

Salix: But it's beautiful here. It's really nice. All the mountains are amazing. 

Timo: Gorgeous. The mountains are insane. Like, really. So close. Like, so big. So close. Looming, really. They're looming. I mean, that sounds ominous, but they are. 

Salix: Looming in a positive way. 

Timo: Yeah!

Salix: Looming, but like, a compliment. 

Timo: Okay, love you, bye! 

Zakiya: But before they got to Provo— they ran into a problem.

Timo: You know some foibles or whatever.

They couldn’t pick up the rental car they reserved at the airport, so they had to pivot. And then they had a lot of time to kill before they could check into their Airbnb. So they went to the library, had a snack, checked out a thrift store…

Salix: Okay, so we are finally at the Airbnb. Um today has been interesting. We've had some mercury in retrograde eclipse season fuckery happen. Um, we had a little bit of a stressful start. Nothing like trip problems, vacation problems, to show you how people truly are.

Zakiya: Uh oh, sounds like the vacation isn’t off to the best start so far. Can Timo and Salix dial it in? Let’s hear what happens on Day Two… 

Timo: I just woke up. Yeah, I don't know, my feelings are a little hard to sort through right now. I'm not sure. I'm just not sure, like, um, I don't know, we're just like, still kind of, um, it's just distant, I guess, between us. I, I don't know, I don't think, I'm not sure that there's, like, much romantic feeling, which is fine, like, we get along and like have, you know, have things in common and all of that, but um, Yeah, we haven't really gotten into any like soul searching conversations or anything yet. Mmm, I'm not sure sometimes if that's because I'm not feeling capable of connection or if there just isn't a lot for us to, um, connect on. I'm not sure that there's like that spark.

Salix: Hi, good morning. Um, you want the hot goss? Um, but, I mean, I don't know, yesterday was, like, a little bit, More on like just like the stressful side of like the flight was early and so we both didn't really sleep very well or very much the night before.

And so, um, so we just like hung out, watched movies and chatted and it was fun. It was a good night. Um, but yeah, I think that we were, we were both pretty tired and um, it was, Nothing like too spicy that happened. I'd say definitely more, like, on the friends side, uh, so far. Of, like, the friends v lovers. Um, but I think that, you know, today's a new day and we're going to, um, we're going to hike out to some hot springs and, uh, you never know what could happen in some hot springs.

Timo: Hello! And welcome to Fifth Water Hot Springs! 

Salix: The sounds of nature will lull you to sleep. 

Timo: Oh my god, will they ever. It's so pretty. And then the waterfall, oh my god.

Salix: Oh my god. There was a little window that I climbed. It was pretty sketchy, I probably should not have done that. 

Timo: It was really brave and also, I'm sort of jealous, but also I was terrified, I was like “be careful”

Salix: Fuck you, Mercury in retrograde. Yeah, take that. 

Timo: Take fucking, exactly. 

Salix: Eclipse season. Rude. You thought. 

Timo: Exactly. You were wrong. You were wrong. You might have tried. You might have tried but you lost, bitch.

Salix: We're gonna go eat burgers now.

Timo: We're gonna have giant... 

Salix: Stuff our faces.

Timo: We're gonna stuff our face.

Salix: I want a big ass burger.

Timo: Big, big ass burger.

Zakiya: But there were more foibles— Timo got sick after their hike from the hot springs.

Timo: My migraine was so bad I was like… I threw up a little bit. And they went out and got me medicine and a rose, it was so sweet oh my god.

They did their best to save the evening by getting the burgers delivered. But mercury in retrograde struck again. 

The delivery person got lost and canceled the order. They finally went to pick up food late that night.

And then, in the middle of the night, Timo’s friend called them in crisis. They stayed awake on the phone with their friend for more than an hour.

Timo: And I woke up this morning and I was sharing with um Salix about that and they were just like, just so I don't know like really compassionate and understanding and like it led to other conversation, deeper conversations. 

Salix: It kind of quickly turned into like that scene from Barbie where she's like, Do you ever think about death? And we started, we had like a really deep conversation about like death, end life stuff and um, I don't know, just, um, very deep conversations for like, not even having finished morning coffee.

And those deep conversations continued as they went through their day— getting banh mis in Salt Lake City, then driving out to the Great Salt Lake and exploring.

Timo: Both of us are die hard scavengers so we had a lot of fun just like digging around for all these for volcanic rocks and little bones and bits.

Timo and Salix found that the challenges they faced brought them closer together.

Timo: Salix is just so wonderful to travel with, like even with these little bumps in the road and everything, they’ve been so ready to roll with it, and I don’t know, it’s just been really lovely.

The evening ended with a sushi dinner, foible-free. And then, they woke up to Day 4 of the vacation.

Timo: Uh, okay. So this morning, uh, it is now the last day of our trip. And, um, we're here all day, so we, our flight's kind of late. So, we're gonna be, um, spending the whole day, like, down in, down in the city, in Salt Lake City. Um, I'm so excited. I have my bird socks on because we're going to the aviary.

They really took advantage of this last day— along with the aviary they had banh mis again, and went to the arcade to play some games.

Salix: Yeah, and before that, we were at the library. We spent like way too much time at the library. 

Timo: Right, we talked about that. It was like we started the library. We kind of like, you know, like start, uh, end, end cap. Uh, at the library. 

Salix: Book ended. 

Timo: Book ended. That was the word. Exactly. Yeah, so it's just been…

Salix: No and then before that we were at the aviary.

Timo: That's right and we've got so many so so much so much

Salix: We did a cute little photo shoot for Both And Apparel 

Timo: both and apparel was amazing to sponsor us to you know like give us those beautiful clothes and like 

Salix: yeah yeah also recognized of the both apparel so we got to talk to this person there who was working at the aviary about Both And apparel and they're like, Oh my God, I love Both And apparel. And we're both like, Oh my God, we also really love Both And apparel. So it was very cute. 

Timo: Yeah. So many little moments like that. It's um, it's just been really special. 

How do we wrap up our vacation and like, um, uh, summarize? Are we trying to summarize? What are we trying to do here? 

Salix: I don't know. 

Timo: Um, we've come to the end of our, of this journey. Not the end of our journey.

Salix: I like that. And I think, I think we like got a really good chance to like, get to know each other like in such a good way. And I feel like there was like, we had like a lot of like, like deeply, like intimate conversations, you know, and I feel like that, like, I appreciate that about…

Timo: I did too, me too. This trip helped me remind me of all the things that made us connect in the first place and like how, how many things we have in common and like, I know. 

SAlix: That's cute. I love that.

Timo: I know. It's been, yeah, it's just been like really reaffirming in so many ways. And wonderful, so. 

Salix: Sorry for this, um, [siren sound]

Timo: We’re in the airport, so we woo, we woo.

Zakiya: We’ll let Timo and Salix catch their flight home. And after the break, we’ll hear Timo’s side of the story of their relationship with Salix.

Timo: Because I really was close to being like, I'm not sure I might back out on this trip. 

Stay on the line!

Zakiya: Timo. Hello.

Timo: Hi, Zakiya. Oh my gosh. Long time. No talk. It's so good to hear your voice.

Zakiya: I know. You're sounding really sexy. 

Timo: Oh, am I? I think maybe it's just my, my, my sort of sleepy. It's my, you know, my husky sleepy voice. I took a little nap this afternoon.

Zakiya: I'm sure you need the rest because you just got back from the vacation, right? 

Timo: Oh my gosh. Yes. And it was, it went really well. Um, we had a good time. There were, there were, there were some foibles along the way, mostly like sort of logistical. It was like, when we first hit our first hiccup, um, Salix pointed out that Mercury is in retrograde or something. So, then we just were like, okay, everything that's happened from here on, it's been Mercury in retrograde. Yeah. But, uh, you know, which, which, you know, could be really a derailing thing, especially like people who aren't super familiar with each other, have never traveled together before, you know, a lot of other factors going on. But, um, as opposed to that, denting our, our vibe, we ended up like, you know, sort of either problem solving and, and/or, you know, just finding ways to kind of work with it and work around it as we went through.

Zakiya: Okay. And just to be clear, all the, all the foibles and hiccups were related to logistics and not you and Salix. 

Timo: Not interpersonal, none of that. We had like zero static.

Zakiya: That's awesome. And like seeing how people react under pressure and when things don't go according to plan is very revealing. So it's really cool to hear that you liked how they handled those moments.

Timo: Exactly. I mean, some of the most revealing moments in, in previous relationships have been during travel or during transition of some kind. 

Zakiya: Yeah. 

Timo: And Hang Up is like, let's get you guys into it.

Zakiya: Right? I want to like focus in on how were you feeling during this vacation with Salix? And yeah, tell me more about the vibe. 

Timo: I'm going to be honest, Zakiya, and it just wasn't super heavy on the romance. It was really heavy on the platonic intimacy and like, we had some, some really soul connecting conversations that were so important to me, but it wasn't like we were jumping each other's bones. I hate to tell you that. I know that's what you want to hear. 

Zakiya: Yeah, because I remember you were like, They should choose the vacation because, and I'm quoting you, “I will go down on you. Probably.”

Timo: It's true. It's true. You know, but also in like the intermittent intervening time, we haven't had as much time to like see each other. Like that first day was kind of like, it was a little awkward. We were kind of like thrown in and then that second day when we went on the hike just more and more connection was developed and we just like laughed a lot and had, you know, just, we got into life and death stuff. We got into like deep, deep water, you know?

It's easy to jump into bed with somebody, you know, and kind of like miss out on a lot of those other things and I don't want to, I don't want to like hit fast forward and miss that stuff because, um, because Salix is really, you know, somebody worth knowing. It was good. It was exactly how it should have been, I think. 

Zakiya: Okay, well, so let's, let's back up a bit. So I'm curious to hear your perspective on your relationship with Salix going into the vacation.

Timo: Sure. Yeah. So, you know, going into it, we had a few dates. There was one that was like, we, it was so cool. We went to this like, um, adult night at the children's museum and we had so much fun and we, we, we did, we kissed at the end of the night and it felt like really nice, you know, like, you know, like there's there's a there's a tingle and a sparkle and it was great.

Zakiya: That's so cute. Can I ask who made the first move? Because aren't y'all both, like?

Timo: It was me.

Zakiya: Okay, Timo. What made you want to lean in? 

Timo: Oh, you know, it was just like, It just felt right, you know, and I was like, I don't know, I kind of, I did pick up that vibe right then where it was like, you know, I was kind of getting that read from them potentially and so I asked, I was like, Hey, can I give you a kiss?

And then, yeah, and it was, it was, um, it was chaste, but still sexy and for being sort of like a, you know, a hesitant, like first brush, you know. It was really sweet. Definitely one of the best dates I've ever, I've ever been on. It was really like…

Zakiya: That's big. 

Timo: Well, I mean, yes and no Zakiya. Until you know how disastrous my dating life has been.

Zakiya: Oh, damn. 

Timo: Like the bar is pretty low. But not to say that they didn't do great and it wasn't a great date. I just mean like... Yeah, I have, I have had, I'm, yeah, I've had calamitous experiences with dates.

Zakiya: Okay, not more foibles! 

Timo: More foibles! Yeah, pretty much. 

Zakiya: Oh gosh, okay, but yeah, regardless of the past foibles, your date with Salix was one of the best ones you've had and it ended in a kiss. So, we heard from Salix that, you know, you went dark for a few months. Are you comfortable sharing some of what was going on during that time?

Timo: Yeah sure. So, um, uh, when, when um, the, the, um, current conflict, well, the current, I should say, genocide in Palestine started. Um, I was working at the museum, um, where I was at before. And, it’s a history museum. We have so many things in our exhibits about, about the genocide of the native people here. And we were supposed to be having these conversations. There was, you know, a lot of lip service about inclusivity, right? Um, and then when things started happening in Gaza, um, like I'm Middle Eastern. So, you know, and I, so I've been, I I've known about Palestine and the issues there my whole life, you know, it's not something remote to me. It wasn't something new to me. Like people want to talk about history only when it's done. They don't ever want to address and like look at the patterns and what's happening in the moment and act with conscience, you know? And it was really, really stifling and really frustrating to me. And my birthday was, um, the day of the first major massacre on the ground in Gaza. And I sat at my desk and I sobbed. And I had no one who would acknowledge any of it. You know, I sent around an email saying like, please sign petitions. Here's some information. That was very frowned on. I, um, I did. There was a strike, a solidarity strike, and I was suspended for doing that.

Zakiya: So just for some context, this was in October 2023 when Israeli attacks on Gaza increased. And those attacks are ongoing. And at the time we're recording this, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians. 

Timo: Thank you. Yeah, for saying that. 

Zakiya: You participated in that global day of strike. 

Timo: There were, yeah, there were a couple of them. The second time I did it, um, I threw flyers around the lobby. I was really upset at that point, and I knew that things were winding down because they'd already suspended me for the first time, so I knew what was coming, but I also was not gonna go quietly.

Zakiya: Yeah.

Timo: Um, so, yeah, shortly after that, they did, uh, let me go. I can't live like that. I can't live a lie. So um, so yeah, I also spent a lot of time in the months following that, um, organizing and attending protests and working on mutual aid projects here and also abroad. So, yeah. Uh, I just really fell deeply, deeply into that. And I was also deeply, deeply disturbed and, um, like emotionally not okay.

Zakiya: Mm. And so that's kind of why 

Timo: Yeah. 

Zakiya: You went dark with Salix because…

Timo: Yes. With everybody.

Zakiya: Okay with everybody because you were just fired from your job. Genocide is happening. It's horrific. And so because of all of that, texting with Salix fell to the wayside.

Timo: My heart, my heart, I mean, it's broken. My heart's been broken so many times in this life. But like, my heart's, I'm sorry. 

Zakiya: Yeah.

Timo: Yeah, so. Yeah, and it was like, it's like the only thing I can talk about, you know? 

Zakiya: Yeah, yeah.

Timo: It feels like really isolating, 

Zakiya: It is, this, like, yeah, there are no words. Also, please, I just want to say, like, please feel free to, like, take some water, take a breath. Like, we can pause if you need.

Timo: Lila came in and gave me a hug, so. See? My emotional support kiddo here. She's so sweet.

Zakiya: Yes! 

Timo: Yeah, so, um, fucked me up, I gotta say. I mean, like, as it should, as it should. You know what? 

Zakiya: Yeah. 

Timo: That's how I know I'm, I'm alive. I'm here and I'm here to witness it. If, uh, if nothing else, I'm here to witness it. 

Zakiya: And you, in general, are such an empathetic, empathic, kind, compassionate person. And so, you know, you just came out of this like dating podcast where the assumption is like, oh yeah, you know, we'll keep talking and we'll go on dates and then we'll go on the vacation. But and then, you know, we all are in the real world. During this time I know that, um, Salix did text you, um, so what, what kind of feelings would come up when you did think about Salix or whenever you did get a text from them? 

Timo: Oh, the same, the same thing, thoughts that I was having in a more general way, which is like, what do I really have to offer? Like I already feel like I, I know that I come with a lot of like, complexity and baggage and some particularly like gnarly trauma, um, I felt like I already made a promise I couldn't live up to by even threatening to hope, like daring to hope by joining the podcast, you know what I mean? Like I felt guilt and like, why would I think that, that there, that I could hope this much and be this like open to it when I know we live in a broken world and it was only a matter of time. And then I would just feel shamed of like, Like, am I running away from this or am I actually being, am I just putting my own oxygen mask on first?

Zakiya: Yeah. It's so hard to know where that line is.

Timo: Yeah. And I think it was both, for sure. But also like, I mean, it didn't make me feel any less guilty and ashamed about feeling like I was disappointing Salix and y'all and like, I don't know, you know, like, I just was like, well, what a fool was I for thinking I could be like a good candidate for this? Because I'm just like, a hot mess.

Zakiya: No, not a fool. Not a fool at all. You just, you are just a person with feelings that is very present and intentional. And just to zoom out a bit on your journey. Before Hang Up, you got divorced, and then you didn't date for, what, 18 months so that you could put your own oxygen mask on, focus on yourself, and then you're like, you know what, I think I'm ready to let down some of those walls, be open to romance and a connection.

And then you kind of jumped in the deep end doing Hang Up, you know, going on a podcast for the world to listen to with six strangers. But then you rose to the challenge. You made a connection. I'm just zooming out because it's not like, “Oh, this is just who you are. You just have these walls up and you can't break them, there's something wrong with you.” Like, no, you are just a person that is very intentional. And you are very rightly so meeting the moment and doing what you need to do in the moment so it makes sense that you retreated a bit and it's interesting because because you are so self aware You know this about yourself. You're drawn to Salix because you said that you needed to let sunshine in.

Timo: Yeah.

Zakiya: You know and Salix is sunshine, and that you have a tendency to be in the darkness. Could Salix be that sunshine for you in these moments? 

Timo: You know, I never want somebody else to have to be that for me. If I'm looking to somebody else to do that for me, I know I've already lost them. I've already, I've already made a wrong step. I have to be able to show up with my own sunshine as well. When I trust myself and I don't fall in with this false sense of urgency and I allow myself to retreat, I find the light again or I find the reason to keep pulling down those bricks or whatever, you know, and that's been what's happening and it's happening again and it's happened… And I couldn't, you know, the trip couldn't have come at a better time because I've been back in that process again and resurfacing and finding that within myself again. Because I really was close to being like, I'm not sure I might back out on this trip. As I found out, you know, and it's been reaffirmed, like, Salix is definitely somebody who's not, who's not just fair weather, who's not just waiting to be affirmed, who's not trying to be a, you know, a martyr or a hero in somebody, you know, in someone's story. Just being present and being ready and just shining like the fucking sun. 

Zakiya: And even though you all went on this, you know, like, “all expenses paid romantic vacation,” you know, like, I feel like this is like the second time where that kind of trope of a lot of straight reality TV shows has been queered.

Timo: Right. 

Zakiya: Where it's just like, yeah, no, we're gonna go, it's not like this is our honeymoon and we have to decide if we're gonna stay married in five weeks or not. 

Timo: Exactly.

Zakiya: You know, I appreciate that y'all went on the vacation, enjoyed the nature and hot springs and continued to get to know each other. So I'm curious, how did the vacation end and how did y'all leave things?

Timo: Um, we ended by crushing this fucking trivia game on the airplane. 

Zakiya: Oh!

Timo: No, but I mean, it ended with play. I could see us designing a game together or like, you know what I mean, like doing some, doing some creative project together, which is another way that I, uh, one of my love languages, you know, is working on something creative with somebody. So I could really see that happening with Salix and that would be just next level. That would be amazing. I could see us building that more, you know, um, traditional idea of romance out of that as well. Um, I'm really excited to meet the person that they've been seeing, who's, you know, been a friend of theirs for a long time as well. Like, you know, they had that slow burn, like, you know? Maybe get another smooch in there one of these days. You know, you know, like, you know, like, yeah, I could really see all of that. 

Zakiya: Yeah. It sounds like there was a lot of Salix sunshine on this vacation at a time in your life when you, you really needed it. So I'm really, really happy to hear that you got some levity and fun and joy. Oh. Okay. Wow. We have come to the end of your Hang Up journey until the reunion.

Timo: Don't say it. Yeah, I was gonna say reunion. I'm not even pretending it's over till, it's not over till it's over. Okay? 

Zakiya: Is there any last words of wisdom, any last metaphor that you want to share?

Timo: Now that you’ve put me on the spot, I'm gonna go blank. Oh my god. I feel like I need to call, I need to get Lila in here for this one. Lila probably knows better than I do. What's the final takeaway, Lila?

Zakiya: Your daughter. Bring her in! 

Timo: Okay, get in here, Lila. 

Zakiya: Bring her in! If she wants.

Timo: Okay, Zakiya, this is Lilabea. Lilabea, this is Zakiya.

Lilabeah: Hi, it's nice to meet you guys.

Zakiya: Hi! I'm honored that you were down to just like hop on the mic real quick. Thank you. 

Lilabeah: Oh yeah, no, happy to be here, you know. 

Zakiya: Timo

Timo: Yeah.

Zakiya: I feel like on this whole Hang Up journey, I genuinely have learned so much from you. Could you turn to Lilla and do you have any advice on like love in all the forms, relationships in all the forms that you could impart to Lila right now?

Timo: She just made a gagging face. I’m going to try to be serious but…

Lila: Sorry, sorry. Love is not for me. Um, 

Timo: Yeah, I mean, I do. I think, I think our ideas of love are pretty narrow sometimes. And I think that, or at least the stories we tell about love are really narrow. That our capacities for love are so infinite and so varied. And like. Even the different ways I've come to love you as a, not just as my kid, but as a person. You know? Like that's, um, oh, gonna get misty again. 

Lila: Oh my God. Shut up.

Timo: Stop it. Stop it. Don't look at me. 

Lila: I'm not looking at you. Look, I'm staring right over there. I'm at the wall looking at the wall. 

Timo: I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Um, yeah, that, that there's an expansive expansiveness to it and that, um. You know, the, even the way that we love ourselves changes over time as well and like any time that you're feeling like any kind of faltering of like your ability to see your way through a situation and start to like question your your place in the world or your sense of self, coming back to yourself in that and like finding new ways to love yourself, literally new ways to recognize your ability to be resilient or fall apart, you know, because it's not always about getting back up. Sometimes it is about falling apart and still loving yourself through that. Um, and then recognizing that, you know, if, if you can be that expansive with, with how you love yourself, then, then you can know what kind of love is available to you from somebody else. And that you won't settle for anything else. That would be my takeaway that, yeah, I mean, you can let yourself fall apart and you can put yourself back together a million different times, a million different ways. And the people, not just the person, the people that will love you will, will love you through every step of that process. And you know you'll like go back into your chrysalis and bloom like a little butterfly over and over again. And they'll, and they'll be there to like shine that sunshine on you and help dry your wings and get you back up again. There's my metaphor, OK?

Lila: I was wondering what was going to happen.

Timo: Yeah. Don't limit yourself to one story about love. And hopefully you forever will hear my, my, my, you know, feel my love, like from the beginning, you know, from beginning to end and the have that at least as some, some small blueprint of what that can look like in that there's so much more of it out there.

Lila: I can't even say anything to compare to that. Like that was a whole speech. I love you too. Oh my God.

Zakiya: Don’t worry, this isn’t the last you’ll hear from Timo! Next up is the live reunion show… look for that episode in your feed in the next few weeks.

And if you’re in or near Albuquerque, New Mexico we’d love to see you! Timo, their Callers, and the whole Hang Up team will be at Albuquerque Social Club for the reunion on Saturday July 13th— and the show is FREE. There’s more info on our Instagram @hangupshow or on our website hangupshow dot com.

And if you can’t make it to the show in person, we’ll have a video! Become a member now at hangupshow.com and the link to the video will go straight to your inbox. Thanks for your support.

And here’s another reason to become a member today— to see photos of Salix and Timo on their vacation. We have those up on our website, hangupshow dot com— available now exclusively for our members.

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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  • Follow us on Instagram @hangupshow.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter and donate at hangupshow.com— you can read about what goes on behind the scenes, see photos of Timo and their Callers, and even get Hang Up swag. Find out more on our website— hangupshow.com.

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.

Studio recording by Sid Findley of Mountain Road Recording.

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

Special thanks to Bess Friedman, Trevor Birt, 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.

Below are photos for our paid members that include some spoilers if you have not yet listened to the Six Months Later episode. So don't scroll down too far unless you're ready to see them!

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S2 Episode 8: Six Months Later