Tonight is not a speed challenge, though I want to move quickly. Tonight is not a quest for perfection, though I want to write with clarity and for my writing to provide illumination. Tonight is not a revelation, though I want to self-interrogate. Tonight simply is.
Do you feel a cool breeze where you are? I am a knot, I am a hard-boiled piece of chewing gum, I am that one stretch of caked mud that won’t scrape from the arch of your shoe. And yet, I feel this breeze and it soothes and stretches and softens me. It is the end of summer, which is impossible to believe, because it means something if we are worrying about demarcations of time and progress. Sometimes we do. But regardless, we get by. I don’t have a m key. Even in this clean room, the M key has never been discovered, nor has my FitBit, but doesn’t mean we don’t type, we don’t walk.
Last night, at the table behind us, a newish – or so I gathered from my eavesdropping – couple was having a date. I thought, as I relaxed into my beef carpaccio, that I should pay attention to this. To how they speak to one another, to what is “proper” or at least, to what is what these two individuals are doing that qualifies them to and as dating.
She talked with mild disdain about being friends with people who were nervous about breaking the law. He laughed. She talked about being a vengeful person, having a rough childhood. He laughed, and with a soft voice said “So you’re telling me I should stay out of your way?” She talked about wondering about what a kid of hers would be like and how having children means losing yourself. She seemed to be musing in front of him about everything, everything that ever was, and you could hear the way he was trying to follow, support or offer his own examples, even draw her into a laugh, into a sense of repartee, but she was just sort of processing out loud. Sharing her truth. It didn’t feel, on my side of the booths, like she loved him or even that he loved her, but at the same time, it felt like, maybe the relationship was so new that it wasn’t about love yet, just enjoying one another’s company and in that component, I just don’t know if they’re going to make it.
I thought, while in a mounting awareness that my brain was being altered with sugar and attractive waiter hormones, that it was odd and patchwork and boring, but wow, how lovely I would be to have the kind of life experience where you didn’t have to dance towards anyone’s language. That you could just say, this is who I am, fuck it. These are my life facts. Fuck it. If we break up, we break up.
New feature of this blog: date reviews. Take me out to dinner with your boyfriend or girlfriend and I’ll enjoy a meal on your dime while I concoct some inane criticism of the way you verbalize your relationship during a date.