Monday, September 26, 2011
Warning, what you are about to experience...
...is not a figment of your neurotic imagination. Everything you are about to read and hear is real and actually happening this very moment. In a place where time can not be counted and your mind can not control what your body is doing or about to do, you find yourself stepping into...
That...long...awkward...silence. There you are sitting with a couple of appetizers in front of you (trying not to touch them...the carbs, the calories) as you ask the typical questions, give the typical answers as if prepped by every other date you have been on. Oh no! the conversation has run out. You and he stare back and forth, is he going to say something? Will he ask another question? Maybe he is finished with his list and is anticipating for you to continue the rest of the date? The seconds becomes minutes, the minutes hours, the time gap grows longer as you are both going through our brains searching for what to say or do next. It's that moment when the two people involved check out, eyes glaze over, you are trapped in some awkward time warp where nothing seems to make sense and you find yourselves eating everything in front of you, as if you are starved children from a third world country.
You slowly reach for the edamame that is stuck in between you. Slowly you pick them up, lick the salt off. You can't help it. You told yourself you would only have one. One becomes two, then three, the plate is empty. Your mouth is salty, lips chapped from the dryness. You reach into your pocket, grab that chapstick you have been carrying for days and forgot was there, until now, when you desperately need it. Anything to occupy your hands and lips. Dare you speak? Not yet. You are too consumed with the fact that the silence is still growing. Instead you hurriedly reach for the glass of water you opted for, instead of a drink, which would have been better at this point. You hear yourself fighting against the ice cubes which clank against your teeth. OMG, can he hear it? Is the noise of my ice hitting my teeth unnerving? He probably thinks I am a dork, so I continue to drink. Put the drink down, you tell yourself. Say something, hurry, now. Ask it.
Your hand begins to rise and instead starts to travel on over to the next food sitting in front of you. Taking small bites of potstickers. Oh no what if I have something stuck in my teeth. Drink some more water. The clanking continues. You can't make the ice stop. You feel it...yes...oh no, some water spilled on your shirt. You look like a fool. A baby, do you need a sippy cup to control your water drinking? Stop eating, he might think you are binge eating. No, just one more, they taste so good. Oh no he is starting to look at you. Maybe he wants to say something, his lips are pursing, they are about to open...a breath escapes. He eats. You look away. Your eyes dart back and forth. You look around, for what? To find someone you know, someone to break the void that is sitting right in front of you, for someone, anyone, to come over fill the gap of noiseless space. Where is the waiter when you need one?
Slow down the darting, no one is coming, he might think you are tweaking. Good...that's it, slow down the eye movement, what's your hand doing? Stop scratching yourself, but you cant. The itch grows with every word not spoken, you feel it going deeper and deeper. Your hand slowly moving back and forth uncontrollably trying to relieve the itch. He might think you have some type of skin disease. This guy can't stop scratching. Hurry add some comedic relief to your craziness. Explain it away. Your mind tells your lips, and instead lips respond by yawning nonstop. Oh no, he thinks you are bored. But you can't help it, your body is doing it.
Why are you being such a spaz? Stop it! Hurry move your mouth and say something. Ask about what he likes to do in his free time. No, wait, he probably just told you about that...and you can't ask him about something he just told you. It would mean that you were not listening. Do you want him to already think that you don't listen to him, and instead you were thinking in your head how cute he looks in his blue button up shirt and slacks because he had just finished with work? Reach inside your brain, pull out something, anything. Search through that catalog of starter questions you have been reserving for later on in the date for times like this. Fuck! Why do you always forget. Mental note: write these things down on your phone.
Fingers are moving again, they start picking at some bump on your arm. Oh no, is it bleeding? He thinks you are a freak. Picking at scabs like you're 5 years old. Stop it, you tell yourself. Your mind is going crazy. Did you wear cute underwear? Do your socks match, fuck...did you wear socks? Are your feet going to smell? Can he smell it now? Do you smell good? You slowly pass your wrist by your nose and sniff. Yes! you smell the scent of Prada Amber Gris. Did you put too much on? Can he smell you? Is that why he looks like he wants to sneeze? Ugh.
Before you know it, you check your watch, see that only a minute has gone by...no you weren't abducted by aliens or entered an Alfred Hitchcock thriller where time stops, birds appear, and you are in your own personal hell wearing a polyester suit where Prada doesn't exist.
...do you know what you are going to have?