The Awkward Lover: The Date

Since when was asking a girl out on a date taboo?  I guess I can see why the girl would be alarmed at the proposition of a date.  I mean, a date does imply a certain involvement of romance, a standard to be met, expectations to exceed.  Who would want that?  The more I think about it, the more I realize that “the date” is becoming obsolete, and instead of going on dates people just “hang out.”  

These hang-outs make it impossible for people like me to decipher whether or not something is going on.  When I say “people like me”, I mean completely neurotic, paranoid, over-analyzing individuals who take insignificant little details as statements of interest or non-interest.  (Example: A girl who asks me about my day translates directly as, “I want your dick.”)  A bit of an exaggeration, but still, a part of me reasons that if she wasn’t interested she wouldn’t be asking about my day.  People act certain ways for certain reasons, right?

Now, what boggles my mind completely is when you’re sitting at dinner with a girl you’ve recently met, and she doesn’t know it’s a date.  The both of you are all fancied up, trying to make a good impression, laughing, telling stories of ridiculous moments in your life and most importantly…FLIRTING!  How is that not a date??  You know it’s a date, the goddamn server knows it’s a date, the people around you know you’re on a date, but the person you’re on a date with has no fucking clue.  That, or they’re trying to undermine the fact that they’re on a date with you and they’re painfully trying not to let their smile turn into a grimace.  If that’s the case, I should’ve just taken them to McDonald’s.  At least there a grimace is a giant purple cartoon blob and not as offending to my self-esteem.

As far as you can tell, though, everything’s going great.  She’s laughing at almost everything you say which means she must think you’re funny, right?  Unless she’s laughing at you instead of with you, but let’s not think about that.  It always seems to be a challenge to withdraw from being over-enthusiastic when things are going well and you’re starting to like the person, because you don’t want to offend them with your enthusiasm, do you?  All paranoia aside, there’s a chance she might be liking you the way you’re liking her.

After some drinks and more socializing at a bar, where everyone still knows you’re on a date, comes the ride back to her place.  (Quick question: Doesn’t the fact that I’ve picked this person up from their place imply that it’s a date already?)  Either way, there’s anticipation building up for the 15-20 minutes that it takes to get there.  Thoughts are racing faster than your driving.  (Should you make a move?  How are you going to pull this off?  Did you bring a condom?? What?  You didn’t?? What the fuck’s wrong with you!?)  You finally get there, you sit in silence for a couple of seconds and for some reason you decide it’s a good idea to break that silence with, “So…can I come in?”  

Awkwardly enough, that’s where “the date” ends and you’ve solidified the irrelevance of it by completely jumping the gun, in an attempt to jump into her bed. She did think you were nice, she might have even gone out with you again, but because of your neurotic, paranoid, over-analyzing nature she thinks you’re a creep and would never like to see you again.  And when I say “you”, you know I mean “me.”  I suppose that’s why I shouldn’t ask girls out on dates and I should only seek to “hang out” with people.  Or maybe if I carried condoms where ever I went I’d get laid more.

Jo’s Song

There’s something in your eyes

That always pulls me in

Like a black hole in space

Or watching galaxies spin.

And your lips are so soft

They want to drown me in

I could float, float, float

In the thick deep space ink.

Chapter 1: Anything Peculiar

Nights feel suspicious, gloomy and wrong.  Walking down the neighborhood doesn’t feel the same anymore, not like when you were younger.  The wind used to comfort me, wrapping itself around my body and promising some sort of security.  Something was always going to be there to let me know things would be okay.  It’s a constant, but it’s shaped itself into something fierce, something manic and bitter.  The leaves used to rustle through the breeze, now the crackle agitates me.  Most of the houses are equipped with sensory-lights, making it nearly impossible to get home without having to be exposed to the rest of the block.  Neighbors who are still awake at this hour peer at you as if you’ve done something illegal.  Random cars roam the streets and illuminate the rest of the sidewalk for you, there’s no escape.  Walking down the street is supposed to be innocent and simple, yet the over-bearing street lights give the impression that you’re walking down a prison corridor.  One step at a time, getting closer to the cell you call your home.

You’ve almost made it to yours safe and sound.  You’ve just walked a companion to their house from a get-together, and on the way are two police convoys parked at the end of the block.  Both you and your friends’ stomachs tighten up and you feel the cold air get absorbed by the sweat on your forehead.  The paranoia strikes and you both fall in line and march unassumingly past the duo.  They don’t know where you’ve been, they don’t know what you’ve discussed.  If they did then the plan would be ruined and they’d make you disappear, no question about it.  Your friend arrives to her home safely and now it’s your turn.  On the way you think of the meeting, the plan that’s been discussed, the execution…no one can know about it.  In this world it doesn’t matter who you are, there are things bigger than “important individuals”, bigger than ideas that threaten our security.  Absolute secrecy is paramount.  With each step you take you’re convinced that you’re being followed.  It’s difficult to tell who or what you can trust, even the stray animals in the alleys seem suspect.  There are rumors roaming about that there are experiments being done on stray cats and dogs.  They’ve captured hundreds of them and rumor tells that they’ve found a way to control their brain function and implanted lenses in their retinas to survey the streets.  For all the information being processed and made public, there is an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty in the world.

When you arrive home the kitchen light is still on and you notice the puzzle you’ve been working on for weeks.  Most of the image is still missing, only corners and some of the edges have been put together, random pieces fill the unfinished frame but they’ve most likely been misplaced.  The main image is yet to be revealed.  Turn off the lights and down the stairs you go into a smaller cell, your room.  A cell within a cell.  For an instant you believe you’re all alone, but then the humming begins.  There’s almost complete silence except for the disquiet that penetrates it. You would find it obnoxious if only you hadn’t grown accustomed to the one pitch of frequency rising out to fill the empty air.  You shut your eyes and try to ignore it, but you can’t.  It wouldn’t be too much to think that that is how they get into your head and thoughts.  The mechanical humming seeps into your subconscious, it puts us in a lull before bed.  It pulses and watches us sleep, ensuring that we’re not up to anything peculiar.

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Words from the pit of my stomach.
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