So when she asked me if I liked spicy thai food, I said yes.
For all I know, I may have some glorious new inclination for a cappella music as well. That is, as long as it is executed with great and various sensitivities.
I may also tirelessly want to take up propagating carnivorous plants. After all, I do like to watch hunger wait, just sit, and wait, as venus fly traps so often do.
The menu’s edges rested within her pink fingernails, and I watched her lips silently count the number of items they offered. Overtime as she squinted to make out the equations of ingredients her red hair would fall into collections on her forehead forming bangs that she would usher away as soon as the itch overwhelmed her study.
“What do you think about getting a number nineteen, thirty-one, and thirty-four?”
I skimmed the menu with the same bold faced lie of an agnostic praying over a religious text.
After we placed our order for number nineteen, thirty-one, and thirty-four plus two gin and tonics she sliced her thumb on the corner of her menu as it slid out of her hand and into the hand of the waitress.
If anything is true, paper cuts are as unexpected as earthquakes.
Since we were seated at the bar our drinks came up almost instantly, and I fished an ice cube out of my gin and tonic and I told her to give it to me. I hid her thumb in the palm of my hand with the ice cube that I fished out. Then I looked her in the eyes and told her I’m not going to let you eat all of this spicy food with a paper cut like that; I told her I’m not that kind of guy. And for some reason she must have believed me.
The next thing I did, I told her, this will sting. I took the lime from my gin and tonic and told her the acid in this lime is going to cauterize your cut, it’s basically going to seal it shut. But it’s also going to sting. So I locked the lime, with the ice, and her thumb, into the vault of my right palm.
I asked her, as she winced, what her favorite ride at Disneyland was, and she told me that she hated who she was when she was on the teacups, but that she loved being someone different when she got off of them.
I told her, then, and there, that I don’t think I like spicy thai food, but also, that I haven’t been on a date in years, and I might like who I am after I’ve had it.
She made the same face I’ve made when someone I don’t know says my name. It is a face of confusion, but a very familiar—specific confusion, a face that could be the fault of the person making it.
Our food came out incredibly fast soon after.
She watched as I ate the spicy thai food, she watched me possibly become someone else, she watched me on my version of the tea cups.
I watched as she delicately ate her spicy thai food with her right cut thumb raised in the air. It was both a phantom limb, and an elephant in the room.
It was the first date I’ve been on in years.