We are having a drink at a fantastically swanky bar. I really like this place, from the color of the dark stone walls to the music in the background. I’m drinking something blue, and it reminds me of drinking a tropical afternoon on the beach. It smells vaguely of flowers and passionfruit. I do not want to be here. I have ordered this concoction under duress, with the pretense of “getting together for a drink,” a.k.a – a date. In fact, I am loathe to be here. I want to drink this glass of alcoholic fairy water as quickly as possible, but with all the vodka snuck in there, that would mean I would need to eat something…. Which would mean I would have to stay here longer.

I force a grin and look down into my glass. It’s so damn blue I want to swim in it.

You smile at me and start talking; interested in connecting. I hear what you are saying. I’m listening. I participate. But my heart’s not in it. I’m too busy trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. There is obviously something wrong with you because you chose me. I can’t figure out what it is though. In the absence of obvious malice or malady, I simply assume that you are crazy.

That would be the logical conclusion, right? Like a depressing math equation: Boy + Certain Girl = Insane Boy. Sounds about right to me.

The bartender must have given me more than a pint of this, but I can’t force it down any faster than I’m gulping. I throw in a few anecdotes about myself, deciding exactly how much information to give you, as you are clearly a maniac, while simultaneously wondering if I should make up horribly ridiculous lies just to see your reaction.

Seriously, how long does a date have to last? I’m in the middle of a book called “Hild” right now and am really desperate to get home and see who is winning the war with the Celts.

You are talking about your job, your last hiking vacation, and the time your mom came in to town to visit. I am trying not to make erroneous, shallow, or otherwise unfounded judgments about you. I am failing. You seem so nice. You have a gentle smile and eyes that laugh as loudly as you.

I hate the pitiful emptiness that gurgles out of my finished drink. You ask if I want another. I tell you I can’t because I’m driving. I mention the time and you acknowledge it’s getting late. I talk about a morning meeting tomorrow and how hard it is to have calls with Europe so early on a Friday. You dutifully agree that mornings are pretty much hell and I impress upon you that I really should leave and get home. I have to get out of here. I don’t know what’s wrong with you, nice man with the kind smile. I have no idea what your problem is, but have a strong feeling that it might be me.

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See more of my work at www.marisamorby.com