Last Date

I am on a date with Tara. Some people do not have much to say, so they just talk about themselves, and I can clearly see Tara is that kind of person. And when she is not talking about herself, she is talking about something so insignificant, inconsequential, or boring, that it turns out even worse. She is not a bad person, she is just extremely dull.

I know saying that does not make me look good. I mean, who am I to judge another person? But guess what, I am the same. I want to talk about myself and I want to talk about insignificant shit, and she is taking that time away from me. I am too polite to interrupt.

So we sit. A romantic restaurant, the light reflects so nicely off of her long earrings, her dark eyes shine so strong. She is a goddess to look at, and her voice is beautiful, but it is still a chore to listen to her. So we sit at our fiftieth-or-so date and I am pondering the future of our relationship.

And then she dives into a tirade about the drapes or the crepes, or something else of no consequence. I imagine a dark place where she does not exist. It is a safe and cozy place.

“No,” I say all of a sudden and I get up. Her eyes become as big as the orbit of Saturn.


“He is the strong type, a business shark, but also a real man,” Dora said. “The type of guy that would make me feel safe because of how strong he is. He is also handsome.”

He thought about his wife, whom he really loved and considered the perfect woman, but he did not say anything because he knew Dora would lash out.

“But I just don’t want another man in my life. I mean, they must pick up on some vibes from me or something. I am in a relationship and I am happy. I don’t want to change anything.”

He thought about how nobody had shown any interest in him for almost two decades and thought she was just having one of those attractive people crises. But he did not say anything because he knew Dora would lash out.

“Anyway,” Dora said, “I’m glad we had this conversation. You are such a good listener and probably the only man who understands me. Also, probably the only man who is not trying to sleep with me.”

Because you are ugly on the inside, he thought. But he did not say anything because he knew Dora would find that extremely attractive.

Check Her Makeup

She was leaning against a wall. The wall was big and blank, and she was tiny, with her hair done nicely. At least I assume it was done nicely because she looked like she was waiting for someone. I was too far away to see, but still I figured it is not polite to stare, so I pretended like I was reading something on my phone.

At one point, she took out one of those flip mirrors with makeup stuff inside. I did not know women still used these. Do they? I have not seen one in a while. One of those flip mirror powder boxes, or whatever they are. Anyway, she took it out to check her makeup. That is when I knew her hair must have been done nicely because she cared about the makeup so much.

I was surprised when her wait was over, because her date turned out to be a giant bubbly monster. At first I thought the monster was only interested in the wall because that looked like a better match for him, but the girl hopped up joyfully and gave the monster’s leg a hug and a smooch. They walked away together, holding hand and tentacle.

I thought about my job at the Tower, maintaining the Eternal Flame. I had to be there all day, and that is no way to meet a woman. And then you came along, a miracle out of nowhere.

The Book

I am a writer, maybe that is why my dreams are so stable and complete, like stories. This one was no different. I found myself in a house on the edge of a very old forest. The house was old as well, the wood was rotten, sections of it had collapsed, the furniture was decayed. It smelled of mold and old age. I walked from room to room with a strong feeling that I was trespassing and that I should not be there. The feeling drove me outside.

The light outside was soft and warm, like a perpetual sunset. The air was crisp, I could feel it, and it carried the smell of apples. I felt relieved to be out of the house and I hoped the owner would not notice signs of my presence when he got back.

At this point I woke up. It was the middle of the night, so I got back to sleep. I picked up in the same spot, outside the old house. There was a path in the woods, barely discernible. I found myself walking this path, noticing small details about the plants and stones and trees. I could smell the earth. I love dreams like that.

The path took me to a clearing. In the middle of the clearing there was an apple tree. It was like a fairy tale tree, so perfect and serene. There was something at its base. I head to get closer to see it.

It was an old book bound in leather. It was large, with a lot of pages. Someone had placed it on a small wooden pedestal among the roots of the apple tree. The pedestal was covered in black tar. Streaks of the tar had climbed the tree, as if corrupting it. I knew I had to remove the book to save the tree, but I knew I would pay for it. This thought seemed like it was not entirely mine. There was this human component to it, the part where I understood danger and suspected a price for removing it. But there was also a primal, pre-human aspect to it. A wild, instinctive tinge of fear and insanity. A selfishness. A wooden quality.

I picked up the book. It was bad to hold. I could feel it was making me sick.

I woke up.

It took me a while to get rid of the sick feeling, and it never went away completely. I tried to sleep more, but could not, so I just lay there until the morning light shone through my window. I got up and that is when I saw it. On my desk. The old book.

Days of Longing

Where are you, my Alice? The sun is setting over the treeline making everything seem more vivid. Soon it will be dark and the demons of doubt will creep out, but for now, I am enjoying the warm rays on my face. I sit on the porch, looking at the little notebook she gave me. She said “Write” but I never dared. Those empty white pages were sacred, just like she was, and my ideas seemed too mundane. It would be sacrilege.

The day had been uneventful, I would even say dull, and the lack of her made it even worse. My Alice, every other minute I found myself thinking of her, the sound of her voice, her soft walk, the way she gripped everyday objects gently turning them into works of art. At one point I thought I could no longer recall her face so I panicked. Luckily, it was just a momentary lapse and I was able to ponder the beauty of my goddess again. What would I do if I lost her?

Now, on the porch I reflect how every passing minute brings me closer to her, so I welcome the deepening twilight despite the cold it brings. I encourage time to pass more quickly, I wish I could slip along its surface, unbeknownst to man or beast.

My phone vibrates with an incoming text. Is it her?

It is my friend Doug. “DUD, HANG @ MARSHALS.” He and the fellows are about to imbibe arcane spirits that give poets inspiration. I welcome the thought of deepening my affection for my Alice, a crisp clarity that comes from liquor and makes the lover’s heart grow fonder, the breaking of the shackles of dull sobriety. I get up and begin the walk towards the pleasure district. All the while, I imagine it is one year later and my Alice is out of high school and in college with me. Where are you, my Alice?