I imagine her smile would sound like a dolphin eating a biscuit. I imagine her ears have seen great tragedy and that her nose has tasted the salt water of many seaside towns. What I don’t imagine is that she realises how close she is. Not by proximity. Let me finish. How close she is to being asked a question. Do you want to go for spaghetti?
Getting spaghetti is the perfect first date. It shows eating confidence. It shows an aptitude for eating without making a mess over your shirt or pants or chin. It’s an ugly food. Long and tangled, it must be slurped to be enjoyed, or cut short with the teeth like a meaningful conversation on ecstasy. I have never actually asked a girl for spaghetti, though it’s always my intention.
“Another coffee, Rob?”
No one calls me ‘Rob’, but I let it slide. She has never been introduced to me before so I take it as a compliment that she has bothered to ask one of the baristas for my name; or perhaps she has caught a glimpse of my ID when I’ve paid my bill before. Or maybe I have told her. I don’t remember.
“I’m ok, Molly, thanks.” I know her name.
“No worries. Do you want anything to eat?”
Yes, I want something to eat. I want to eat your ears. I want to feast on the plastic clips of your bra that your shoulders are currently showing off. I want to dine on the faint, black hairs on the back of your neck.
“I’m ok. Thanks, though.”
I’m ok? You’re a fucking idiot.
Shit, she knows my name is Robert, not Rob. Then why is she calling me Rob? I can’t be into someone who calls me Rob, not until I am 45 and unable to get erect on my own accord.
“Do you want to go to the movies?”
“I would, but… I dunno, I am not too good at the movies. My tummy rumbles.”
Same as me. Why did I even ask her to the movies? I would have been a ball of anxiety. Stick to the plan.
“Well, how about some - spaghetti?”
“Ohhhh”, she laughs, “spaghettiiiii…. I don’t know.”
Fine. I give up. You’ve got a boyfriend. You find my moustache vexing to look at. I’ll shave it. No. I won’t let you dictate how I look. Or think. I won’t change. Not for you. Not now.
“It’s nothing personal, well not against you. I just hate the way it moves.”
Molly walked back inside and left me thinking about her smile, and whether dolphins can eat spaghetti.