Eight

58, Flight Test Engineer

The weather was bad and traffic was terrible, but I looked good. I don’t usually say that. I’m not a “Hey, you look good today” kind of person to myself. But my hair was behaving and I had on a nice sweater and good shoes.

In spite of that, I was nervous; I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I was going back to the place I’d had that first date with One, or maybe I’d just had too much coffee.

“It’s fine,” I told myself, for the seventy thousandth time. “You are good at meeting strangers. No stakes. Get yourself something nice.”

I spent about 20 minutes at the cafe. I drank my coffee and read the Washington Post headlines and then, I drove to the gym. That’s where I read the message.

“I was at the wrong place, I am so sorry. I was out until four and I just wasn’t thinking clearly.”

Take this journey with me.

  1. He’s new in town, he gets a pass for screwing up the location.

  2. He was at the wrong place because he hadn’t had enough sleep.

  3. He hadn’t had enough sleep because, well, I don’t know why.

  4. He’s an aircraft inspector who doesn’t get enough sleep.

  5. That whole generation of 737s that got grounded because they weren’t safe.

  6. I wonder if he fucked this up because he was drinking, he did mention he goes out after work a lot.

  7. Maybe I’m revoking that pass.

  8. I hate this.

I decided to calm down and ask him what he was doing until four that led to him being so addled as to fuck up meeting me, the city’s 429th most interesting and eligible woman.

“[Technical work things.] But I *am* sorry, a person should be able to miss some sleep and still cope with life outside work, though sometimes it isn’t pretty. I hope you’ll give me a second chance.”

  1. I guess I will give him a second chance.

  2. I still hate this.