Fourteen

Age appropriate blind date

Note: Friends who read this set us up, so I’m going to be more discreet than I might were my date a totally unconnected stranger. Sorry/not sorry.


We met at the outdoor mall. I don’t like the mall, but it’s hard to figure out where and when to meet in plague times. The mall has invested in creating sheltered outdoor spaces. I would… actually return to the outdoor mall to have dinner, I think, go figure.

I digress.

I had no idea what he really looked like, my friends had shown me a not very clear photo of him. Plus, plague times so everyone was wearing a mask. I had messaged him that I would wear the ridiculous neon pink scarf my mom had knitted me for the Women’s March so I would be findable.

It worked.

He’s a doctor (I think?) but I don’t know what kind because we didn’t talk about his work. Instead, we talked about music. He has actual training; I think he didn’t believe me when I told him I’m just a hack who fell into music on a whim. We talked about what the Coronaverse has taken from musicians. He had just started performing — he plays the piano — and I had been going to a fair number of live shows when Corona turned the house lights up and made us all go home.

He asked about my work and I probably talked too much. I can’t shut up when people give me the chance to talk about being a working writer. He did not seem bored, but he might just have been polite.

We talked about Hawaii, where he lived and I have spent a lot of time, enough to have opinions beyond, “OMG Hawaii is so nice.”

We talked about travel; he asked me if I’d traveled much and I laughed. He told me about an epic trip he’d taken across Indonesia — he’s Indonesian/Phillipino — to meet dozens of his relatives. This is the kind of story I love. Also, I want to go on an epic trip across Indonesia to meet all of someone’s relatives, I want to witness that.

He has nice eyes and is soft spoken. He struck me as the kind of person others would describe as gentle. This is not a quality I have.

On the one hand, going to meet a guy my friends set me up with felt like the most normal activity in the whole world. On the other hand, it felt like an extreme sport. There were so many people out, I don’t think I’ve been in a crowd like that since the last protest march I attended. I exaggerate, but things feel so strange right now.

I was cold. I should have worn the bigger coat. We’d spent about an hour and a half talking. I decided to head home.

“Let’s do this again,” he said.

“This wasn’t too weird, right?” I asked.

It wasn’t.