Tuesday, 24 December 2013

This Is a Terrible Date

Overheard: This entire conversation below, as described by my friend ARi Lyon in hilarious detail on Facebook. I couldn’t resist the spoken language, the body language, the awkwardness, and the way both gamely try to turn this around if they can. No matter where we are in life, I think we can all empathize with either party in this conversation.

Where it took me: ARi’s updates were perfect as a found poem, so aside from a very few edits, I accepted this gift as I found it.

The poem

This Is a Terrible Date

She is noticeably bored.
He is noticeably boring.
He tells her
his friend Kyle takes a long time to respond to his texts.
And snap chat. Also, he hates snap chat.
Aw, she says, I kinda like it.
Oh me too! Just … y'know …

She looks around awkwardly. Stretches.
He texts. Probably Kyle.
Who may or may not respond swiftly.
She manages a few words about her family.
Holiday plans. He turns
the conversation back to himself.
He’s talking about Kyle again.

Tries to show her a picture
of something Kyle did.
She gives a brief glance. Looks away.
Sam, now. Brent.
People file in and it’s hard to hear.
They both get quiet. Melancholy.
Both begin to text.

They try again.
I can't re-watch movies or re-read books, he says.
She says she can.
He tells her about a book he's re-read a lot of times.
Can’t decide whether he wants to bore her
or make her like him.
He goes for both, tells her he’s writing a paper
about body image. How the covers
of men's and women's health magazines make people feel.
That’s fascinating, she says.
She may be lying.
He moves on to 3-D printers.
Does not ask her a single question.
She folds her arms, gives up talking.
Spins her leopard-encased phone.
This catches his attention;
they both watch it circle the table.
You can print a gun with a 3-D printer, he says,
years late on the story.

She rests her head.

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