Sunday, January 22, 2012
Well, it looks like I did get around to writing a short story this week after all. Sometimes my writing comes as naturally as thought, a cocktail of equal parts inspiration, experience and blind creativity. And sometimes my stories are just really weird.
This is one of the second kind.
Aaron M. Smith - January 22nd, 2012
Is she staring at me? Oh crap, she’s staring at me. What do I do now? Stop, Dan. Slow down. Remember the YouTube video. Smile!
So I smile. She smiles back.
See Dan? You can DO this.
The soup arrives. Thank god, I can’t eat another bite of kimchee. She seems to like it though, so I can say that I’m just letting her have it. Double-win.
“So Dan, you’re a programmer?” She says.
“Oh, well, I’m in charge of system and archival maintenance for several clients. But I work from home, so, y’know. No corporate noose!” I tug at my tie. She smiles and looks at her soup.
Oh crap, that was too much. Made her feel awkward. What do I do now? She’s looking at her soup- look at yours too!
There are tentacles floating in the soup. It’s tentacle soup. Oh crap, I never should have let her order for me.
“I love this place,” she says. She inhales deeply and smiles.
I stuck my spoon into the bowl.
“Ask her about herself!” A tiny voice squeaks. I freeze and my eyes flicker up at her. She’s eating soup, totally unaware. I should be eating mine too. I bring the spoon to my mouth.
“Listen to me!” The voice peeps again. My eyes fall to the tiny tentacle in the red broth.
I slurp the broth but drop the tentacle back into the bowl. She doesn’t notice.
“So, uh, what do you do again?”
“That’s good!” The soup says again. I try to not look at it.
She doesn’t notice. She says, “I’m a paralegal, but I’m saving up to go to law school,” she keeps talking but now I’m too distracted by the soup to listen.
“Quit paying attention to me, pay attention to her!” The soup scolds me.
“And I really like dogs,” she continues. I nod politely.
“Good,” the soup encourages. “Take a bite so she doesn’t think you don’t like the soup.”
So I do, careful to avoid the tentacles. I’m not sure why.
“Tell her you like that sweater.”
“I like that sweater. The green goes with your eyes.”
“Thanks!” She smiles and touches my arm with her free hand.
“Good job going off script,” the soup says. My eyes flicker down to it again. “I know what you’re thinking, but don’t talk to me! She’ll think you’re crazy.”
So my soup is talking and it’s also psychic. Great.
“I don’t usually go out with people that I meet online,” she says, “but I’m having a really good time.”
“See that?” The soup says. “Stick with me and by the time you’re done with this soup you’ll have a girlfriend!” I tried to not look too excited about that… or too bewildered by the fact that my soup had just said it to me.