the inquisitive one

The first date was a dinner date! When the waitress came, the inquisitive one ordered the Sloppy Spaghetti With Corn on the Cob.

The waitress’s face acquired a look of uncertainty. She said, “Are you sure you would like to order the Sloppy Spaghetti With Corn on the Cob?”

The inquisitive one proclaimed, “Yes!”

Soon, the food arrived. The inquisitive one and the date started eating.

“What do you like to do for fun?” asked the date.

“I like gardening,” said the inquisitive one, while splashing Sloppy Spaghetti sauce on the white tablecloth. And they talked about gardening for a bit.

At a lull in the conversation, the date asked, “Do you like to exercise?”

“Yes, I like running,” said the inquisitive one, between two massive bites of the corn on the cob. And they talked about exercise for a bit.

At a lull in the conversation, the date said, “I really like to sail. Sailing is my favorite hobby. I enjoy it very much! Do you like boats and being on the water?”

I know a lot about sailing!” the inquisitive one cried out, slamming a fist on the table for emphasis, hitting the spoon at a perfect angle to fly up and land—plop!—in the half-full glass of red wine.

Together—for they were on the same wavelength!—the date and the inquisitive one watched the glass totter, and tip, and topple down toward the inquisitive one. The red wine splashed all over the Sloppy Spaghetti dots on the white tablecloth, and started dripping into the inquisitive one’s lap.

The conversation seemed to have come to another lull. So the inquisitive one said, “What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a writer,” said the date.

“Oh! What do you write?”

“Articles for the Washington Post.”

“What do you write about?”

“Dating and relationships.”

“Very cool!” The inquisitive one grinned widely at the date, revealing chunks of corn between every tooth. “Pardon me, I need to use the restroom. Be right back!”

The inquisitive one, who was nothing if not prepared, changed into an extra set of clothes. This extra set of clothes was in the bag the inquisitive one had brought, just in case—along with the passport and life vest, naturally. Then the inquisitive one used a paper towel to remove all the visible corn from the teeth.

The inquisitive one, upon returning, smiled brightly at the date, looking clean, tidy, and ready for a boating expedition.

The date stared at the inquisitive one in surprise, disbelief, and—one might even say—love.