the inquisitive one

The inquisitive one arrived at the appointed restaurant at the appointed time. The date had already arrived and was sitting at a quaint wooden table adorned with a little candle.

“Hello, nice to meet you!” said the inquisitive one, sitting down at the table.

“Greetings,” said the date.

“Would you like to order a drink?” said the i.o., picking up the menu and glancing it over.

“Oh, I don’t drink.”

“Neither do I!” said the i.o., smiling across at the date. “It can affect my running the next day. Negatively, I mean.”

“I see,” said the date.

“Perhaps I will order some lemonade!” said the i.o.

“Go for it,” said the date. “As for me, I don’t drink.”

“I don’t mean spiked lemonade. Just regular lemonade!”

“You apparently are not understanding me when I say I don’t drink. I mean, I don’t drink. As in, liquids.”

“I see. . . .” said the inquisitive one. “Well, perhaps we can order food! What do you like to eat?”

“Oh, I don’t eat.”

“I see. Well, I’m hungry. . . .”

A waiter came to the table, and the i.o. ordered a lemonade and a hummus plate.

“And for you?” the waiter said to the date.

“Nothing for me,” said the date.

The waiter left, and the date and the i.o. sat together silently. As in, a bad silence.

“Um,” said the inquisitive one, “have you read any good books lately?”

“Oh, I don’t read,” said the date.

“Have you watched any good TV shows lately?”

“Oh, I don’t watch TV.”

“Do you enjoy exercise?”

“Oh, I don’t exercise.”

“What do you do for fun?!!” the i.o. shouted in exasperation.

“Oh, this and that.”

“I see,” said the inquisitive one.

The lemonade and hummus arrived, and the i.o. drank and ate in silence for a time. As in, a bad silence.

And then, “This date is not going extraordinarily well, is it?” said the i.o., figuring there was nothing to lose, and one might as well be honest.

“Oh, I don’t date,” said the date.

The i.o.’s eyes bugged out for several seconds.

That was when the i.o. dropped a $20 on the table and, with great dignity, walked out of the restaurant.