Trust, I don’t want to burp here either, but this coffee is like coke, this cinnamon bun sits like a Pepto Bismol stone in my stomach, and I’m nervous.

How long does it take to finish a short piece of humorous nonfiction? Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls: Essays, etc. rests on top of my slowly torrenting laptop with its receipt tucked halfway inside, like a reminder of expense and goal.

It’s hard to read as I monologue while flustered.

I remember a month ago I came here for a date. I was in the same position — at the mercy of internet speed and reading guilt.

*

We sit in slightly adjacent chairs that don’t not face each other, but we both have to shift to sit normally so you tell me. It’s pretty difficult to seem interested as you listen and review your date’s online bio for little gems.

No. None. None.

I assume she thinks the same thing.

“So you’re from Toronto? So am I!”

Shit. Already caught in a lie.

“Well, GTA.”

Her face falls, but of course I can only see three quarters of it due to the seating arrangement so who can say? I consider that maybe she’s got a coy cartoon smile sat on the dark side of her face.

“Yeah I’ve heard of Markham.” She offers.

“Tech… capital of Canada.” I, in turn, offer.

“Nice.” She says it like it’s the word equivalent of a period at the end of a sentence.

I suggest we walk to the water.

Why am I doing this?

“Sure.”

Ohhh fuck.

*

As we dodge the homeless man that patrols a completely typical Point Grey block — “Asshole fucker ass,” he mutters — I remember a bio element of hers I pin my hopes on.

“So you’re into hiking?” I ask, accompanied by both a mental image of her posing against the view the top of Cyprus Mountain provides, and by the homeless patroller’s continued expletives.

“Oh, no. My friend just dragged me, actually, and I see a lot of other people have them, so.”

You’re right, date. You don’t have to finish your sentence. It will fall on deaf ears as I’m dead inside.

*

We half-hug goodbye and decide in the uncomfortable, mutually appreciated silence that this was not for us and she will delete her app and I will move back in with my parents.

I walk away thinking why did I bring my laptop and book on a date? Who wears a backpack on a date?

Single people.

Note: Medium published this piece on Thursday, January 19th, 2017. Find it here.

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