By the time she started e-mailing five times between replies, I’d already asked her out. I figure it’s better to just ask women out right away rather than to develop feelings for lines of text. This didn’t stop her from building everything up into monumental proportions, telling me how nervous she was, how much she was looking forward to it, and how I was the nicest guy to grace this green earth. Me! Anyone who actually knows me, knows I’m actually kind of a jerk. She actually told me that I was going to be her “whole new world.” I guess she’s a Little Mermaid fan.
I arrived ten minutes early because, after all, I wouldn’t want to keep my princess waiting. I ordered a mango bubble milk, (yes, I like sissy drinks), sat down, and waited. By 3:00, I started thinking I’d been stood up, which was a surprise, given that she says she looked at several maps and bus schedules so that she could get there early. It was that very minute that I realized I was actually relieved, and quite happy to just sit there by myself enjoying my bubble milk.
At 3:01, Misery showed up. I made sure to sit near the front, so I could get a good look at the people coming in. I always do this on first dates. It gives me an edge. But this was a double-edged date.
I only had the one very obscured photograph to go on, and even from that, I could tell she wouldn’t be terribly attractive, but I’m all for giving everyone a chance. But I did not predict the creature I saw before me.
To describe her as looking like a shaved gorilla in an oversized moo-moo, would be an understatement. The scowl on her face, I can only describe as that of an ogre. I mean she was like a frowning, pink Shrek! And she hunched as she walked, and she lurched furtively back and forth, her eyes scanning through the restaurant and then back into the street, as if she was expecting the police to bust her for crack possession.
And I was mere feet away from her.
“Fuck me,” I muttered to myself, going back to my bubble milk, trying to act natural.
And then she was gone.
I looked back towards the glass door. No Misery.
“Well maybe it wasn’t her,” I lied, to myself. I hoped it wasn’t her, but deep down, I knew that it was.
Five minutes later, she was back, and the pattern repeated, and it was at this moment that I realized she was literally so crazy that it never occurred to her to step inside the building. I thought of helping her out and stepping outside to invite her in, but I mean, come on! What is she, a vampire? I decided that this was the final IQ test. If she can’t figure out that all she has to do is come inside, she fails.
So she left again, and five minutes later, she was back. Same furtive, nervous movement, and then she was gone again.
When she returned for a forth time, five minutes later, I knew I was done there. I waited for her to leave, paid for my drink, and left.
When I got outside, I looked around carefully to see if I could spot her. I checked all the bus stops. No Misery. Like a banshee, she was gone.
When I recounted this story to my sister, she called me on it.
“And then she was gone,” I said to her. “She was like a banshee.”
“You used three different animal terms to describe this woman.”
“A banshee is not an animal.”
“Well, mythical creatures then.”
“Fair enough. But you know, I think she must have been some kind of mythical creature, because she moved much more quickly than you might expect, given her physique.”
I had given up on trying to find her and was on my way home, when we passed each other on the street. Much to my amazement, she did not recognize me. In fact, she made no eye contact with anyone. (It was really crowded.) I thought one last time that I might say something to her, but then I realized I’d just been given a get out of jail free card.
Or so I thought, until I got home.