Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pumpkin Head - Excerpts from the Dating Chronicles

He seemed like a nice guy at work, so she said yes when he asked her out for a dinner and a trip to a local haunted house. Looking forward to the date that Saturday night, she deliberated carefully over a cute, but casual outfit, comparing a couple of clothing combinations on hangers before her extended arms.

The call came at 6:00 p.m. His truck had broken down and he wondered if she would mind picking him up and driving. It seemed rather odd, and she was a little disappointed, but she finally, said, “Okay, I’ll be there at 7:30,” thinking that things like this happen sometimes.

She picked him up at about 7:35, and they proceeded to the Michelle’s restaurant, a local diner, for dinner. Just as he was in the car, he was unusually quiet during dinner. She asked him questions about school, about the gym, about his family, but none of the questions spurred more than one sentence replies. She picked at her salad with the fork.
The bill came and he reached for his wallet, and stared twice inside it. He finally looked up at her and said, “Ummmm, would you mind going dutch this time? All I have is a five.” She stared at him angrily, but silently, and turned aside sharply for her wallet in her bag on the bench seat next to her.

The drive to the haunted house was quiet, too, and the wait in the rather long line could have been much more fun, considering the boisterous, and funny frightening atmosphere. It was cool outside, the air was damp, and it would have been nice to hold hands, or have an arm around her. Instead, they made stilted small talk and looked in opposite directions at the people stumbling out of the house and the crowd around them. Once they were inside, at the first big scare from a bellowing monster in green rubber mask and black cape, he grabbed a hold of her like a spooked child. He clutched to her several times like this during the trip through. He even tripped once and almost pushed her off the path.

She dropped him off just after the house, after a nearly silent trip home. There was a brief pause as she parked on the curb outside his house, and he turned to her and sincerely told her that he had a really nice time. When she got home there was email from him waiting for her in her inbox, again, gushing that he had a wonderful time, and looked forward to seeing her again sometime very soon. She didn’t reply.

When she saw him at work next, she didn’t talk to him anymore.