I opened my OkCupid inbox to find a kid in Top Gun shades calling me by my first name. “Is that you?” he asked. Being recognized on an online dating site felt a bit like my dreams of being naked in public. My instinct is to cover myself up but I know it’s too late; all my wobbly bits have been exposed to a street full of strangers in the harsh light of day.
The restaurant gleamed in chrome and crystal. Laughter and chatter droned noisely above the dozen white, round top tables where expensive taste could be seen from across the room. We were dressed casually, too casually. The server was decidedly put off by us; you could tell, even against the downturn of severe features that appeared to be cleaved from a long history of distaste. But his lack of positive attitude was redeemed in the sartorial confidence of a three-piece suit, shiny brown brogues, and slicked back hair that complimented an angular, clean-shaven face. Only in the city do servers look like movie stars. The tropical fish bobbed in the tank beside us, little mouths kissing out at us from behind the glass. We were out of place, but Joseph was pure cocky confidence, which to me appeared as a kind of transparent bravado – like someone waving his hands in the air at a bear in an attempt to scare it off.
He’s ghosting me. I’m getting ghosted! I can’t believe it, this is so out of the blue. On Sunday, I texted him and just said, “hope you’re enjoying your Sunday.” And then he texted back, and invited himself over. And then we had sex. More than once. And he said we should hang out tonight to watch American Ninja Warrior. Why would he say that if he had no intention of seeing me again? I’m going to Google why guys ghost.
I started dating Joseph while I was unemployed and living at home with my parents in my mid-30s. I did not anticipate falling for someone in that stinky old mill-town while I was bumming around applying for jobs all over the province. It sounds terribly cliché; back at home on the couch in a sort of early mid-life crisis.
The salon smells like Italian flowers on a fresh mountainside, where grapes grow in vines and the sun shines on high peaked crags of ancient rock. If they could turn this fragrance into a perfume Single Girl would wear it every day for a more vivacious life. Her days are less in bloom lately, more comprised of wet floundering, at least until she is able to fall on the couch while the low-slung sun slips down over the side of the earth, and the hypnotic rays of the TV lull her to a mediocre stupor of comfortable numbness. This is life at the moment, not happy, not sad, just existing. She blames the winter doldrums.