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Not a Date

Flash Fiction 2018


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  • Daniel Fishel

It's not a date. We are just going to eat greasy food together and converse between bites.

No, I didn't put more pomade in my hair than usual.

No, that's not cologne (it's my scented deodorant).

Yes, I wear it all the time.

No, she won't be coming back here after.

Yes, you are annoying me. Bye.

The food was certainly greasy, I was right about that. Just the right amount. Enough grease left at the bottom of the fry box so that you could busy yourself by mopping it up with a finger if there was a lull in conversation. There wasn't one, though, so it was good that the food wasn't too greasy. Well-balanced grease, well-oiled, like a machine.

That's how the conversation went. Smooth as melted halloumi. Felt like we'd ridden each other a few times before, a test-drive at least. I was certainly excited for another round; the sweat on my palms was nearly as copious as the grease.

What a good thing to have such exuberant conversation with a friend!

And the grease wasn't too slick, you know, it sunk right in. We became soggy with it. What I mean is that the conversation reached a nice, penetrative level of depth. None of that surface-level bullshit, slide-right-off-your-ass floor-wax type of grease—this stuff changed the very texture of the words we spoke.

Get this:

We talked about our favourite colors. We talked about our favourite colors in a way that I have never talked about color before in my God-fearing life. We talked about having love affairs with colors. (You know how sexuality is fluid? So is color orientation. I bet you didn't know that.) She's really into blue these days, has some kind of lapis lazuli LED light in her room that she's been staring at for days on end. And me, I've been into red without even realizing it. The autumn leaves, so many maples in this city, the brick houses, the streetcars. Red has been calling out to me since September 22, the autumnal equinox, when the brilliant yellow of summer raged into fire right before my eyes, right outside my doorstep where the big maple sheds its blood.

But here's where it gets wild:

She's a fire sign, Leo. Seriously. Fire = red.

And I, if it isn't obvious, am a water sign, Scorpio. Water = blue. Seriously.

I am her favourite color (for the time being, at least).

And she is my favourite color (indefinitely).

How nice, to have a friend who's your favorite!

Red and blue make purple, but purple is too slippery (or else my mind is) for me to make anything out of it yet. Purple could be a bruise or it could be a plum, you just don't know. Purple could be fun and fruity, or it could be the apocalyptic sky.

Staring into my fries, I wondered what kind of purple we'd become if we slipped into each other, platonically.   v

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