Write Before Thinking

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Dinner

The woman sitting at the table was more interested in tracing circles around the edge of her wine glass than in paying attention to the man sitting across from her. Occasionally she would dip the tip of her long and slender index finger into the wine and then bring it to her lips. He was talking. And because the woman was polite, she would smile and nod.

The date with the man was a favor to a friend.

Formalities comforted the woman and she believed blind dates were beneath her. This nonsense of introductions in restaurant lobbies and forced conversation was unsettling. A woman of her grace and elegance deserved to be pursued with a certain sense of propriety.

“Do you like your wine,” the man asked.

She took a sip and nodded.

“It’s a very expensive bottle,” he replied. “A Pinot Noir.”

“It’s nice,” she said.

The man continued speaking and she heard him say, “softer than a Merlot.” Then she retreated back into her thoughts.

In another time her friend would have at least had the decency to have joined them. They would have enjoyed a double date, the men talking of business and golf and whatever it was that men spoke of, while she and her friend discussed the latest fashion and gossiped. Perhaps, she thought, the men would invite them to discuss politics. The woman smiled as she imagined the four of them laughing as they sipped martinis, thin wisps of blue smoke trailing from the cigarettes held between delicate fingers.

“Then you agree?” Asked the man, confusing her smile for affirmation.

“Absolutely,” she replied, ladylike despite the rude interruption.

The vanity of the man sitting across from her offended her. He was too pretty, she thought. Tall and dapper, slightly effeminate yet still masculine. Handsome. A sophisticant and a bore.

She like using words like that. She felt they possessed a certain dignity and in her mind she pronounced them with the disaffected grace of a 1940’s Hollywood starlet.

The past is but a second old and already we have no future, she thought.

It was always in her mind that she said such things. Never would she utter such melodramatic statements out loud. That would be uncouth. Out loud she was just like everyone else.

A lady doesn’t wear her emotions, she reminded herself.

Out loud she was what everyone expected.

She imagined the man would want her to sleep with him after such an expensive dinner.

“More wine,” he asked as he held the bottle to her half-empty glass.

“Please,” she replied.

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