I like dates.


Candice Barrett
I get down to her building late in the evening with small jars and little bags of ingredients, a bottle of Ubuntu and one rose, juggling to call up to her place. I get buzzed in and realize I’m unaware of where her place actually is in here. What do I do? I figure she’ll wonder where I am after a minute or two and just come grab me from the foyer, but time passes. I buzz her again and because I’m an idiot, she tells me and I’m in the elevator in the blink of an eye. How stupid is it that it’s the same number as her buzz number?

The steel doors ease open to the thick aromas of incense and wine and woman; her door is open. I have a brief moment of seizing excitement, and try to see her before she sees me. She’s wearing a track suit, more or less and it’s mis-matched. The unspoken comfort is unusually high between us already, and has been since we made eye contact weeks ago. Her hair is unkempt and her eyes are so illuminated.

She takes me on a tour of her physical life. The space is open and sparse but with a sense of intention and juxtaposition. There’s a tension in the air that has almost… a pleasantness to it and memorabilia from her travels are displayed everywhere. The view of her balcony is great! She told me about how all the old trees in view are taller than the houses, so there’s just a sea of branches in the distance! What a refreshing visual in the mornings it must be. I think it’d have a sort of surrealism to it.

I unpack for dinner. Lemon Ginger Chicken served with basmati. I decided to measure everything before I left to make my life easier here, which it does. We make small talk and pour glasses of red while I get the breasts in the preheated-to-400F oven. We smoke a bowl and she tells me a bit about her childhood and I exchange a few stories of my own. I think about kissing her, but don’t.

I pull out the birds and get them in a sauce to simmer for another twenty. I get the rice on. I’m thinking I want a little starch to hold up to the heavy flavour of the ginger and sugars. I kicked her out of the kitchen to set the table, and we’re halfway through the meal before I know it. She has some fruit on the side with her meal. More wine and more smiles.

After the dishes and a few smokes we’re walking to her friends’ place where she’s a “designated roommate” (so says she) where there’s a party in motion. I walk in to a kitchen table being body-slammed and music coming from everywhere. I meet some of her friends, who tease her about our dinner and ask if I’m “that cute boy”, smoke a few jays and drink more wine. She brought some rotten eggs to throw at the passing train. We throw them.

We get back to her place and watch The Gods Must Be Crazy; some moc flick she got off a friend she’d been meaning to get to. It’s about a tribe unaware of modern society, or any other humans at all, until “a metal bird” drops a glass Coke bottle from the sky. It causes drastic changes in everyone and the whole tribe and it’s got cheese narration and it was watchable for sure. I’d suggest it for a lazy afternoon.

She’s passionate and graceful and totally crazy and her company blooms my experience with intrigue and vividness and inspiration and it’s so, well, nice.

I like dates.