The Cellist’s First Date by Marja Hagborg

Sitting alone doesn’t bother me like it bothers many people I know. They always ask me why I travel alone, shop alone, and eat alone in restaurants where I’m clearly seen as a poor woman, a freak, who has no one to keep her company.

I don’t need company, even if I sometimes appreciate it, especially if it makes me glad and inspired. I don’t need a bore at my table yakking about things that don’t interest me.

People look at me feeling pity. I feel pity for them having their meals with people who talk endlessly forcing their own highly fascinating personality and excellent verbal skills, their great sense of humor and wittiness on them. Everybody listens, but the eyes are turned inwards, the mind is trying to figure out what to say next so it makes sense. Then everybody laughs, throws their heads backwards and show all their bleached teeth. How charming they are, indeed.

When they drink more, they laugh more and louder. Their body language gets more dramatic; their eyes are not introspective anymore.

I’m eating alone enjoying my dinner that’s tasty even though the ambiance is not the reason I chose the restaurant. Give me a steak Palomilla with black beans and I’m happy, no need for candlelight or servers in monkey suits.

The couple in front of me catch my attention. I sense the guy’s tension level is sky high. Maybe this is their first date and the guy may think that the girl is prettier than he deserves. Both feet keep tapping under the table, not just light taps on the floor, but like he was keeping a machine going on with his feet. He must have found out that focusing your tension on your feet lessens the tension in your upper body and makes it possible to talk.

The girl is beautiful in a quiet way, like someone who plays cello. Her long dark and shiny hair is framing her friendly face and she is looking at the guy with intense eyes, clearly interested in every word he utters. It’s pretty obvious she likes nerdy guys and is not even interested in pretty boys. The girl is looking for brains with a future.

I would like to tell the guy to stop tapping his feet because the deal is closed. Maybe it was done before the date.

He keeps tapping when I leave the place. I hope they would marry when he’s a doctor and she is a cellist, maybe, one day, even a world famous one.

In my mind I wish them all luck in the world.


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