Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Inner Dialogue About a Stranger in a Restaurant

Well, that was a relief. Get that exam done and get my life back for a few weeks. Or was THAT my life and I’m taking a break from it? Doesn’t matter. I owe myself a hot meal for lunch, and the money I just made selling back some textbooks will cover it nicely. But where? Not in the mood for burgers…tough to find parking for anything close by…

Italian it is. The chicken pesto melt sounds good.

“Here they are,” says the cashier. Oh, he’s not talking about my food. I look behind and a small troupe of 12/13-year-olds have come through the door, clearly an expected party. They’re being chaperoned by a redhead. Must be touring the college or something. Cute.

Soda machine is like something out of the future. One spout, and you pick the drink it pours from a digital menu. Sit in the corner and just try to relax. No more studying. I’m free. …. now what?

Mess around on my phone while I still can. Once the food gets here I don’t want to get my screen all greasy.

Hm, that redhead is rather fetching. She’s what, late-20’s? She couldn’t have more than ten or fifteen years on these kids. She’s being nice, but firm and assertive in seating them. They’re awfully well-behaved for a public school pack.

That’s the rot of fancying strangers out in public. There’s not a snowball’s chance they’re waiting, or believers, or anything close to the kind of character you’re looking for. And anyway, what would I do? Casually hand her my e-mail address or ask her for hers — in front of the school kids? Psh.

Still…she’s pretty. What’s a clever way to find out if someone has any semblance of faith?

What is she…oh. Crossing herself and praying a Catholic prayer with the kids. Well, that’s one way.

Now I’m asking myself, do Catholics and Christians have that big a gap in beliefs? Same God, right? Same Savior? I know they fight wars and stuff, but isn’t that in Ireland? Is she just going through the motions, or does she mean it? She’s kind of got that dainty, merry female thing going on. Wonder is she naive or just resilient?

I think she caught me looking. Keep looking long enough for her to know you’re looking, but not so long you look creepy. Look out the window and smile, shyly but knowingly, like you have a secret.

Don’t be on your phone the whole time…you’ll look like a zoned-out nerd.

Let’s analyze. Face is relatively smooth, so not older than 30. Stylish makeup…not a prude. Boots too. Fashionable but modest. Typical by the world’s standards, but a bit daring for a conservative. She might be a natural redhead, her eyebrows seem the same color as the hair. Who cares anyway. She’s on her phone too, but not constantly. She’s turned sideways in her seat all this time, so she’s very attentive to her school kids.

Caught me looking again. So what? Pretty sure she was looking too. She’s not smiling any…or at least, her smile hasn’t changed.

Now I’m actually briefly considering action. I shouldn’t give her my business card. It has nothing to do with my jobs, and the political nature may be a turn-off. Phone numbers are a little personal anymore, and an e-mail is less intrusive. But do I give her mine, or ask for hers? Ask for hers. But then she can refuse, and in front of the kids too. If I give her mine, she’ll never write me.

Stupid social customs. Why can’t I just walk up to her and ask if she’s my future wife?

Oh yeah, she’s definitely looking. She noticed that I noticed. No obvious interest signals back. Probably married, but I don’t see a ring. Probably involved, either now or before.

Oh this is silly. She’s some random teacher in a fast food joint. She’s pretty and she made the sign of the cross. It’s just a gimmick.

Walk past her to get a refill from this 23rd century machine. If she were alone I might have invited her to sit at my table. I’d like to do that with solo strangers all the time, but it always seemed creepy.

Well. No point in it. She’s got her kids to look after, and 99 chances out of a hundred she’s not who I’m looking for. Done with the food. Time to move on.

Maybe it’ll at least make something fun to write about.

December 15, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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