The first of 14 Dream Dates, this one takes place on a train.
A reminder: The Dream Dates are short, solipsistic, not-necessarily-autobiographical pieces of audio that listeners are welcome to download and mess with themselves.
A transcript of this episode is below.
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This is Dream Date number 1.
It doesn’t occur to me, because I didn’t have that kind of an education, that I might be pushing the boundaries of consent by letting my leg rest against yours on the train home. You even ask me at one point if I need more room and I say: “No, I’m perfectly comfortable.” And you don’t move your leg either. It seems to me that it’s tit for tat because you sat unnecessarily close to me in the station waiting room an hour ago and I have never been so aware of contact with another human being. Your friends, who are sitting all around us in this train compartment, have no idea of what is happening. We are being so subtle about it. And what is happening, after all?
Night has fallen by now and, from where I’m sitting, I can see your face reflected in the window. Sometimes, our eyes meet, and one of us looks away. Sometimes, I move my leg just a little bit and then check to see what your face is doing. You look… embarrassed? I’m not sure. This is the first time that I have ever done anything like this and I feel incredibly confident. Where has this confidence come from?
I decide to test you. When we change trains, I board an open carriage just in front of you and go to sit in a window seat, with the aisle seat free next to me. Sure enough, you come and sit there, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. We don’t touch. But you start to ask me about myself. I don’t think you know that I’ve seen you before, that I’ve watched you across the room at dances and wished that you would come over and ask me to take the floor. But I didn’t know your name! I had no idea, when your friends told me who would be coming on this trip, that you were on the list. And you were so nearly too late this morning; you would have missed the whole thing. And, instead, just as dawn was lightening the sky, you opened the door of that first train and jumped into our compartment a moment before it set off. You had to squeeze in between me and Jean-Baptiste, who I still think has a crush on you. He hasn’t left us alone all day. But we’re in a modern train now, on the last leg of our journey home, with airline-style seats in pairs, and he’s had to go and sit somewhere else.
And now I’m asking you what you like to do for fun. “Swimming?” I say when you tell me. “I love to swim!” I don’t, as it happens, but I’m more than happy to pretend. And, in the French that I can command at this stage, it’s easier to say than “What about we just hang out sometime and see how it goes? I think I like you.”
This web page and its contents © Charles Adrian Gillott October 2020