Text message received 6:54pm:

I’m here. Hard to spot

Text message sent 6:54pm:

Just walking the couple of kilometers from my car

Text message received 6:54pm:

Cool I’ll stand here uncomfortably

“Hi. I’m Matt. It’s nice to meet you, in real life.”

“Hehe I think the kids say IRL”

“Jesus. Ok. IRL.”

“So, I work at a magazine, ummm, I live alone, oh, but with a cat–“

“Great. A crazy cat lady.”

“Well I have a cat–“

“You’re a crazy cat lady.”

“Ok. Ummm, what’re your five favourite foods?”

“Jesus. What a fucking boring question.”

“Oh ok.”

“This isn’t a job interview.”

“No, it’s not. I just like making top 5 lists.”

“I’m going to the bathroom.”

“Maybe I won’t be here when you get back.”

“That’s the plan.”

“Oh ok.”

“What’s the best compliment you’ve been paid?”

“How is this a better question than my top 5 foods one?”

“Just answer. Or don’t.”

“Ummmm, I guess people say I have nice hair and nice skin.”

“Well they’re lying.”

“Oh ok.”

“Do you like to cook?”

“Yep, I love cooking, I’m a pretty good cook.”

“What do you cook?”

“Umm, anything, really. I’ll give any recipe a go.”

“You use a recipe? So you’re not a good cook.”

“Ok. What are you looking at?”

“I’m seeing how much benito you can get in your hair before noticing.”

The pile of “Best Japanese Chicken Wings” ($14) are sticky with sweet teriyaki sauce, and covered in quivering benito flakes. I brush away my oft-complimented hair.

“Do you want to order anything else?”

“I don’t mind, I’m happy to eat anything.”

“Fuck, just pick something–why do I have to do everything?”

“Oh, ok, um, maybe the beef tataki?”

“How many times have you broken your wrists?”

“Um, none, I’ve never broken my wrists.”

“Then why are you holding the menu like that?”

“Oh, I’m just holding it.”

Seared wagyu beef tataki ($15) is fine and mineraly, smoky from being waved across the hot plate.

“Are you even going to try this?”

“Yes, sure, I will. Not exactly the best first date food, hey? Having to eat everything with our hands. Haha!”

“Jesus, who fucking cares? Just eat it.”

“Oh, sure, ok.”

Crunchy Sashimi Nachos ($13) comprise diced sashimi, avocado, tomato salsa and sour cream, to be balanced precariously on crispy wonton skins. Just bigger than a single bite, the wonton vessel cracks under pressure.

“What do you watch on TV?”

“Oh, I don’t have a TV. But no one does anymore, right? Everyone watches Netflix and stuff.”

“Yeah but everyone has a fucking TV. Normal people watch Netflix on a TV.”

“Oh ok. I don’t have one.”

Text message sent 12:06am:

You’re so droll I have no clue if that went well or badly

Text message received 12:13am:

You’re so droll I have no clue if that went well or badly

Kuki Tanuki will get a second chance. Matt, 32, will not.







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