|"I liked this disheveled look of his that was perfectly balancing my very polished one. I was all about the image. And there was nothing wrong with this picture." (Source)|
His green eyes were softly listening to my high-pitched pressed voice. His hair loosely tied in a bun, he smiled at the overexcited girl I was. A faint smell of oil was exuding from him, but I like it. I liked this disheveled look of his that was perfectly balancing my very polished one. I was all about the image. And there was nothing wrong with this picture.
I was working as an apprentice programmer during summer to bonify my C.V. solely to get a better chance to get accepted in med school and didn't really enjoy my work. He was an acting student, but worked as a cook in the university kitchen for the summer to pay his studies.
"Do you smoke?" He offered me the remaining cigarette from a crushed cardboard package hidden in his breast pocket.
"No" I couldn't stand cigarette smoke, but I let him light it. It made the picture even better.
"So what do you do on your free time?", he asked me leaning backward, his eyes never leaving my smile.
I didn't have much free time. College was taking most of my time and I spent the rest of it on shopping related activities: window shopping, making endless wish lists, browsing fashion blogs, listing items on Ebay, buying others...Little time was left to see my friends and family. Or I didn't let them intrude my fashion regimen. I was constantly looking for that rush that comes with new garments in my hands. It was the sole rewarding activity I had to curb my stressful academic life and I did have any intention finding a healthier one for my body, soul and wallet. But I couldn't tell him that. It would scare him away.
"I like playing saxophone, dancing, running and rock climbing when I have time I guess. What about you?"
This was a deceitful allegation.The reality is I used to play saxophone, but haven't touched mine since high school. I took some beginner's dancing classes, but I couldn't follow a partner jiving or dancing salsa. As for running and rock climbing, it happened maybe once a month...
"Interesting. I play guitar and the violin. Are you in a band? We could gig together..." His free hand approached my arm and softly touched it.
I ignited his interest, but I had to change the direction of that conversation before he realizes that I was inflating my personal resume. However, I wanted to the turn the spark that appeared in his eyes into a shimmering light, so I went deeper into my half-lies.
"I was in a jazz band in high school. We were animating the school dances. Our shows were quite popular, but we decided to stay small and leave it as a hobby. With college, it is hard getting together to play though."
- That is really cool. Were you playing established songs or partitions you created?
- A mix of both, but we were mostly improvising and adding our own flavour to Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington classics. People liked listening to classics and appreciated the modern twist we were giving them.
I had to do research on these musicians later on that night. I knew them but barely. I actually wasn't an integral member of the band. At the auditions, another girl playing the saxophone tenor took the part. They proposed me to replace her if she couldn't attend a show because I was good enough. So I practiced with them, but never got to play in front of the public because Helen (fictional name) never missed a show in 5 years.
Thankfully for me, my date liked jazz, but wasn't a connoisseur. So I could navigate around the conversation without looking like someone who doesn't know what she is talking about.
We talk about music, school, politics, religion, existential questions on life. He was very talkative, maintaining the conversation.
I was realizing as we discussed how my general knowledge had declined in the last few years. I, who could discuss about anything with a good average knowledge, was struggling. My date was too blinded by my big smile to realize it though. I knew my obsessing with fashion had something to do with it, but leaving those habits was hard. It worked for a few days, but they were hitting me back harder with binge buyings and hours of shopping. I knew I had a problem back them, but I couldn't address it. I didn't want to address it. It was the only thing that was making me content. But Mark (fictional name) was about to change that.