Leaning over a steaming cauldron of soup so spicy my sinuses drain with the first tentative sniff, my friend D tells me this analogy for dating:
"If single women are empty parking spaces (and we all know how hard it can be to find a space at all), why would I want to park somewhere really far away from where I want to end up? I'd like to find a space near my destination."
He warned me that his thoughts on this upset most other people, but as I absorb what he has said so far, I happen to think it's the most accurate description of trying to figure out what you want in another person I've ever heard.
"Like, a space might be close in, but it might be too tight and if I took it I wouldn't be able to open my door. And there are always things like fire hydrants. Those are like, I don't know, gay men. Those spaces are open, but not for me."
I fill my soup base with about a pound of chicken thighs and radishes and stir while trying to keep from laughing. The steam is locker room thick. This is the best abstract conversation I've had in a long time about the nature of relationships. It certainly helps that I'm not trying to butt in and let everyone know what I'm thinking. But I have questions.
"So, do you like to cruise lots of neighborhoods or do you just try to stick to the reality of your ultimate destination? And what about if you see someone walking to their car? Do you just idle behind them and wait to grab it or what?" These are some of my burning questions.
"I've been trying to stay close to home. I have a couple of neighborhoods I drive around in, but I never get on the freeway to check anything out across town anymore. And I have, once or twice, gotten the sense that someone was about to get in their car, so I waited, but ultimately, you can just never know how long it's going to take for someone to really clear out completely. Now I just keep my eye on the spot, especially if it's a good spot, but just keep driving with the option to check on it later."
I put 20 cloves of garlic in my broth, along with a whole glass of soy sauce and hot peppers. D has already eaten his last meatball, urging me to stay away from the thinner slices of red meat as he 'had some trouble with the gristle and everything.' I ask him if the meatballs were okay, and he says since they're already ground up with no chunks of problem connective tissue, so they're safe.
Conversations with him are always really sort of paradigm shifting for me. His abstract observations of animals always leave me doubled over in hysterics. Things like:
"If you can't use a cat as a weapon, why are they so filled with hate?"
"I think chickens have more hate than brain."
One final thing on why I like D: I recently heard him play a Justin Timberlake cover on the concertina. Top that.