Mr. Fifth Date
by Dottie Camptown
I try to imagine being one of Colin Turnbull's pygmies, except I am the tonal inversion, the negative. Light where dark. Dark where light. Turnbull took his pygmy guide, Kenge, out of the forest and onto the plains. Kenge of course freaked out. The expanse of open sky was too much. I pretend to feel relief at the dark canopy above me, but I'm not a pygmy. I'm from Nebraska.
I feel a panic attack starting. (My court-ordered therapist would say: Create a story in which you are calm and then live in that story.) Reframe: I feel a little out of breath.
This is the most promising first date so far, although we are walking through the woods, and it is dark. He is my fifth first date generated from Craigslist.
SWM seeks SWF for hikes and nonsexual connections. Pic included.
He didn't ask me for mine. I opened his picture squinting, so I could shut out the image in case it included his erect member. It was a nice photo of a clean-cut young man with sweet melancholy eyes. He wore long pants.
If he was disappointed when he first saw me, he didn't show it. I pick up my lumbering pace wanting to get this over with. I don't want to be lost in the forest with no guide to get me out. Light flits through the trees ahead of us. My pulse finally steadies. I'll make it quick, so Mr. Fifth Date won't suffer.