I cooked Ramen noodles when she came over. I needed something to do with my hands, otherwise I'd be a nervous idiot, I knew. Maybe a desire to exhibit skills in something was mixed in there somewhere, some masculine desire to show off (so I choose to cook?), but it's mostly the nerves. The ramen started out as a bad idea, because it forced even more small talk than would have previously been necessary. But it turned out alright. Also, I was excited to use my brand new cooking chopsticks, which are much larger than normal chopsticks. Undoubtedly, this was overkill, and maybe it looked comical. But it maked me feel important.
We lay on my new futon, now. It is important that the futon is new. I wouldn't have had the confidence to invite a woman over with the old futon frame. This futon could actually pass for a bed, if it weren't for the armrests on the side. And it's definitely big enough for two people.
"Good job on the noodles," she says.
"Thanks. I cook these a lot."
She smiles. At least she's friendly, accommodating. I also can't help but notice she's pretty. I feel guilty about it, despite the fact that it's the reason she's here in the first place. I quell my sudden, if minor, urges.
"We have two choices."
"OK." She looks at me, as if understanding that what we watch is important, but also completely unimportant. She understands the duality there, the tender duality. I lost my virginity, for instance, while "watching" The Mothman Profecies. Choice is important. And, ultimately, completely unimportant. But still important. You follow? It oscillates. When we're choosing, it's important. When we're watching, it's important. When it's on but we're not watching, it's not important. When it ends and we don't notice, it's not important. But tomorrow, or the next day, or if it ever gets talked about, it's important. The Mothman Prophesies.
"Our choices are Amelie and Lost In Translation." I've seen both, I want to watch both again, and both suggest that I have decent taste in movies but also knew not to suggest 2001: A Space Odyssey or worse.
"I've seen both of those."
"So I have I."
Pause, smile, "Lost in Translation."
Twenty minutes in, we both finish our noodles at the roughly same time with a final slurp. She knows how to slurp noodles. Points. My laptop starts to get hot on our legs, a sensation I sometimes enjoy. But it is harder to displace and distribute the heat to avoid burning when I have more than my own legs to worry about, so I just put it down on the bed.
She turns onto her side and rests her head and a hand on my chest, in a very familiar way. This makes my heart race. I worry that she will hear my heart race, which makes it race even more. All of these, these are familiar feelings. She lifts her head, and props herself up.
"I can hear your heartbeat."
She looks at me. Our faces are very close. I blink. In the blink I can't see anything, and in the blink I am with someone familiar. It is a wonder I am not surprised, when my eyes open again, that I am with a stranger. For a flash, just a quick moment, we can actually feel the gravitational pull between our noses, recognize it as being separate from the pull of the center of the Earth, recognize it as both unavoidable and negligible, as both important and unimportant.