I like midnight dates at convenience stores. I like them more than dinner at some fancy restaurant, sipping cold soup, and ordering courses I can never spell or even pronounce. I prefer the fluorescence of a 7-11 or a Mini Stop over the manic lighting of a club or the mellowness and the tinkling of the piano at a jazz bar.
I like my cheap hotdog with extra mustard while you have your spicy instant noodles strangely paired with a can of root beer. I like us seated in a corner where we can watch the few cars left passing by, and where I can closely inspect your grin, and smell the traces of Marlboro black from our walk. I like it better than a date at some overpriced cafe, with their pretentious bossa nova. I like the convenience store radio blasting out Air Supply, which you hate. Out of nothing at all! You always have that crinkled nose and funny smile when you hate something. And your crooked teeth, exposed, an adornment.
I like it when you get me coffee or ice cream on a cone after our little snack, or maybe a bottle of cheap brandy for a nightcap at your roof deck afterwards. I like it better than acting posh and refined and clumsily using a fork and knife in devouring medium rares and swirling white wines.
I like it when we get messy instead: tissue for the ketchup on the edge of our lips, the drip of the vanilla sundae on our palms and on the sidewalk. You may think it ordinary or mundane. You may think it’s nothing much. But details make the bigger picture. And the prospect of heady drunkenness at your place leaves me floating.
I like the buzz of the cashier’s ching ching ching. Thank you come again they say. Once you speak your voice drowns the noise, the music, or silence. All that is left to matter is with me. And it makes me wonder why I asked too much in the first place, when the smallest things already suffice.