“More coffee?” I’m trying to prolong the conversation.
“No, really, I have to go,” you say.
“Me too,” I say. “How about we go together? Thailand?” You give me a very strange look.
“Thailand? Thailand is half-way around the world.”
“Not quite. Halfway would be off the tip of South Africa. In the water. Not much of a vacation, but I’d probably go there with you.”
“That’s insane,” you say.
“Haven’t we covered that? I prefer crazy.”
“You prefer being crazy over being rational, maybe,” you say, almost like that’s a bad thing.
“You get it! I knew we had something in common!”
“We don’t,” you respond quickly, reaching for some clarity.
“We should,” I respond. “Look at all the fun we could have.” I have no intention of letting clarity anywhere near this conversation.
“You can’t ‘should have’ something in common. You do or you don’t,” you say with slight exasperation. That’s just one of the things I like about you, the way you show frustration with me so easily. Some try to hide it.
“It can’t be both?” I’ve got you now, but you don’t see it coming.
“Having something in common and not having something in common? No, that’s inconsistent.” You pride yourself on a consistency I’m about to turn into a hobgoblin.
“We have coffee in common,” I say.
“That has nothing to do with this,” the rising tone of your voice tells me you sense the trap.
“We don’t have lipstick in common,” I continue, as if you had not said a thing.
“Stop it.” You see it clearly, now.
“So, obviously, we have something, coffee, in common and don’t have something, lipstick, in common. Happens all the time. In fact, having and not having something in common is something we all have in common.”
“I’m leaving,” you say.
“We can be in Thailand this time next month if you’ll say ‘yes.’ ”
“Why Thailand?” you ask, closing the door again.
“Beautiful beaches, beautiful sunsets, good food, good times, laughter. Yadda yadda. All that, but more important, adventure!”
“What happened to Bocas Del Toro?”
“You didn’t respond to Bocas. I’m upping the offer.”
“The food is better than in Bocas?”
“You ever go out for Bocas, or do you go out for Thai?”
“That’s not an answer.”
“There’s one in there somewhere. I might look for a boat there.”
“Thailand. Isn’t that what we’re talking about?
“I don’t know what we’re talking about any more.”
“Then let’s just sit here and enjoy each other’s silence. I like that, too. More coffee?”
You shake your head, but you’re still sitting here. I take that as a hopeful sign.
“Why a boat?” you ask a minute later, a little bit curious.
“Have to get home somehow.”
“You would take a boat back from Thailand?” you ask, with some incredulity.
“Not without stopping in New Zealand. Want to go?”
“Who are you again?” Now you’re trying to avoid the question.
“The guy you met for coffee. What do you think?”
“I think you’re very different than I expected.”
“In a bad way?”
“Not bad, just… different.”