By Trish Davidson (Montreal, QC)

Do you like my voice? Over the phone, should have known. Instead, advance screening movie pass in hand, waited on the ground floor, had time to think about a drink.

Do I sound different in person? Late he was, he had voiced play-by-plays at an amateur hockey match.

Hey. I am on a date. On his phone, with me seated to his right. Good night!

Why did he buy a doll as a girlfriend? He nattered. I glared through the dark. Mortified.

It was stupid. I rolled my eyes in disbelief at him, he is stupid I thought, as we went down the escalator.

I talked more than a few words that time. I informed him Ryan Gosling was sweet and cute as Lars and it was, actually, a lovely picture show.

I would totally go with the doll. My eyes must have widened seven sizes into giant anime-style saucers of surprise. As we walked to his car, I declined a ride, denounced future dates, decried any communications.

Can I at least get a hug goodbye? Obliged, out of a mixture of remorse for his utter daftness, pity for his lame brain and confusion that he had made it this far in life.

Post haste, past the momentary physical proximity of our persons, I dashed off into the night,   opposite of home, to lead him off the trail, sought out consolation bubble tea, thinking at least the movie was grand and free.

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