I took one last look in the mirror, took a deep breath, and took my first step through the door. Today I’m the lead on a first date and there’s no trace of the stomach ache I always experience. After a few minutes, I saw the other lead of the story waiting with two paper cups in his hands. I smiled politely and accelerated my steps until I reached him. ‘Shall we take a walk?’ The question seemed like a confirmation of this previously planned walking appointment. Oh no, his first point is for politeness; The second point comes from remembering the coffee I usually drink. We walked slowly through the crowded streets and crept towards the city park. Meanwhile, I realized that I still didn’t fully feel the tension I felt during first dates. It wasn’t like any first date before. It was like a romantic journey where we walked together, not towards a goal, but within a goal. Imagine, a first date where you can be completely yourself, alone in an ever-changing environment, in relatively comfortable clothes and without the possibility of having any parsley left in your teeth. For those wondering, ‘this is living!’ This is just one of those moments when I say…
Writing: Baran Alışkan
FACE TO FACE AT A TABLE
We continue our romantic journey, passing among children on bicycles, along the edge of lush green trees, and past loud young people sitting on benches. First of all, you should definitely know this; I’m not a very successful person socially, my inner voice is louder than my outer voice, and I scrutinize potential romantic partners a lot. Therefore, sitting on opposite sides of a table makes me feel like the interlocutor of a business meeting or diplomatic crisis. This points to a negative mood that mortgages both that moment and our good days in the future, and a grumpy managerial attitude that reports negative results. My possible lover walking next to me – there is nothing clear yet – seems to have planned this walking appointment to guarantee our future. He gets his third point from this move, but unfortunately he is unaware of the standings…
This appointment, which radically changes an ordinary first date, puts me in a positive mood over time, based on the empowerment given by physical activity. Naturally, I become more cheerful, more vocal, and more able to relate to the environment. Also, although her eyes are beautiful, you can imagine that long eye contact can sometimes be awkward at first. But this time I feel less pressured and it feels so good to walk shoulder to shoulder.
I can say that along the way, with big laughs, few silences and furtive glances, we almost signed a wordless pre-protocol that we liked each other. To be honest, I’ve watched all the romantic comedies and witnessed long walks in almost all of them. Therefore, I think there is no harm in imagining us as if we were in a movie scene. Yes, we are. Moreover, most of us may have admired the long walks that a couple takes at different periods of their lives in the film trilogy consisting of Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight. Otherwise… Anyway, it’s time to take a breather. It wouldn’t be bad if we evaluated the situation in the meantime.
THE UNbearable Lightness of Meeting
Directly in front of us is a couple having a picnic, a dog doing detective work with its small nose at the foot of the nearest tree, and a young woman passing in front of us, probably just out for a run because she had time. There couldn’t be a better opportunity to say that I enjoy running, am unquestionably a dog person, and enjoy picnics. If we were having dinner at an expensive restaurant right now, I would have to list what I know about truffles instead of talking about my tastes. On the other hand, I was sharing the same bench with someone who I learned was a gourmet candidate who was after street delicacies, even though he didn’t like the idea of a picnic. I can’t help but think that this less formal date was the best way for me to get to know her. We can handle the picnic issue separately, right? He spills the beans and I learn and learn and learn more about him. Meanwhile, my outer voice had already drowned out my inner voice and I resembled a nightingale. Time passes quickly, it’s time to go home.
The magical effect of changing places allowed us to learn different things about each other’s lives by fitting dozens of appointments into one throughout the day. I could feel the excitement in my heartbeat of having an adventurous experience together (such as finding a bench to sit on, not walking the same path again, and not getting lost). The reason why my heart is beating so fast may be the smell of perfume carried by the wind to my nose, but that is another topic. I’m not one for goodbyes, but we have to leave for the end-of-day report.
IT’S YOUR ORDER TO WALK
I walk through the door with the justified pride of successfully completing 10 thousand steps a day and a first date at the same time. This time, I see someone in the mirror who can’t stop the smile on his face and enjoys getting to know a new life. How can I summarize today? I feel like I’m at the beginning of a possible love affair among the city lights on a breezey night. Just like in the movies. Now I imagine us acting out a musical like Mia and Sebastian watching the city lights in La La Land. And I write a message: It was a great day, shall we do it again tomorrow? Now it’s my turn to walk.
‘Shall we take a walk?’ The question seemed like a confirmation of this previously planned walking appointment. Oh no, his first point is for politeness; The second point comes from remembering the coffee I usually drink.