Ramen Answers


The plans were tentative at best.

“Let’s do ramen.” I suggested to an acquaintance whom I hoped to get to know better: we were either destined to become good friends or mortal adversaries and I was hoping that a good face to face conversation would tip the scales one way or the other. The invitation was a whim- I figured it would be shot down or brushed off or ignored. But at least I would have tried.

The response came in the form of a photograph of a ramen shop. A real one. In the city. Walking distance from work. Was this a game? Was this a tacit form of “yes”?

I clarified what location it was.

Location confirmed.

Ok: we had a Where.

My luck with getting a response through social media was not good, so I didn’t want to dick around with a lot of “when is good?” and “what works for you?” So I picked a date on the calendar and a time I thought I’d be able to manage after work and tossed it into the air like a clay pigeon.

“Monday, 21-January, 7pm.” I said. “Be there or be a polygon.”

“What if I want to be there AND be a polygon?” Came the response.

Was that a yes? I didn’t know. I felt hopeful.

“Then you’re a ramen rhombus.” I responded. “A ram-bus.”

Maybe my use of puns frightened him. There was no further response. I supposed, all things considered, that no news was good news. If he showed up, delightful. If not? Well, at least I’d enjoy some ramen. And he had two weeks to shoot it down or to suddenly, magically, have better plans with more interesting people about more important things.

There was no further response.

The day came. Today. I tried to temper my optimism: he still had eight hours in which to cancel. Six hours. Four hours. Two. He could always choose just not to show.

But the longer I went without a “no” the more hopeful I got. Maybe it would all work out: wouldn’t that be a story to tell? Wouldn’t that be a treat for the week?

The hour came. I walked to the place. The restaurant was mobbed. I stood a little distance away from the crowd, just watching. Hopeful. They say the test to find out if someone is really interested in you is to arrive fifteen minutes early and see if they’re already there: if they’re eager enough to see you to get there first.

Nothing.

The time came.

Nothing.

I had my answer. I’d been stood up. The ram-bus was a square.

I ordered myself some ramen.

I’m upset, of course, and hurt, but I suppose I’ve got the answers I’ve been looking for. And at least I’ve got ramen.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 21, 2019.

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