Friday, September 12, 2008

Dating advert by Chris Killen



I’m a 27 year old male from Manchester, England, who likes staying in, going for a drink, going to the cinema, going for a walk, listening to music, etc.

I’m looking for a female between 20 and 30. I don’t really have a type or anything. Just someone nice.

Maybe we could meet at the Cornerhouse. I will get there before you and go and have a look upstairs for somewhere to sit and not know whether to buy myself a drink or to wait for you to arrive. I will hope that you drink coffee. I will get myself a glass of water and sit down at one of the four-person tables by the window and it will be sometime in the afternoon, probably at the weekend, which is the safest time to arrange a blind date. While I wait for you to arrive, I’ll start to wonder which seat you’ll take – the one opposite me, or the one diagonally next to me.

It will be raining, slightly, but not hard enough to make the material of your blouse go see-through. I will look out of the window at the Sainsbury’s supermarket opposite, and not know what you look like. You will be walking across the pedestrian crossing towards the entrance of the Cornerhouse.

You will be a tiny bit late or maybe exactly on time, and I will feel scared when I see you walking up the stairs. I will somehow know it’s you. I will notice you, before you notice me. You will start to walk towards the bar and then turn and see me and smile and maybe wave and I’ll stand up and feel awkward and sit down again. Then I will kind of half stand up with my hands resting on the table ask if you want a drink and you will say, ‘No, it’s okay, I’ll get myself one,’ and I’ll sit down again and wish I wasn’t just drinking a glass of water.

I will think about going over to the bar to ask you to get me something else – a black coffee maybe – and start to get my wallet out of my back pocket, and then put it back again.

‘Stop panicking,’ I will tell myself.

It will be busy now. All the tables will be taken. There will be other couples in the upstairs bar, too. Real couples: laughing and saying things and touching each other on the face and hands.

You will go to the bar and come back with a coffee, maybe, or a tea in one of those glass mugs, without milk. You will sit in the seat opposite me. You will be way more confident than me and start talking about something and I’ll sort of blank out for a second and then come round again and not know what you’re talking about and think, ‘This is ridiculous. This is like something in a bad film. An Adam Sandler film, maybe.’ I will have to just nod and not say anything, still wondering what it is you’re talking about, and after a while you will stop talking and there will be an awkward silence. I will focus on one of your fingers. The finger will have a ring on it. It will not be your marriage finger. The finger will have a neat, shiny nail at the end of it.

I will not touch the finger at any point throughout our date.

I will have already decided, by this point, that I don’t fancy you.

You will have decided the same thing.

Don’t worry.

This is fine.

Everything is okay.

We’ll just sit there for another hour or so, going through the motions, saying lists of things to each other like our favourite films, favourite bands, and what we do at the weekends. We will laugh politely, even if there aren’t any jokes.

At one point you will cough, and it will be surprising. The cough will not sound like it could have come from you, and I’ll want to ask you about it, but feel like I don’t know you well enough to do so.

And then you will finish your coffee or tea and I will need to go to the toilet and we’ll both suddenly announce that we have other things to do, and look at our watches or the clocks on our mobile phones, and both of us doing it simultaneously will make it really obvious that the date hasn’t worked and we’ll feel awkward for a moment – me probably more so than you – and then you’ll kiss me on the cheek and say, ‘It was really nice to meet you,’ and I’ll do a sort of air-kiss next to your cheek and say, ‘Yeah, yeah, you too,’ and then you will go down the stairs away from me and I will go into the toilet and look at myself in the mirror and maybe touch myself on the face and say ‘What the fuck am I doing?’ to myself in my head.

Then I will go home.

It will have stopped raining.

The sun will be out and the wet pavements will be shining.

I’ll get a good seat on the bus, and think about you for a moment, and then think about somebody else for a long time.


If this all sounds good to you, please send me a message.

My email address is:

Let’s make this work.



Just Impolite - Plushgun

Chris Killen's first novel The Bird Room will be published by Canongate Books in January 2009 and he blogs at Day of Moustaches.

Photo by Adam Lawrence.

Daniel Ingala is a master of the depressing upbeat pop song. Starting Plushgun in his bedroom in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he recently signed to Tommy Boy Records and will soon be a superstar. His debut album will be released in January.

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