The waiter brings menus. I’m not interested in food; I just like watching you. A lock of hair escapes its silver clasp. You dreamily twirl it around one finger. You get ten points for sheer elegance.

“You haven’t changed a bit, Laura,” I tell you. Terrible opening. I deduct five points from my score for lack of originality. Starting off in the hole. “Except for the pierced ears.” I redeem myself, bringing my points back to zero.

You look startled. Your left hand inadvertently touches an opal earring.

“Your birthstone,” I state as if I actually knew. You nod, impressed. You always had a penchant for zodiac signs, and a fondness for opals. I finally put two and two together. Lucky guess, perhaps. I prefer to think of it as inspired. I proudly bump my count up to ten.

“What a creative menu,” I observe. “Asparagus, avocado and lime soup.” Sounds like you. “Still a vegetarian?” You smile your acknowledgement. More points for me. The count is getting high; I need to record it. I surreptitiously pull up the calculator on my phone and enter scores. You frown and stare suspiciously.

“Just checking on Mom. She’s not been well lately.” You always hated my score-keeping, but soften after the lie about my mother. Three points for me.

You seem pleased with your triple-green soup. I’m loving my braised salmon. “Waiter, bring us some flowers,” I call out on a whim. He brings yellow roses. You shake your head. “Take them away,” I amend. Minus three. Forget roses.

“How’s Adam?” Your gesture says he’s history. Excellent. Adam’s out, I’ll soon be back in.

After the pear sorbet, I signal the waiter. “Check, please. And reserve us this same table for Monday.”

“No thanks!” Self-possessed, sweet, always the perfect lady. “You and your silly scoring system. You also haven’t changed a bit. We’re divorced, Jim, remember?” You sail out, but I’m not worried. You get ten points for poise.

“On Monday, red dahlias for our table,” I tell the waiter. Unusual. Out of season. Twenty points.

You’ll come. I’m sure of it.

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Juma
Juma(@juma)
1 year ago

Jim is a bit strange, isn’t he, Fuji? I do like the food they are eating! And I’d love to have a bouquet of red dahlias in the winter. The touch of holly berries in the picture is especially nice.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Jim is funny with his scoring system. Honestly, if I were Laura, I would be disappointed if I had that kind of date. But to have a bouquet of red dahlias is 100 points for me. This story is so entertaining, Fuji. Well done.

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
1 year ago

I really enjoyed Jim, Fuji. His point system is quite entertaining! It makes one wonder if this is why he is divorced because it may explain a thing or two. ? 

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
Reply to  Fuji
1 year ago

How interesting, Fuji. I could definitely see this as off putting. I guess some people would view this behaviour as quirky or endearing but my brain isn’t quite wired that way! I wouldn’t know how to take it, and would be quite confused. Words work best I think! I like… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Melissa Taggart
Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

Oh no. I just read the comments below. I once created a portrait of my granddaughter on the computer using only 1s and 0s. Admittedly, it was after a photoshop course. So,10 points for your excellent story.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

It seems obvious to me that Laura divorced Jim because of his point-scoring and who can blame her! But poor Jim can’t seem to help himself. It’s like he’s having a silent argument with her, always seeking to come out on top. Really cleverly written Fuji and such an interesting… Read more »

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
Reply to  Fuji
1 year ago

Oh, how did I miss that Fuji? Yes, he gives her 10 points for poise, dismissing her words completely and deducting zero points! I just checked the menu out, the selection is almost as mind-blowing as the prices! I’d love to visit San Francisco and, if I ever win the… Read more »

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

8 points to Jim for his optimism and attempts to win back his ex-wife! And 5 points for inviting her to a fancy, expensive restaurant like Acquerello, although he’s not interested in food. But many, many more points to you, Fuji, for this amazing story of the couple’s meeting and… Read more »

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
Reply to  Fuji
1 year ago

Thank you for revealing the inspiration of your story, Fuji. I looked it up, and found “Song of Lunch” as you describe it on YouTube. It’s a brilliant piece and I would like to recommend it to other members of our family. It’s accessible at https://youtu.be/h7nnGbbefuo Thanks also for the… Read more »

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
1 year ago

I guess I’m lucky to be in Colombia in this case. I even found it at a second YouTube link: https://youtu.be/677k4Ze8ko8
Probably, this one is also blocked for the USA, but it could be worth trying for those who don’t have Prime Video.

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