“I’m not having any kids,” he said, scribbling on a notepad.
“Smart choice, since you’re obviously male,” she sighed. “I don’t know if you’ve ever taken anatomy but you actually can’t have kids.”
“You know what I mean,” he said.
“Who would have your kids anyway,” she asked.
“Hey, that hurt,” he snickered. “I mean, I’m good looking and in excellent shape, what’s not to like? Besides, if I wanted to have any, I would probably ask you to….”
“Yuk! Not in a million years.”
“We don’t have that long.”
“I don’t think anyone has that long.”
“I mean the world is a mess and…”
“I know what you meant, but people have been saying that since someone said, ‘Oh, look. a wheel.”
“That was a big moment. The wheel changed everything. They should have stopped reproducing at that very moment,” he said. “Think of how beautiful the planet would be, if only we had disappeared right in the beginning. No cement anywhere.”
“I’d vote for that.”
“So, you’re not planning on have kids either?”
“Not a chance,” she said. “What are you scribbling.”
“Baby names, of those who will never be.”
She burst out laughing.
“What? I can pick out names if I want to.”
“Tell me some of them.”
“No, since I can’t read my own writing and besides, I was actually making a menu of what I’m going to make when you come to my place for dinner.”
“Do you think life will get worse?”
“Let me put it this way. If you like all the amenities you have right now, things like electricity, cars, clean running water, food, phone service, heat and air conditioning, well then things are definitely going to get worse.”
“I think so.”
“How fast?” she asked.
“Depends. Most city people have no idea how to survive without the things they’re used to.”
“I couldn’t. At least not for long,” she said.
“I have books on how to survive.”
He laughed. “But no experience.”
“Absolutely none. The good news is that there are pictures showing how to make a splint out of branches, if someone breaks their leg.”
“There won’t be any hospitals and the only antibiotics available will be the one’s you can steal, before they’re gone. A lot of people will die in the beginning, not only because they don’t know how of take care of themselves, but because there won’t be any law enforcement and people will kill each other to get what they have.”
“So, not a lot of sharing?”
“No. Food, and supplies, will be too precious.”
“There won’t be any refrigeration without electricity and, therefore, no ice, so food will spoil immediately,” she said, unhappily.
“There won’t be much of anything.”
“What about chocolate?”
“What about it?”
“If women don’t have it, men will need bigger guns.”
He stared at her for a moment. “I never thought of that.”
“Men usually don’t.”
“That could be another dangerous situation,” he said, mulling it over.
“My cats will be fine, no mater what,” she said confidently.
“They’re the number one predator on the planet.”
“I like that about them. Well that, and the fact that they let me hold them and kiss them. I love the idea of women running with wolves. I mean, I’d certainly do it, but really, it should be women who run with cats. Women and cats are practically the same species, except for the tails, fuzziness and the fact that cats can fall and land on their feet, which, now that I mentioned it, is a pretty important feature of catness. But, personality wise we are identical.”
“Do you want to get married?”
“Maybe. Maybe not.”
“No. I mean to me. Now. Before the world ends.”
“Mmmm, I don’t know. What’s your name?”
“How long have you known me, David?”
“About a half hour.”
“And you want to get married?”
“Sometimes you just know when something’s right.”
“I feel that way about chocolate cake,” she said, agreeably. “I can tell just by looking at a slice, whether it will be too sweet, or just perfect.”
“So, is that a yes?”
“Do you want to know my name?”
“Sure. I mean, if we’re getting married, I’ll need to call you something besides, gorgeous.”
“Oh, nice one,” she said, throwing a spoon at him.
“So? What’s your name?”
“It’s Atlantis. My mom thinks that’s where we’re from.”
“No kidding. I thought that place sank a long time ago.”
“It did, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have family who lived there, at one time. At least according to my mother. Will my Atlantian heritage be a problem?”
“Of course not.”
“How do you feel about Christmas?”
“Love it. Go all the way, no stops.”
“You get points for that,” she said, nodding at him.
“How do you feel about twinkle lights?”
“Keep them up all year.”
“How many cats do you have?”
“Two. Whisper and Pretty Paws. A German Shepherd name Sweetie.”
“Read all the time.”
“You have potential.”
“Thanks,” he said, smiling. “I was hoping for more.”
“Do you think patience is a virtue?”
“Not even a little.”
“I mean what kind,” she laughed.
“I know what you meant.”
“You like everything?”
“I’m pretty boring when it comes to food. I like sandwiches.”
“Seriously. Food’s a lot of work. You have to buy things, then make the stuff, then clean up and put everything away. I mean what’s wrong with peanut butter and jelly? You can even have an entire salad between two pieces of bread, if you feel like it. My kitchen is always sparkling clean because not much goes on in it. I only have to dust the inside of the oven once in awhile.”
“Did your mother cook?”
“All the time and all I could think of, even as a child, was that she could have been doing so many other things, if she would have just gotten out of the kitchen. So, I decided at an early age, to stay out of any kitchen I might ever have.”
“”Do you get take-out?”
“Yes. Sometimes. You don’t live with your parents do you. Like in their basement, or anything?”
“Of course not.”
“Just checking. I mean you’re an actual free-standing adult, right?”
“Since I got out of high school. Went to college and never went home. How about you?”
“What color are your eyes?”
She shrugged. “They change, so I don’t know what they are now.”
“Interesting. So dinner tomorrow night?”
“Wherever you like.”
“This is a deli,” he laughed.
“I know. See you at seven?” she asked, getting up.
“Seven it is.”