Last night, I was sitting on a couch in Kyoto restaurant, waiting for someone who has to this day failed to grasp the concept of time. I’d been waiting a while. Eventually, I pulled out my laptop and begun to watch a movie.
After half an hour of this, I felt a thigh touch mine as someone sat next to me. Assuming it was my friend, I pulled out my ear plugs and turned to get myself a hug.
It wasn’t my friend. I had never before laid eyes on the young lady who was looking at me eagerly.
She had not said hello before joining me. She had not taken the couch opposite me. She had, with a phenomenally high level of familiarity, snuggled up to me on the couch. I decided that it must be an emergency. Maybe she wanted a tampon.
“Hello?” I enquired gently. These matters of tampons are delicate.
“Hi!” she enthused.
We stared at each other for a bit.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m watching a movie”. I gestured towards the screen.
“Can I watch it with you?”
So she didn’t want a tampon.
“Naawe!” she chided me gently. “Why not? We’re friends, right?”
This gave me pause. Sometimes I forget people. I gave the girl a glance over. She looked about ten. Nope. I did not know her. I stared at her, and didn’t say a word.
“Okay, listen”, she leaned in conspiratorially. “Please let me watch the movie with you. It’s a dare?”
“It’s a what?!”
“A dare”, she explained. “My friends dared me”.
“No” I said. My stare turned slightly hostile. She begun to look nervous.
“Okay, I’m sorry”, she said. And she left.
A dare, indeed.