Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Microstory 1987: First Date

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Myka: You’re just having water? Forgive me, it’s not a big deal, but are you sober?
Leonard: I gave it up a while ago. A friend of mine taught me how to have fun without. But I’m not judging, you go ahead with whatever you ordered.
Myka: I...just ordered water too. Did you not hear me?
Leonard: Oh, I’m sorry, I’m just really nervous.
Myka: We’ve shared a meal before. Many times.
Leonard: I know, but this is different. We’re calling it a date.
Myka: Would you feel more comfortable if we didn’t?
Leonard: No. I don’t wanna feel comfortable, I wanna be with you. *embarrassed* That’s..not what I meant.
Myka: *smiling* I get it.
Leonard: So, did you see, we got that second satellite up and running.
Myka: I did, that’s pretty cool.
Leonard: Yeah, I told them the Ochivari pretty much can’t come from space, because too many of them have to die to open a portal that big, but it should be fine.
Myka: *whispering* Should we be quieter?
Leonard: Oh, you’re right. Um...locusts often die when they swarm from too high up, because of the, uh, pressure change, so you’re better off looking for them lower down.
Myka: Is that true about locusts?
Leonard: *laughing* I don’t know, probably not.
Myka: We probably shouldn’t talk about work.
Leonard: No, no, you’re right. There must be something else we can talk about *awkward silence until the food comes* How’s your spaghetti?
Myka: Regretfully messy. Not the best food for a date.
Leonard: No, I like the way you eat it. It’s cute.
Myka: *smiling awkwardly*
Leonard: Oh my God, all we have to talk about is work, or spaghetti.
Myka: That can’t be true. We’re just off to a slow start, but we’ll make it work. What about your childhood? I don’t know much about how you grew up.
Leonard: No, you first. You lived around here when you were a kid, right?
Myka: Well, not around here. This area was way too fancy for us. I never thought of us as poor, but that’s what we were. My grandparents were super rich; all four of them. When my parents got married, they decided they wanted to do everything on their own, so they cut themselves off from family money. I always resented them for that, because it meant that I had to struggle too. It wasn’t until I was locked up that I started to appreciate their decision. Money and greed corrupt; I get that now, ya know?
Leonard: I know, I’ve seen it. I have a much older brother; I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned him. He was extremely smart. The government recruited him after he graduated from college at age seventeen. At some point, he went private, and turned into the biggest jackass I’ve ever met. I basically looked at everything he did, and tried to do the opposite growing up.
Myka: Fascinating. Tell me about your first job. It wasn’t as a parole officer, was it?

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