Random Image Stories are just that; stories told using a sequence of random images I generate here.
It was beautiful winter day, the kind you generally only get to read about when you live on the Canadian prairies in January. There was no wind to speak of, and a light coat of hoarfrost hugged the trees up and down the street. The sparkling snow seemed to glow with its own inner light, giving back to the sun a thousandfold its light and purpose. It was the perfect day to be walking, made even better by the destination I had in mind.
I was going on a date.
As a rule, I always try to avoid walking along the main thoroughfares in any city. The noise, the traffic, and – the introvert in me is not ashamed to admit – the people tend to get on my nerves. However, I decided this day was too perfect to keep all to myself, and so a-walking down the main streets I went! As I came to the first intersection, something wonderful caught my eye.
Perhaps it was his dour look and vintage mullet, or maybe the chipped paint on his old, wooden bus, but I found myself staring at the gentleman as he waited at the light. As he looked at me, I could feel the power of his stare go straight into my soul, and his words seemed to blossom within me.
“Going on a date, bro?” they seemed to say.
“Why, yes I am, dour-looking bus driver,” I replied, “Do you have any advice for me?”
“Stay true to yourself, bro,” he intoned, “chicks dig that shit.”
Then the light turned green, and he was gone from my life forever. I will never forget his sage advice, nor the zero fucks he gave about the world around him as he drove his vintage bus to (probably) some divine location. With a fresh new perspective on life, I proceeded to cross the street.
As I began walking down the sidewalk once more, I was struck again by how perfect the day was. In fact, the only thing I could imagine making it any better was…
…if a man and his dog would lead their herd of goats past me. Well wouldn’t you know it, by some miracle of synchronicity, along came just such a man and his dog. I hurried forward and embraced them (goats included) as long-lost brothers. I hurriedly explained that I was on my way to a big date, and that I wish I could spend more time chatting with them, but he waved off the explanation with a smile.
“Dates, such as you have, are not things to be set aside for any man,” he told me, “you must journey onward, my friend!”
I felt my eyes begin to mist over. Surely this was a man I could learn so much from; a master of urban goat-herding, and the untold road. Seeing my emotions begin to well up in my eyes, he reached into his satchel and handed me a…
…frog and a strawberry.
“You will know how to use this, when the time comes” he said, a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Then with a click of his tongue, and a sharp command to his faithful hound, they were off to their unknown pasture. As I watched them leave, I knew deep inside that I would never see them again. Onward and upward, oh urban herdsman!
Back on track, a much richer person for the days walk thus far, I proceeded on my journey.
As I drew closer to my destination, I began to worry about the date ahead. The dour bus driver told me to be myself, and I would. The urban herdsman had given me a powerful talisman (I think), so I felt prepared for any eventuality. The only unknown was the girl. What if she didn’t like Firefly? Or reading? What if she was a complete dumbass with no sense of self?
What if she…
…was actually a rooster? First world problems, I know, but these are the thoughts that ran through my brain. As a man in his mid 30s, my options continued to shrink on a daily basis in regards to available women. They’re either too young, too self-involved, or too roostery. The story of my life, that.
Pushing all such thoughts aside, I finally arrived at my destination. I had chosen this place specifically, as it had amazing reviews, and was one of those great first date ideas that offered a perfect environment for conversation, but also silent regard. Of course I am referring to…
…an outdoor pancake stand. At first glance, it may not be the most ideal choice for a winter outing, but I’d put a lot of thought into this idea.
- I’ve always felt that standing outside in the (relative) cold forces one to live in the moment – check!
- With others going on about their days around us, it would afford us the opportunity to people-watch, and in turn, give me the chance to watch her watching people – check!
- Pancakes are fucking delicious – check!
She hadn’t arrived by the time I sidled up next to the pancake stand. Looking at my phone, I realized I was late, and that it was quite possible she had already come and gone. Calling up her picture on my phone, I approached the pancake guy.
“Excuse me, pancake guy,’ I said politely, “have you seen this girl?”
He looked at me quizzically – and for good reason, I’ll admit. The picture I showed him wasn’t the greatest I’d ever seen. While she was, in fact, in the photo, it’s an extreme wide shot of her standing on top of a mountain in the desert. I was actually hoping that he’d be able to see her (because I sure hadn’t) and point me in the right direction.
“Never mind,” I said with all the meek I could muster.
So, I contented myself to wait. She’d seen photos of me not standing in the distance on mountain tops in a desert, so I could safely assume she would recognize me when she arrived. I put on my best cool-guy pose (which involves me leaning casually up against something, my left leg crossed in front of my right) and pretended to study my phone.
Minutes later, she arrived. Quite obviously impressed with my cool-guy pose, she approached without hesitation, touched my arm gently, and asked, “Are you Ryan?”
I looked up at her touch, and our eyes met. My hazel orbs met her…
…sunflower yellow ones. I drank in the fine contours of her body, and smiled at the bright…
…pink and orange colours of her hair. This multi-hued beauty was all mine for the evening, and my heart melted with anticipation.
“Indeed,” I said, channeling the English scholar (sans accent) that lives inside of me, “shall we away?”
Then, arm in arm, we walked the few feet to the pancake stand and placed our order. I saw a small frown begin to touch her perfect lips, and asked, “What ever might be the problem, my lady?”
“They don’t have my favourite pancake toppings,” she said, shrugging. “But that’s okay, I’ll just get whatever you get.”
My heart breaking a little inside, I had to ask, “But what, fairest of maidens, are your favourite pancake toppings?”
“Frogs and strawberries!” she exclaimed with child-like glee.
Smiling knowingly, I brought out my gift from the urban herdsman, and thus began the most perfect (fake) date I would ever experience.
In honour of that date, I had the image below specially commissioned. I think it says it all.