Christine wrote to me first. She was pretty and she asked me if I could meet her for our first date closer to where she lived, a little over an hour away. I asked her, in return, if she'd mind meeting someplace equidistant.
"It has to be here," she wrote, "It'll all make sense once you come."
She wouldn't tell me more than that, but she lived closer to a big city, so perhaps she was planning a surprise, something that could only be done around her area. I agreed to her terms and drove out to meet her.
We met at the edge of a small town, on a main street. I asked her what she had in mind to do. She said, "I know a place where heaven touches earth. A gateway to paradise and the great beyond. Want to see?"
Not what I was expecting, but I played along. I followed her in my car to the ruins of an old wooden farmhouse. She stepped out of her car and we went inside the empty building together. She pointed to the middle of the hay-strewn room and said, "There it was. It was a blue and white swirling vortex, and I heard my grandmother and great-grandfather. They told me to jump in and follow them, but I asked them how I'd make it back and they told me that I would never want to come back."
I didn't see any such vortex, or any evidence that one had ever existed there. I told her, "Well, maybe it's moved on. Did you want to get lunch or something?"
She walked all the way around the building, looking up and down. Once she seemed to be satisfied that there was no trace of a gateway to the great beyond, she returned to me and said, "Yeah. Let's just go do stupid lunch."
Lunch, back in town, was not enjoyable in the least. She was despondent and attached the word "stupid" to everything she said. "Yeah, I went to the stupid University of North Carolina." "I ate stupid crackers for dinner last night." "Movies are stupid."
No real chemistry there, so I returned home and never saw her again.