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Here is a short sample from the book:
“I don’t recycle.”
“You don’t recycle?” Janice leans back in her chair and sets her hands in her lap, looking across the small table separating her from the most recent visitor in tonight’s dating adventure. A smile cracks through her polished demeanor—at least this one offers something different.
“Correct, I don’t recycle.” The man smiles back, settling back into the armless black chair reserved for men participating in the speed-dating portion of the evening. His dark hair hangs haphazardly over his ears—too long to be contained, but not long enough to make a statement—much like the scruff of beard along his strong jaw.
“You have two minutes to talk to me and that’s your opener?”
“Yes, I think it is best in these situations to just put it right out there.”
“That you don’t recycle.”
“Yes.” He smiles a little wider and his green eyes sparkle.
He certainly entertains, which is more than any of the other would-be suitors had managed so far. Janice glances down to his shirt: tailored, top button undone, the taut line of a caramel collarbone.
“Is this the line you gave to everyone else you’ve spoken to tonight?” She raises her eyebrows, not taking the bait, but enjoying the banter enough to find out where it might lead.
“Did you tell everyone else you sat down with that you don’t recycle?”
“None of them seem as interesting as you.”
She reaches forward and takes a sip of wine. “I’m interesting?”
“Yes, you are.”
“And because I’m interesting, you decided to tell me you don’t recycle, instead of following the law and recycling to, you know, save the Earth?” She fingers the glass of wine and gazes at him, taking in the possibilities he presents. What is he telling her with this strange confession?
“What did you tell them?” She nods her head to the row of tables on her left, all hosting various versions of the same conversation.
“The other women you’ve spoken to tonight.” She takes another sip, savors the cool, dry taste of the Riesling, and sets her glass back on the table.
“Oh, them.” He shrugs with dismissive ease. “My name, where I grew up—you know, the things you’re supposed to talk about in situations like this.”
“But with me you’d rather talk about your contribution to landfills and wasting the resources needed to create new products when you could, like the rest of us, recycle.”
“Okay, I’ll bite. Why don’t you recycle?”
“I do have reasons for that, and I’ll tell you, but like you said, I only have two minutes, and I’d rather talk about why I decided to tell you and not, let’s say, Maureen D. in the red glasses over by the window.”
Janice follows his eyes to a typical speed dater sitting two tables down. Her suit doesn’t quite fit and her hair, probably well-coiffed at the beginning of the day, is pulled back into a tight pony tail. She has the look of a paralegal or receptionist.
“Yes, all right, tell me why you’re telling me this and no one else. Because I’m interesting, you said?”
“Yes, very interesting.”
“And from what do you infer that, since you made your proclamation against the Earth before I even said hello.”
“Because of your shoes.” The man settles back in his seat and becomes more alive, taking up more space.
She leans forward, pulled into his spell. “My shoes?”
“Yes, your shoes.” He offers a subtle nod, which jostles his hair. It’s not quite black, almost reddish, but dark and thick.