I’m trying to explain to Richard why fonts matter. I’m not sure what to call Richard. Is he a blind date? Is that term even in use any longer? I don’t want to call him my internet date. The sound of that phrase is large and echoing, proof that I should just leap off the Coronado Bay Bridge and get it over with. Blind date, though, sounds as though he should have walked into Lestat’s for our coffee date tapping his cane, eyes covered by dark glasses. He didn’t. By his reaction when he saw me, I almost wish he had.
Let’s just call him Richard, then, and hope this is over soon.
“Times New Roman just has something soothing to it,” I say, sipping my soy chai. When did I start ordering shit like this? When I went to UCSD it was black house coffee all the way, simple, nothing to adulterate it. “I don’t know. It’s that serif thing. It’s kind of like a hug.”
Richard nods, the motion reluctant and minimal. I want to shout at him: Try, motherfucker! Can’t you at least try? His obvious distaste for me is quickly poisoning my favorite coffee shop. I fear I won’t be able to walk in here without being reminded of him and his tiny little head-bob, the most effort I’ve seen him make since he walked in here twenty minutes ago.
It’s not like he’s a prize either, I think with resentment. At least I’m acting humane. He’s definitely a Calibri. It’s the default font on my computer, the one I change every time I open a new Word document. There’s nothing to recommend it. It’s grudging and ugly, and it makes me feel bad just to look at it. I can probably change the settings on my computer so I never have to see it again, but that feels like too much work. Kind of like ending this date.
All around us are students tapping on their computers. They’re alone, but they’ve chosen their typeface. It didn’t just patter up to them, already looking disgusted before saying a single word. If only it were me and pixels at this moment, I think, drinking down the hot beverage far too quickly. If only I were by myself in a way that didn’t feel like abandonment. If only I didn’t need people like Richard, injections of hope, promises of beginnings. If only print impressions were enough.
Allison Landa lives in Berkeley, so she’s presently listening to someone scream at themselves. This is not unusual. The café where she’s sitting is pretty darn crowded. This is also not unusual. She can’t get to 100 words. This is why she writes flash fiction. She also has had stuff featured in a bunch of publications. Yours included, she hopes.