Situation: a terrace on a warm, sultry summer evening. Participants: my love and I as spectators, he and she in the leading roles.
We are happy and content to find ourselves in this beautiful city on this lovely terrace after a long and fulfilling day of sightseeing.
Next to us, two tables further down, a sophisticated-looking young man settles in. Slender, early thirties. Soon after, she appears. Obviously she has done her best to look good. Smart jacket, hair “up” , a beautiful young woman. They order drinks and cherish the packet of cigarettes that lies on the table. They take turns in lighting one of them. It appears that the sin of burdening their longs fortifies the connection and holds a promise for another, later sin. A romantic encounter. Their conversation is animated. Although (typically) she listens far more than he does.
We – the spectators – rejoyce in what seems to be the ouverture of early happiness.
But then: his phone rings, he answers the call. Apparently he does not take any effort at all to cut the caller short. On the contrary, he asks several questions and listens intensely. Ten minutes pass.
We – the spectators – are surprised.
The telephone conversation continues. Our young man enlightens some technical procedure. She checks her phone and swipes unenthousiastically. After another ten minutes she gets annoyed. She looks bored, stares emptily into space and smokes without inspiration.
We – the spectators – are devastated.
The hint of romance is fading, sin seems to lose its charme. His lack in decency is incredible. Our harts bleed for passion evaporating. The inclination to go over, snatch his phone and throw it in the nearby pond is hard to surpress.We fear that with every minute that passes the tone of the relationship moves over to minor and chances for happiness diminish.
We think he is stupid. Very stupid.
We wonder – putting ourselves in his position – what drives him to go by the wrong priorities.
Is he under the impression that by way of appearing irreplacable, she will be impressed? Or by giving his expert vision on the matter? Or is the caller so powerfull that he has right of way, even when romance sprouts? Are social media almighty in any situation? What makes them accept a violation like this? Just when our devastation is at its peak, she rises, takes another sip and walks off.
We – the spectators – fight the urge to applaud.
He ends his call quickly and goes after her. He grabs her arm and apologises.loudly. She pulls away, walks on. He returns to the table, takes a sip. He is obviously in a very bad mood.
We – the spectators – think it is well deserved.