"I'm having a salad."
"Tree hugger." He did that half-snorting / half-blowing-out-his-mouth-so-it-made-a-huffing-noise thing for which she was already beginning to despise him. She had an image of a chandelier coming detached from the ceiling and landing on his pointy little head and perhaps splattering his own salad all over his shirt, miraculously leaving her own clothing unblemished. She then congratulated herself on her imagination, seeing as there weren't any chandeliers in the restaurant in which they were eating, and then congratulated herself again for picking a restaurant that wasn't so pretentious as to have chandeliers (or tacky enough to have incredibly gaudy chandeliers that, despite the maitre'd's protests, didn't quite fit into the realm of the ironic). Barring the person sitting across the table from her, pouring more french dressing on his salad, she figured she was doing quite all right for the evening.
In fact, she might even get a painting out of the evening. Not that he would be the source of a free painting, no, she'd already written him off largely as a typical lawyer, and no where in the course of the conversation had it come up that he owned any paintings. Nor did he look like the type to go about handing them out at random to women he'd just met not too long ago whilst waiting in the queue for the women's toilet (long story) and with whom he was now having dinner and whom he had accused, upon delivery of her salad to the table, of being a tree hugger. And not that she marked a successful date by the criteria of whether or not she returned home with a painting. She probably had an altogether different ranking system for a good date, but couldn't quite remember how it went, at the moment.
No, more likely than not she'd get a painting out of the evening by painting it herself. As you'd expect, if she were a painter.
Which she wasn't, but close. She was generally a photographer. But, at the weekends, she occasionally pulled out a set of oils and an easel and paper and a brush and went at it. So she was a painter, but never, unless copious amounts of alcohol were involved, considered herself as such explicitly. And, seeing as she had begun thinking that copious amounts of alcohol were probably in order to make it through to the bill, she felt all right about staking out painting subject material. Unfortunately, as of late she seemed to have a good deal of paintings involving chandeliers, pianos, potted plants, frogs, drop bears, and a range of other commercial and non-commercial products raining down out of the heavens on mostly unsuspecting, though thoroughly deserving, victims. It was almost as if she were intent on starting some whole new genre, one that would have been popular around the time of Moses and that lot, with the plagues raining things fairly regularly down on everyone, but would possibly be much more of an acquired taste in this day and age of most things remaining either on the ground or in the air, save water, though that was to be expected, as it was London, after all.
She just sort of sighed. This was largely in response to his sigh, which apparently was directed at the olive on his plate, the one differentiating factor, it seemed, between being a tree hugger and not a tree hugger (in the worldview that tree hugging was, indeed, a bad thing, as well).
He gave a brief start which left a small puddle around the base of his water glass (still, not sparkling, as the suggestion of sparkling by herself had provoked almost fully unbridled horror, the cause of which she hadn't quite sussed, though she didn't see herself spending too many sleepless nights over it.
"So how's law?" She flinched as he flinched again. "Erm. And stuff."
"Hmm?" If he wore glasses he would have thought he looked like an owl, she was almost positive. Without them he merely looked like an inquisitive spoon.
"You're a lawyer, aren't you?"
Which possibly could have been a route to saving the evening and making her realise that he wasn't, in fact, a lawyer, but a bank manager (primarily finding this out by his answer to her question), but all of this was tragically ended by a ceiling tile directly above his head coming loose and knocking the man out. Which provided her the opportunity to leave amidst the rubble.
Writing is a glorious art.
Where else can you get a chance to peek over the bounds of your everyday life and say, "Why don't I give a go with something over here, for a change?"
It is also fantastic for the numerous ways to go about avoiding a deadline.