first date questions.

4 min readOct 27, 2021
painting by holly warburton.

hey, how are you? did you have a hard time finding this place? i almost got lost on my way here. how are you doing? you look really amazing. i love your hair. it’s so good to see you. how is your family? how is work? i really hope it’s not been too stressful, balancing everything with school. should we place our orders now? do you like pasta? what drink would you like to order? mimosas or pina coladas? would you like some bbq sauce? are you feeling cold?

tell me about yourself. did anything cool happen at work today? something you’re grateful for, something that pissed you off? is there a place you miss, is there a nostalgia you avoid intentionally? do you love the rain, would you dance in it or shut your doors and windows during a storm? do you see people as windows or mirrors? who’s your favorite cartoon character, and who introduced it to you? do you like movies, or are you a series person? have you watched bojack horseman? it’s really bizarre, isn’t it? the talking animals, expressing emotions that are more human than they are. what’s your favourite color? do you have a favourite fruit, and why is it mangoes? what’s your star sign? do you believe astrology influences the way we live our lives?

when did you pick up the skill of dissociating, of numbing yourself and telling yourself to ‘get over it’ as though it’ll work that way? when did you learn to not expect too much from people, so you won’t be disappointed? who taught you the hard way not to put all of your cards on the table? do you remember what they looked like when they smiled, or laughed from the cave of their belly, or how their eyes hardened when they were upset with you? do you remember taking walks with them on nights when the world felt more alive than usual? the ridiculous happiness, the ease?

what does your room look like, what would you like it to look like? are you a lekki minimalist or do you prefer houses that look like they belong to igbo chiefs from nollywood movies, with all the gold furnishings? if you were to create a playlist to describe your life, what songs will be on it? would you ever dye your hair a bright colour, like turquoise or pink? do you listen to rema? do you like tattoos? why do you have times when you suddenly walk out of your body, like you’re here but not really? where do you go during those times? do you know you’re only a thought of the universe with a borrowed body? what words would you like to hear the most when you need someone to hold your hand?

do you know what your heartbeat sounds like, or how your eyes gleam under the lights? have you ever sat down to talk to yourself, to listen to what your spirit is saying? have you ever walked barefoot on granite, or climbed a mountain just to listen to the music in your lungs? do you like butterflies? have you ever been chased by a dog? would you try watching the sunrise from the beach, and remember that not everyone manages to make it this far? the person who leaves for his flight has to leave everyone else behind, and the one who hopes for life the most might have it taken away the quickest. it’s cruel, i know.

would you change anything if today was the last day of your life? who would you call and who would you catch that bus to see for the first or last time? how’s your relationship with your parents, how are you feeling today, how is your heart? are you enjoying your food? would you like to taste mine? here, have a bite. what would be important for potential friendships you’d make to know about you? what would you rather hide?

when did you last cry, with another person or by yourself? what’s too serious to be joked about? open up to me, leak your colors: i’ll catch them all in my palms. tell me as much about you and your life as you can in three hours: your proudest achievements, the times someone made you feel like a loser or when someone told you something that left a sour taste in your mouth though you couldn’t figure out why. tell me why you’re an insomniac and what the world looks like at 5am just before the dawn cracks like an egg; the chirping of the birds a symphony on flute. what would you like to know about the future if you were blessed with answers, and why haven’t you accomplished the goals you set out to achieve two years ago? what is your biggest fear? what’s your most treasured memory, and what do you value most in your relationships?

would you break my heart if i was brave enough to want this? would you allow me to hold you for a while, or would you melt like ice in a tumbler, forming pools of regret. to have someone to dote on is a blissful thing, but people prefer to be loved than to love. it’s not that i didn’t know it was easier this way, i just want everything. the entrails, the rinds, the nitty gritty details of a life as strange and beautiful as mine. i want to know you beyond the tweets and the streaks, the green circles and love emojis. so much to explore, to adore and to fall for.