Speed Dating

Author : Joseph Lyons

“Hi, I’m Evan.” I introduce myself to the first lady to sit opposite me.

“Clarissa.” We shake, left handed so she can purposefully check my bio-clock. She’s nice enough to make polite small talk for the duration. Shame she has no interest I think as she walks away, she was cute.

A stern middle aged woman next.

“Evan.” I offer.

“Trixie.” The name and the outfit don’t match. “Don’t.” She says, obviously used to some reaction. I quickly realize small talk isn’t an option and struggle toward a meaningful question. She beats me to it.

“Why can’t you find love?” Holy shit, intimidating much?

“I haven’t met the right woman.”

She smells a lie. “How much time you got?”

“All night if need be.”

“You look toned, you exercise?” I nod. “Why?” She’s slim, same as everyone else. That’s what a healthy diet but no exercise will do for you. “You have some disease that means you must?”

“No. I enjoy how it makes me look.”

“That’s ridiculous. You can’t add heartbeats you know, only subtract.”

She grabs my arm to check the wrist display.

“55 years, are you joking? I have 83 and I’m planning for the long term. You’re not helping yourself, waster.”

“You’re right, no more wasting. Take your frail, smoothie chugging lack of an ass elsewhere.”

That’s roughly how it goes. The nearest potential partner has at least 15 years on me and that’s what it boils down to.

I check my display between humiliations, less than a billion heartbeats left.

“Hi, I’m Evan.”

“Rough night Evan?”

“So far.”

“Could get rougher if you like.” Playful or threatening, I can’t decide.

“And you are?”

“Tired of meeting losers.”

“Who has time for it?”

“I certainly don’t. I only started with 65 years.”

“Started with?”

“I’m down to 62.”

“How the hell did you do that?” Having said that, I knocked mine down by about a month just by exercising.

“Chocolate, red meat, exercise, overly athletic sex, sky diving. And you?”

“55 years actually.” And I thought I was daring.

“Huh, so I guess you have to live fast too.”

“I try to keep a balance mostly. Gotta try and make 55 after all. Doctors said a heart attack or stroke is likely from 48 onwards.

“Gives you 20 or so years to really go at it.”


“You’re cute. And I do like the athletic look you’re rocking. Better than those salad munching skinny dudes anyway.”


“Let me be forward. I want to live a great life. Existing has never been enough. Theres nothing quite like that feeling of sending your heart rate into the red zone. So, how about this, you knock 30 seconds off my life and we’ll leave right now. You can spend the next 20 years trying to get my life expectancy down near yours.”

I don’t hesitate. Beautiful, smart, strong, and loving life. I underhook an arm and spin her face up onto the table to kiss her. I learned that from an old Spiderman movie. My heart explodes, I see stars and the butterflies attack in droves. And the kiss goes on. She’s blushing, shocked. Guess its time to see if she backs it up.

Our eyes lock before she sits up and adjusts her hair. She stands then throws herself at me and we kiss again.

“Lets get out of here.” She whispers into my ear. I don’t dare check how many beats I have left as I grab her hand and make for the door.


  1. Stephen R. Smith

    What do people save themselves for? Love the idea of this, love the execution.

  2. Jae

    Living a careful life is like drinking decaffeinated coffee. You get some of the flavour, but you miss the depth and the rush (and the arrhythmia).

    Fine piece.

    • jlyons88

      thanks, glad you liked it

  3. SimonJM

    What was it the Kurgan said in Highlander about fading away? 🙂
    Yeah, eat salads, no exercise, no risk, no vices – I may not live to be 100 but it’d sure as hell feel like it! Nice poke at the superficiality of ‘humanity’.

    • jlyons88

      glad we agree its better to burn out. can’t tell you how happy I am to have inspired a highlander reference

  4. D.J. Rozell

    Like the protagonist’s life, this story is short and sweet. Nice work!

    • jlyons88

      very nice of you, thanks

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