-I want to see you.
-I want to see you too.
-When should we meet?
-Where should we meet?
-By that lamp post.
-Ok, but where are we going after?
-We’re staying there.
-Ok, but what do we…do?
-We…see each other.
-Yes, but what is the social binder?
-You know. You can’t just meet someone. You need an excuse. Like coffee. Cigarettes. Food!
-But I just want to consume you. Your thoughts. Our conversation.
-Me too. But what if we have a moment of quiet? We need to fill the silence with “This is a nice place! The waitress is lovely. The food was so good!”
-We don’t have a social binder now though. How does this work?
-I’m vegan now.
-Does anyone know?
-No. You’re the first person I told. I’m still in the cupboard.
-I…am a bit uncomfortable talking about this.
-You make no sense! Talk to me.
-Well, when I say “I’m vegan”, people feel emotional in some way. They feel compelled to have an opinion about what food I don’t put in my body. I just want to go on about my day without people caring about what’s on my plate. Some people don’t like carrots. They say that and no one asks them why, if they’re serious or if they can make an exception this one time. Why can’t I, in the same way, not like meat and cheese and people who don’t like carrots?
-It would be like your friend saying “I don’t like carrots anymore”.
-Of course. But we have been led to think that our friends are in one way and not the other. That they have one fixed personality for the rest of their lives. Which is not true, but…
-Alright, you’re going on tangents. Let me remind you that we’re only talking about food. And what I put on my plate.
-I know, I know. Well, food is a great social binder and whenever you make a change, your friends, inevitably, will first think about how this affects them. Remember when I quit smoking and you thought I wouldn’t last 5 days?
-Yea. I’m sorry.
-No need, I knew you were just a bit sad we won’t enjoy those puffs together. But see, I’m still there whenever you light one up. Right now, for example, all I can think of is the extra work and the frustration I will have to go through when I make you a birthday cake.
-Thank you. Sometimes I do things…for me, you know? Just because they make me feel better. And when I feel better I’m a better functioning member of society. My happiness is contagious.
-So are you ready to come out of the cupboard?
-No. But I like you more now.
-I’ve always liked you too much.
– This is a very nice lamp post.
– It is.
– Do you want to try it?
– I don’t eat steel anymore.
– That’s cool.