The checks finally come. You both sign, and fumble, and stand, and fumble, and put your jackets on. You exit the restaurant in silence. When you're outside, you say, "It's getting so.... cold," putting a weird accent on "cold" in an attempt to mask the blandness of the remark. "I know," he says, "... so, which subway...?" "Oh, I think I'm going to take the Q... Union Square...." You sway your head back and forth slightly. Very chill! "Great, I'm... walking in that direction, too," he says, in the vague manner one only uses in circumstances like these. A long pause, and then you both start talking at the same time. You smile (he doesn't) and you ask -- shouting, basically -- "So what're you doing for New Year's?"
Thee blocks later, you're at Union Square. "This was... great," he
says. "Yeah, it was great!" A brief hug. If someone across the street
were to catch only a few seconds, it could be mistaken for two strangers
brushing past one another in front of a Walgreens. The escalator down
to the subway's working properly, but you still descend two at a time.