It was an apple crisp night with stiletto rain falling – the kind of evening possessed with an inherent romance like a train ride to NYC, or farmer’s market Sundays. I had watched the sky grow darker and the rain colder from the comfort of a heated and covered patio. The surrealism of watching the elements but not being among them was augmented by the strange introspection I’d been feeling all day. After finishing my newspapers, a couple of bourbons, and most of one of my favorite cigars, I decided I needed to change the scenery.
Within thirty yards, there was the Metro, a bus, and a cab each of which would have conveniently ferried me to my next destination; but I was in a mood to walk.
I am one of those people that some of you hate (for a host of reasons I am sure, but I reference just one) who carries a rather large umbrella. Four blocks into my walk I hadn’t poked any eyes or other body parts. Waiting at a stop light a woman comes to the right of my extended cover. My mind flashed back to one of LiLu’s moments. I raised my umbrella and tried to find my most non-threatening voice before saying “Happy to share.”
“Thank you, I’m tired of getting wet” she replied as she moved closer to me before continuing “Uhmm, that didn’t come out right.”
“I think were fine; I know what you intended” I countered as we both laughed a polite laugh.
Not wishing to be rude, I ditched the nub of a cigar still smoldering in my left hand. We walked for a couple of blocks making the kind of awkward small talk that strangers thrown together by circumstance are prone to make. At another stop light she faces me and says “I think I know you.”
“I beg your pardon.”
“Yeah, I think we’ve met before – you look really familiar.”
“I have to confess that I can be pretty bad with names and faces sometimes, so it’s quite possible – I’m Refugee; nice to meet you.”
“Now I know we’ve met because I had a feeling that was your name… oh, sorry, I’m Jade” she said with more animation than was required.
Given my history in these kinds of moments – I once introduced myself to a bartender I fired – I avoided the “how do we know each other” type of conversation while running though my mental rolodex trying to place our meeting. We continued having conversation lite for another few blocks until landing in the general area of our destinations.
“Can I buy you a drink to thank you for keeping me dry?” Jade asked while pointing toward the entrance of a nearby watering hole.
Before I had a chance to answer the questions I should have resolved in my head before giving a reply, I heard myself say “It would be my pleasure”.
We had made our way to the back of the bar, got settled and ordered drinks before Jade excused herself to “freshen up.”
There was a beer waiting for her when she returned. I raised my glass to toast, but Jade interrupted with “I need to tell you how I know you.”
“OK, but shall we toast first so we can have a drink while you talk?”
“Cheers, then” Jade said. “Let me be honest and tell you that I figured it out before I suggested that we have a drink.”
For some reason, I felt a sudden tension in my back like I was about to hear the worst of the scenarios I had conjured in my head. “Go on” was all I could muster.
“That last couple of blocks I realized that I only kinda know you, and by kinda, I mean not really. My friend who writes a blog knows you and she knows that I read your blog so she showed me your picture one day… I hope that’s not too weird.”
It was just a bit weird, but I kept my half-formulated thoughts to myself for the moment. “It’s a touch off putting, but let’s not worry about it” I mostly truthfully declared.
Over the next hour and change, Jade and I had a rather pleasant conversation that only partly felt like an interview. What follows are the more interesting interview questions and the ones that I think a few more people might want to know:
Why do you blog anonymously? When I started the blog the impetus might have been otherwise but I always suspected that I would write about restaurants. There is an unwritten rule that restaurant professionals don’t criticize other restaurants publicly. Given that I might get back into the business one day, and the nature of my current business I have to blog anonymously, though as evidenced by your friend with the picture, I haven’t always been so good at maintaining my anonymity.
That last post of yours was, uhmm, well you know what it was. If you’ve got that kind of chemistry with her why aren’t you with her? That post was pure fiction – pretty sure I labeled it that way – and was just something I wrote to exercise some prose. I’ve done it before… and, no, I won’t say if it was inspired by anyone or anything in particular.
Have you ever dated people you’ve met through your blog? A couple, and not sure if either was a good idea in retro(or current)spect. Though, I’m not sure that I wouldn’t do it again. In a way, I think that meeting people whose thoughts you’ve read for a while is better than most of the random ways people meet.
Do you go out as often as it seems from reading your blog? Not sure how best to answer that question… sometimes yes, others no. Part of what I do for a living requires me to be very social, and I certainly enjoy it. At the same time, I enjoy staying home sometimes. Fuck that sounded like I’m answering a question for a dating profile.
Are you ever going to finish that story about the night with the limo and the ball? I want to, I’ve tried to, I just hate the way the words are arranged on the page. For some reason I just can’t seem to write about it in a way that makes me happy. I know the point of it, the arc of it; I just can’t seem to tell it.
Are you going to write about meeting me tonight? Whaddayou think?