Three Conversations

I’ve been doing a bit of bragging lately, people, and I’m here humbly to confess. Specifically, I’ve been bragging about how in Seattle, I feel much more “left alone” than I did in the Twin Cities. I can get on a bus here and no one will speak to me for the whole ride. No “nice dog.” No “what’s that?” (in reference to my BrailleNote). No talk about the weather, how great or terrible it is, no one asks where I’m going, (because this isn’t creepy at all; folks, please don’t do this). No, I boasted, people let me be here. They’ll lend a perfectly friendly hand if asked, but otherwise, we do our things. This is something that I actually enjoy about Boston and D.C. as well, and would you believe I just found a similar attitude among all three of these cities? Who knew?

Of course, just as I was getting all warm and fuzzy about this, I left my house on Thursday to run a few errands and stop by Chocolati. It is really dangerous that I live within a mile of a chocolate cafe. Are there two other words that belong so deliciously together? “chocolate cafe”, sigh. I read online that they also have a happy hour: a glass of wine and 2 truffles for 7 dollars, so if you visit me within the next forever I will be insisting on this.

But, but, I digress. I get on the bus for the 5 minutes it takes to get me where I need to be, and just as I’m about to get off at my stop, I have my first interaction. “I have to tell you,” this guy says, leaning over, not quite in my bubble but close, and I’m bracing myself for all the numerous things he could possibly “have” to tell me. “You have a very nicely shaped nose,” he says, and shockingly, this is not one of the things I had expected. “Wow,” I said, because you should know I am the epitome of social grace, “huh. Well, thank you.” “You should really be thanking your parents,” he calls after me as I slink off the bus. So, because I do as I’m told, thanks Mom and Dad. I guess?

Interaction Two comes after I’ve finished my chores and am heading for chocolate. I cross the street beside someone else and on the other side, promptly get stuck in a bank parking lot, as one does when one is being incredibly eager. Damn, I think, this is embarrassing, and she’s probably wondering what the heck I’m doing. She comes back to pull me out of the parking lot, which is very nice, and she wants to know where I’m going. I normally don’t like to tell people where I’m going, but she gives me good vibes so I tell her, and she says, “I’m going there too!” So we walk together and it turns out she’s from Denver, and has just moved to Seattle and is trying to figure things out. She gives me her number eventually and it’s a Twin Cities number. Then she buys me a truffle and says she has to go because she and her boyfriend are going to Portland for the weekend. I text her later with my number, but haven’t heard back yet. Now I’m very intrigued to see if I ever do. It’s my own sociology project.

I have my truffle and a rich cup of chocolate and espresso, and someone approaches my table and asks me about Kiva. Then he asks what I’m going to school for, which is very bizarre because I’m not sure how he figured out I’m a student. I wish I felt as scholarly as I apparently look. I stumble-mumble through my “writing, I know, it’s not very practical but it makes my soul happy so I’m doing it” shtick, and he says he teaches math at UW and asks me if I like Flannery O’Connor. I say I’ve liked what I’ve read but that my knowledge of her work is pretty limited. He says even though he’s a math professor he really likes writers. This conversation is definitely feeling awkward by this point, and so I sneak in that my partner is a math person too, and we get along well despite the extremes of our academic leanings. (I don’t actually think that everyone who tries to have an extensive conversation with me is trying to hit on me. Far from it. But it’s nice to have these tidbits to work into a floundering dialogue that is pretty much over by my standards, just in case.) As it turned out, this comment shuts down the math professor and he goes back to grading exams. I attempt to look super duper busy.

No more bragging for me. The moral of THURSDAY is: people are people everywhere, on every day and in every city. And I hope my truffle fairy texts me back.

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