A Tale of Two Strangers

Yesterday, I was in Chinatown checking out a friend’s mind-pwning art show. I knew that craving dimsum in that moment was a holy and natural feeling that God intended, and somehow my feet remembered every sketchy alleyway turn to my fave place in the city.


So it’s just gonna be me, my Kindle and some beef shu mai, I thought.
I commended myself on fully shedding that pseudo-empowered filmy texture I first felt on Dates With My Damn Self. Now it just sounded, truly,  nice.

I held up a pointer finger to the lady at the counter, she craned her neck towards all the empty 2-seaters across the restaurant — then, as if she was being generous, opened her palm towards a tiny table crammed into a corner window.

Right next to the one other guy having a dim sum date with his Kindle.


So this is the #ForeverAlone corner, I thought.
Not totally mad at it. I settled into the chair facing the window, ready to spend 40-65 minutes dipping my dumplings in deep and meaningful thoughts/gazes.

“Excuse me.”

I crane my neck to the right, mouth full of rice patty. ForeverAlone Kindle Man #2 was a dead ringer for Aziz Ansari, I mused.

“Your skirt is awesome.”

I looked down at my brunch-inspired attempt to do the whole spring-dress, winter-sweater thing.
“Fanks!” I spewed, nearly showering him with soy sauce and saliva.

Faux-ziz Ansari broke the barrier, and I kept chewing through my tofu and newly-minted New York skepticism, trying to figure out if I was mad at it.


So not not mad at it, I thought.
CUT TO: 45 minutes later — he had even paid his check and I made him move to the seat in front of me. We had sprinted straight past Intro to Small Talk and were sloshing like kids barefoot in mud through family, college, screenwriting, being “Americans” in our “homelands,” both of our 3-year, long-distance relationships.

And then I realized I didn’t know his name.

We pronounced and spelled and batted that moment away like a lap marker at a Nascar race — important, or whatever, but anyway, ever onwards. This was a marathon conversation. We exchanged advice. We nodded at each other the way you nod when your biff tells you, “You know how I feel about cheese whiz.”


So I’ll have to let them know I’ll be late tonight, I thought.
Ducking into a secret agave bar next door, pulling back a curtain and finding, well — if Posh Spice had a baby with the Mexico part of Epcot, this was their rebel runaway teen. Blinking hard at the pictures on each others’ smartphone screens. And stopping only once to laugh that, in retrospect, what were we thinking, this could have been really weird — but we’re really, really glad it wasn’t.

CUT TO: High-fiving outside of the Brooklyn Bridge 5/6, amicably parting to fulfill our separate Saturday night duties but f0revermore pledging our allegiance to weird NY locales and Foursquare friendships. A wave. A puff of fog as I whispered, “Cool,” to myself as I jogged down the steps.


So this is what it’s like to make a human-ass connection, I thought.


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