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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

from Invisible to Island

Day 947, Session 153:
When/Where:
Thursday January 29th - At home.
First song: Invisible by Modest Mouse
Last full song: Island by Ben Taylor
Progress: 2713-2728 of 6761
Total Songs Heard: 1995

Freshman year of college I made the 9 hour drive from Dayton to Philly to spend the first major break with my high school friends (oh, and I suppose to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Dad's side.) The night before Thanksgiving I went out to dinner with my friend Liv and his family (who had really been my second family when I lived away from my own senior year) and a bunch of their family friends. We went into the city and had dinner in Chinatown. It was a big group, probably 15 people or so, and when I looked around I noticed one small difference between me and everyone else at
the table: I was the only person not speaking Chinese.

That wasn't the only thing I noticed when I looked around. Two tables over there was a girl. Well ok, there was a girl and her family, but I didn't really see the family. She looked to be college aged and she was very very attractive. Since I was having trouble following the conversation at the table, I found my eyes wandering over to the girl about every 6.5 seconds. (That may be an exaggeration. It was more like every 2.1 seconds.)

Sometime right after I finished my soup, something strange happened. I looked over, and the girl was looking at me. Knowing I had been caught, I immediately became very interested in the silverware pattern the restaurant was using. (Would it surprise you to learn that I was the only one at the table who needed silverware? I didn't think it would.)

Of course, my sense of shame doesn't run all that deep, so a minute or two later I ventured another glimpse at this (now elevated in my mind to "heavenly") girl and lo and behold she was looking at me AGAIN! This time she looked away. I immediately elbowed my friend Liv and asked him if he had seen what just happened. Of course I managed to ask him right as everyone else at the table had gone quiet. Seems someone at the table was in the middle of a prayer. Guh.

After I was sure praying was over, I again asked Liv to take a look over at the girl to
a) confirm that she was hot and 2) see if she was looking over. His answers, "YES!" and "yes?!?" Well, now I was just confused. I looked over again and we had our first extended eye contact. We shared hellos from across the room. She indicated that she noticed the "one of these kids is not like the other" eating situation. I gave it a smile and a shrug.

Dinner arrived so I turned my attention to eating. We stole occasional glances for the next 15 minutes
while I planned my next move. Seriously? I had no next move. What was I going to do, get up in the middle of dinner and walk over to her and tell her that even though I was only going to be in town for three days and even though the next day was Thanksgiving I wanted to spend as much of the next 72 hours as humanly possible with her because even though we hadn't spoken a word I had fallen utterly in love from the other side of the restaurant?

But then, why not? I was 18. Anything seemed possible.

I had just about worked up the nerve to excuse myself to "look for the restroom." I looked over to try to get her attention to "arrange the meet" and she was gone!

Well, she wasn't quite gone yet. Her family was walking toward the door. She was looking at me and our eyes locked. She stopped at the door for 3 seconds that stretched on for days, smiled sadly, waved, and slipped through the door and out of my life forever.

An Irishman In Chinatown - Luka Bloom

1 comment:

Colleen said...

BEN TAYLOR is my favorite. Ever. And if you like him, his friend David Saw is equally amazing. I'm totally obsessed with the both of them, and literally, the greatest memory of my life is when Ben hit on me after a concert last year. Fred is so lucky I love him ...