Tuesday, May 02, 2006

We Interrupt the Chicago Posts...

... to bring you this story.

If you don't live in New York City, you probably think, "wow, New York, big place." Afterall, there are over 8 million people who live here and a million more that trek into the city every day to work. However, I can assure you that New York is actually a teeny tiny place. I know it sounds strange and highly counter intuitive, but I now posit this theory that New York City is so small that you are guaranteed to see everyone twice. I'm not talking about people you actually intend to see, or can't help but see in an office or roommate situation here. I'm talking about the person whose sighing you couldn't help but notice in the doctor's office waiting room who then shows up in front of you in line in Au Bon Pain the next morning. I'm talking about the homeless guy from the F Train who walks by you in your neighborhood with his cup of coffee. And let's not even mention that bitch from the bar one month, who turns out to be the bitch whose party you've crashed next month. Things like this happen all the time.

Now, you may be the kind of person who draws comfort from this and sees a larger pattern at work in the universe. For example, one day I was on the 6 Train and I thought I saw a guy who studied in Vienna with me, a guy I liked alot and hadn't talked to in years. However just as I was getting up to call his name, the train pulled into 14th Street and this guy and his girlfriend got off the train. Did I feel bummed that I had missed making a connection with him? Nah. I'll see him around. So, it can be comforting, or you can live in mortal fear of the inevitable day when you will bump into that creepy Civil War re-enactor guy you went on that blind date with two years ago.

This morning I was on my way to work after an early morning Ladie Brunch Fitness Walk in the park, so I was both pumped on adrenaline and running late. I got off the subway and was walking the four short blocks to my office when I saw Mario. Although I thought I had seen him many times before, this time I just looked up and I knew it was him. The right build, the right clothes, the right shade of coloring. Mario is someone I went out with once or twice a long time ago- over a year ago. It didn't work out, but that's besides the point, the issue is that I behaved like a crazy person. Just a bit. I didn't really want to be seen by this person, but then in the next moment I thought, yeah, I'm okay, let him see that I am a quasi-normal professional person going to my job. I called his name. He didn't turn around but I knew it was him. I got a little closer and saw he had his iPod on. And then... I didn't want to see him. I was late, so I couldn't drop back, but I kind of sprinted ahead. There are a lot of people around in Midtown at 8:45. I can do this, I thought.

Did he hear me or not? Did he see me or not? Did he even recognize me? I was at the corner right before my office when I got stopped by the light and the traffic. I turned just over my shoulder to see if he was there and I made eye contact with him. "Hi," I said.

"Hi," he said.

"How are you?" I asked.

"I'm good," he said. "Are you going to work? Are you going to work at Deutsche Bank?"

"Um, well, no I never worked at Deutsche Bank, but yeah, I still work for that German bank. This is my office right here." I pointed.

"This building?" he pointed.

"Yes," I said. He laughed.

"That's where I'm going."

Now, usually I can get it together enough to be cool for five minutes but not today friends, not today. "That's where you're going?" I asked with nervous laughter. What the hell was going on? One reason why I was rushing to be on time was that I have a new employee starting today, a young German woman. What if the universe pulled a fast one and sent me this guy instead of my clueless German woman?

"Yup," he said, smiling.

"Where? Where are you going going?" I said, still with nervous laughter.

"I'm going to work for Apple. I'm training to be a Tech. This is just where they have their training." I wanted to run ahead, but I couldn't but I did kind of.

"Do you have a building ID card?" I asked, because my brain was not really functioning at all.

"Yes," he said reaching for it.

"Oh. Ha ha." I said. "Ha ha ha." Even though nothing was funny. I sprinted ahead swiped my card and only turned to look back as I was rounding the corner to the elevator bank. He was standing there looking at me. "I'm this way," he said, pointing in the other direction.

I think I said 'okay'. I might have said 'bye'. I certainly did not say anything as coherent as "have a nice day." Then I scurried onto the elevator. I've never behaved like this before. How long do we think Apple Technicians train for? Ballpark figure. I may need to leave the country.


Janet said...

It really is a small world darling. And you did say he was an Apple Technician right? Is he single?


a girl like me said...

He was probably flattered that you were flustered. :D

Ailsab said...

Care to share your crazy person behaviour? I only ask so I can see if it's any worse than my own boyfriend-related irrationality.

Lord of the Barnyard said...

i'm sorry it worked out so awkward, but you were correct in that people who you once dated need to be informed of your current level of success. because everyone needs smacked in the face with a little "what if..." time.

Cupcake said...

You know that I love sharing my crazy person behavior with you, my beloved Cupcake Mafia. However, although this sounds dumb, I really feel like a different person than I was a year and a half ago and I'd like to maintain my current disconnect with my younger, more neurotic dating self.

But here's a little taste for you:
Picture Cupcake storming out of this guy's apartment on New Year's Eve yelling, "Fuck you, I'm taking my Brownie Mix and I'm going home!"

Policate said...

Trust me, it can't be any worse than some of the stuff I have done! The stories I could tell! We all have done things in the heat of the moment that seem perfectly rational (the time in college where I stole all the fuses from my ex's dorm room comes to mind) that we look back on in horror now. There are several men out there that I DREAD crossing paths with for this very reason. Don't worry about it.