(Well, by a geek to a geek at least.)
It was last year, and I was in a frustrated and miserable state as my car, which I’d just the day before dropped a bunch of money into to replace the radiator while on a trip, had not even 11 miles later fizzled into eternal death. By that time, however, I had crossed the San Francisco bay (from Marin to Oakland) and there was not a soul I knew in the vicinity.
So I waited for a tow truck (that was going to suck even more money out of me) to make its way up from home in the south bay to where my car had breathed it’s last. I was stuck in a sort of in-between place, so had to walk some distance to find a spot in which to finally eat. It was a restaurant next to a boat dock.
I go in, and head upstairs to the less… romantic area. I ascend the stairs into a raucous, merry world filled with local fishermen and posh yacht owners swilling together. There were peanut shells on the floor, and dice rolling around on the bar.
I reached the top and INSTANTLY became the center of attention. Oh, and you can believe me, I (also instantly) decided I was going to have some serious fun with this!
I was invited to sit many places, but chose the table at the head of the stairs, just next to the bar, that was filled with a motley group. Sort of a large “welcoming table” as you got to watch the ebb and flow of customers… and discuss said customers at length in front of them if you wished (apparently this was the local custom).
Now, in that mix, some of the guys were complete idiots (to be expected) attempting to pick me up by insulting me and calling me a liar. As a side note, the irony was it was the one thing I wasn’t… “misleading” about! You see, I’d also decided to just be evasive about everything, so that when they questioned me about what I did for a living, they decided it was whatever they suggested because I didn’t stop them from thinking that. So I had a myriad of occupations (and a plethora of names), depending on who you talked to!
There were other guys that offered, and did, buy my drinks and my meal. There were some that were so drunk they could only say sexual things to me as their friends laughed nervously, while I, smartalec that I am, had scathingly awesome comebacks that the drunk guy couldn’t follow, but which his buddies so admired that they rather were in awe of me. There were others that were overly polite trying to make up for the rest of them. In all, I was on top of my game, witty as all get-out, and having the time of my life!
But then there was the guy next to me. Sigh. It’s true, my geek-love set in. He had the hot geek-style glasses, was thin and tall as I often lust after, and was, I discovered, quite smart. He thought I was a quantum physicist.
He took his time at starting to talk to me, and when he did it was to “save me” from the idiot who wouldn't stop insulting me in a twisted attempt to win me over. So the geek turned my stool toward his and started chatting. It was natural for both of us and we matched wits well. He wasn’t trying to pick up on me in the least, but just trying to keep that rude guy from annoying me. We continued to interact sporadically with the entire table, but focused more on each other. Then as his confidence grew with my attention, he started telling me this great story.
Did I know, he wondered, that we are all made of stardust? He talked about eons ago how different stars exploded and their molecules were blown across the galaxies. He told me how we are now made up of these molecules. He also talked about how molecules have memory and how if they’ve ever been linked, they remember and are drawn to those once connected molecules. In his thoughtful, rapturous monologue, he continued his thought process with, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if some of your molecules were from the same star as some of my molecules and that’s why we were drawn together? We are from from the same star...”
Completely involved in his story, he was intending on continuing, but I sucked in my breath, my eyes wide, I said, “BEST PICK-UP LINE EVER!” He was completely thrown and couldn’t remember what he was going to say… instead, red as a beet, he finally grinned.
Yes, it turned out he was married. But this event made flirting the rest of the evening, in the midst of and while participating in the chaotic revelry of that place and the phrenetic enthusiasm of our table, until the tow showed up a blast – no worries about it being taken seriously either way. We could be saucy and sassy and know that this was it. This moment. It was, in the end, a perfect moment. All thanks to my car deciding THAT was the spot she wanted to “shuffle off this mortal coil.”