Point of the story is that I had to move chairs towards the outlet and away from the intelligent, successful, handsome future father of my children. As cartoon villains would say "Drats! Foiled again!" I finished what writing I could get done in peace while some yahoo on his cell phone spoke in an annoying loud volume seeing as we were in a bookstore. I was just about to rip this obnoxious guy a new one when I looked over and saw that he only had one arm. I will now shut my mouth and be grateful to God that I was given four working limbs and a soft voice.
Upon finishing my blog entry and feeling like a stalker catching myself staring at handsome man across the cafe, I unplugged my laptop and went back to the table I was first sitting at, the one that forced him to notice me. (Hey, I told you I was a stalker!!!) It was, unfortunately, directly next to the loud one-armed man, but he'd finally ended his call so I grabbed a few magazines and began doing research on future writing assignments. I mean, who doesn't want to end up in Glamour, right? So of course, I look up every few minutes and make googly eyes at cute boy and several times he smiles back. At the exact moment I am about to strike up a deep and meaningful conversation, the one-armed man begins chatting me up! Seriously? This is who the universe wants me to talk to today? I must've pissed someone off somewhere because karma has come around to kick my ass.
So what does this loud mouth want to talk to me about? Highlights from our conversation include:
1) Stories that begin with the sentence "I was on my way to prison when..." Apparently he was a prison guard and worked there. A one-armed Cuban prison guard? I need a minute to process this information.
2) The government and how he doesn't own an EZ-Pass or a credit card or so much as a library card because he doesn't want Big Brother watching his every move.
3) That he's been to Barnes & Noble in 45 states but this one and the one in Pennsylvania are his favorites. Where was that town in Pennsylvania? Hmmm...hold on...he'll think of it...just give me a minute... (5 full minutes later) He jumps out of his chair and says ALLENTOWN!!! Wow, dude, calm down. I was feigning interest. It's really not that important.
4) Al Gore's electricity bill. No, I'm not kidding.
5) His hatred for New York based on our lack of Wa-Wa's. For those of you in New Jersey (or Allentown, PA) this is a clear statement. For those of you New Yorkers, please think of 7-11. Don't think I'd include it on my Top Ten list of reasons not to move, but hey, to each their own.
6) That he's in town to pay a ticket he didn't know he'd gotten from a traffic camera while on his way to take the police force entrance exam. Revisit Big Brother is watching conversation.
I would like to point out that this entire diatribe was fairly one-sided. I didn't want cute guy to see me being rude but I couldn't bring myself to fully engage him so I was trying very hard to look like I was concentrating on Marie Claire's guide to style. That the articles I was reading on Hot Celeb's Newest Trends would somehow change my life thereby needing my undivided attention. I barely graced him with a few nods of my head, a couple of "mm-hmmm's" and a solitary "ahhh." He did not take a hint. Fortunately, he did take a bathroom break. Could he simply go in peace though? No. That would be too easy. He stood up and said, "I'm really enjoying talking to you. You seem like a nice girl. I want to make sure you don't run away while I'm gone so I'm gonna leave my phone on the table so you can't go anywhere. Watch my phone. If anyone steals it, I'll know who to come back to!"
Was that a thinly veiled threat? I wasn't quite sure how to take it. I didn't want to be responsible for someone else's possessions. I mean, it's common bookstore etiquette that when you excuse yourself to use the facilities, you ask someone to kindly watch your laptop or your books or make sure nobody takes your seat. But to purposefully leave only your phone on the table and command me to babysit it? Oh hell no!
I look over at the handsome, intelligent, successful future father of my children and with my best smile I implore him "Can you please get me out of this???" Blink, blink. Bats eyelashes. He smiles back and says "Sorry, you're on your own." Then he packs up his reading material and walks out of the store. What The Fuck?!?!
So here I am, left with no cute boy (who was clearly an asshole anyway and I would never want to raise my babies with that sort of role model) and a horribly loud prison guard who believes that global warming is a hoax. This is sooo not what I had in mind for today. He returns and I'm about to pack up and leave when the one-armed man says "You know, this is the nicest anybody's been to me in a long time." Aw, crap. Now I feel bad. He sees my name on my notebook and says "Kim?" I nod my head yes. He replies, "Henry. Nice to meet you." And then he extends what would be his right arm, if he had one, for me to shake his "hand" which consists of a nailless thumb just below his elbow. Oh. My. God. Please, please get me out of here. I instead take his left hand in mine and manage to squeak out "Henry. Pleasure."
As I powerwalk back to my car in the parking lot, I replay the entire incident over in my head. Really the only question truly plaguing me for 45 minutes was this: Henry was wearing a watch on his left wrist. I cannot figure out how he got it on there.
Yup, I'm definitely going to hell for that one.
Copyright Kimberly Spice 2010