Monday, April 23, 2007


It's finally happened. The nerd has experienced a quasi-celebrity moment.

It went down yesterday when I decided to celebrate spring's reemergence from the lingering pall of winter with an unpalatable iced coffee and a delightfully delicious manuscript at my local Starbucks. Judging by the line that snaked it's way almost out the door the entire time I was there, most of the city's inhabitants seemed to have the same idea--minus the manuscript. That I found a table amid the bustle verged on miraculous. It was rather easy to slip into anonymity among the anonymous multitude.

I sat there, absorbed in my reading, coming up occassionally to rest my eyes on the faces floating around me. My table was next to a window overlooking a promenade that brimmed with people who could have become more placeable had I looked at them longer. I wasn't interested, however. I only had eyes for the manuscript and I hoped more than once that I wouldn't run into anyone I knew.

But then there was an "Excuse me," and I looked up to find a young man standing before me with a venti cup in hand. His smile appeared frozen and a little forced, as if he was still trying to decide whether or not this was a good idea. "Isn't your profile on (insert name of networking site here)? And you have a blog..."

I clutched onto the corners of the manuscript. I didn't want to be rude so I slapped on a smile. Okay, so my lips were more likely contorted into an anxious and horrified shape than an actual smile but it was the best I could offer Mr. Stranger Danger at that moment. He nervously prattled right along "...and you're from Libya..." at which point I found my voice, albeit for a moment, to correct him. "I was born in Libya," I said.

"Oh, right," he said, waving his venti cup. "I recognized you so I thought I'd say hello."

He stood still. His venti cup was still. He continued to smile too brightly. The seconds seemed to stretch into minutes, into hours. My mind drew a blank and, finally, the only words I could managed were:

"This is weird."

"Well," he said and I imagine he would've rubbed his hands together or slapped me on the back in order to defuse the situation if he could. "Have a good day."

I said bye. I accompanied the bye with a wave. I watched him scamper away.

Later, when I told my mother the story, she declared that I was stuck up. "What did you want me to do?" I asked her, "Ask him to sit in my lap because he's recognized me?"

"No," she replied, after a good laugh, "you should've just shrugged and smiled and said 'It's a small world, isn't it.' 'This is weird' was just rude, Sabila."

Oh well. At least I'd smiled.


DC Girl said...

was he hot? was he single? didn't you get 411 on him?

Anonymous said...

Dude...he could have been the 'One' and you turned him away...

Chris said...

You could've quizzed him on yourself to see where he rated on the stalker scale...or just the good memory scale.

But that would probably come off as conceited, I suppose.

zee said...

he is not the one, i am :)

Razz said...

Good story teller you are as Master Yoda would say [:)]

zee said...

that sounded wrong, i meant to say i'm a better fan!

Jill said...

I was returning to Honduras in April and the woman next to me on the plane looked down and read my customs form. Using that information she linked me to blogging. SCARY!! Although I have kind of been on hiatus anyway, I should probably be careful about what I write on there!