Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What comes next?

I approach the bar. There is a woman there. I may have met her before. She looks at me.

"Hello," I say.

"Hello," she says.

What comes next? I always forget what comes after "Hello." My mind has gone blank and now it's thinking of raw carrots. Why am I thinking of raw carrots when I need to be saying something? And what is that something?

It's not "How are you?" -- which is a telephone question to my parents. When used in person, "How are you?" implies that a traumatic event has taken place. I could say, "How are you today?" but that strikes me as a question a nurse might ask. God knows why a nurse would ask it, unless she took pleasure from negative answers.

The woman at the bar stares at me, a bit bleary-eyed, but not in a drunk way. A strand of black hair falls across her face, and she does not push it away. Perhaps she's heavily medicated. That buys me some time. There are no awkward silences in prescription-induced haze (to be more accurate, the whole haze is one awkward silence in the scope of a life, so momentary ones have no meaning).

Damn! What comes next? It's not "How's it going?" or "What's up?" -- which are only male-to-male phrases, the former referring to amount of sex and the latter referring to the penis. No, neither of those will work.

She pushes the hair off of her face and turns slightly toward the bar.

Goddamn, I must know what comes next! I must have said it before. I'm not a hermit. I interact with people.

Oh! It might be, "Nice day today," but it's cloudy, neither hot nor cold.
Oh! It might be, "Have we met, or..." but a man ought to be decisive and ellipsis-free.
Oh! It might be, "Give me an example of a panagram." But what if she said, "Stoned purple boxes float high above any queer junk-man's yellow-coated maze." What would be next then?

Where is the bartender? I am a total social failure.

The woman turns back toward me. "What comes next?" she asks.

"I don't know," I say.



Blogger amadea's world said...

You MAY have met her? If she had impressed you, you would have remembered :-)

Next time you see a woman that you fance you ask her: Do you write a blog? No matter, what she says, you say: I do and then you tell the address. This works, believe me!

I have not one single day with eight working hours. As a teacher you have to teach 21 lessons. Rest of the work you do at home. On Thursday I have only one lesson from eight to nine. Then I can go home. When we have a free lesson in between, we often go to the coffeehouse. The Kaffeehaus is the Austrian's second living room :-). And I tell you - we spend hours in it.

3:57 PM  
Blogger amadea's world said...

fance should read fancy - but you know that anyway . just to tell you that i know the word :-)

3:59 PM  

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