I almost choked on the dregs of my coffee.
There he was in person: my nerdy high school classmate, Alan Fucking Goldstein, or as he will be known in this blog, AFG. He was very much off the screen and walking towards me.
(If your memory is menopausal like mine, do use the acronym code I've provided at the kind suggestion from the comments section. For the technologically illiterate, it's hard to miss on the right hand side of the screen. And BTW—that means by the way—thanks for even finding this blog. Maybe you can even figure out how to subscribe to it.)
Back at Starbucks, AFG was smiling like he had just spotted someone famous. Or maybe he was just showing off his incredibly white, bleached teeth. No way those choppers looked their age (well over half a century old like my own), especially as he was swilling over-priced, shade-grown, nuclear-free java.
Being caught so off guard jump-started my flight instinct. The ladies room was closer than the front door but there wasn't enough time to escape via either route.
The rest is a total blur. All I do remember is that AFG asked me out on a date. And in my gobsmacked state, I agreed.
I couldn't get out of that Starbucks fast enough, speed walking and speed dialing dear cousin Julie as I exited. My mood was homicidal. Barely hanging on by a thread, blame had to be meted out somewhere so why not on Julie and her insistence that I join everyone’s favourite social network?
"Sounds fantastic," Julie said when I informed her of the date.
"You are joking, right? You promised me no real-time meetings.”
“Joelly, you have a date. You said he looks good, overly white teeth and all. He's not married. He has hair!"
Getting nowhere with her, I went home, took one look at my horrible apartment (with an eye to AFG seeing it) and totally unraveled.
Its general shabbiness was depressing. There was also a very strange smell in the hallway. After all the places I have lived in my life, I figure no smell could knock me out. But whatever died in my hall way deserves a decent burial.
And now a date! I wanted to punch something.
Instead, I opened the giant bag of potato chips I had bought on the way home. They were the really salty ones, the kind that could tip a person into a sodium overdose. Sitting on the floor, I inhaled the entire bag and waited for my fingers to turn into bloated sausages
Screw this. I pulled myself together, ran out the door to another café with WiFi and sent AFG a message via Facebook.
"Alan," I wrote. "It was so great seeing you today. I was hasty, however, in accepting your kind invitation for dinner." (Did he even ask me to dinner? I can't remember!)
"But it's a bit too soon for me to go out on a date. Can I get back to you? I'm just not myself these days."
Just who the hell am I anyway?