Sunday, June 19, 2011

Installment Ten

Amazing how long one cup of Starbucks coffee can last. I've stretched it out long enough to draft this blog posting before worrying about getting tossed.

I have not moved any closer to asking for an employment form, in case anyone was wondering.

I've become WiFi challenged: my neighbor suddenly decided to secure his network. The gall of some people, wanting privacy! As if it really exists anyway. So here I am in a Starbucks where the coffee is ridiculously expensive and the WiFi is free.

Many of the clientele are also sharing their beverages with screens. Sad, eh? Some are on their phones and staring at their screens. Others are just playing with their phones which surely someone, somewhere has described as digital masturbation.

Wait, I’ll Google it and see what happens. Jesus, there are actually over five thousand references to it! (and I can add links which strangely, never occured to me until just now).

I’ve been fooling around on Facebook (amazing the stuff people say about themselves but I'm hooked!) so I'm in time-wasting mode.

While I was sitting here, though, it happened just as I predicted and almost as quickly too.

Alan Fucking Goldstein (yes, I've been reading the Swedish Dragon Tattoo books) wants to be my friend.

He's the geek from high school, my former chemistry lab partner (to whom I really should be grateful because no way I would have passed without him) who has 'found me' and sent a friend request along with a personal message.

I looked at his picture before reading it. If it's real, (that is, he hasn't scanned an old picture of himself taken forty years ago) he didn't turn out so bad. His acne cleared up and amazingly, he still has his hair.

"Joelly!" his message said. "I can't believe I have found you after all these years. Are you back in Ottawa? I moved away for a while but returned after my divorce because my daughter lives here and I have a grandson. I hope you will contact me. Remember when our little experiment in the chem lab brought the fire trucks to the school? Dying to reconnect, Alan."

What can it hurt? Deborah and Julie were both in my head saying this to me.

I fired back confirmation of our cyber friendship. No sooner had I done this, when a little window popped up. Alan Fucking Goldstein (known now forever as AFG) was on-line and wanted to chat. How the hell do I do that? Julie's tutorial didn't include this wrinkle.

I tentatively typed in "hi?" when suddenly words came at me fast and furious.

"I can’t believe it! It really is you. What is your phone number?"

What to do? Thinking of TBM, and Brian going off to Beijing and the tiny apartment...well, dear reader, I typed it in.

My purse starting ringing almost immediately.

This can't be a good thing, I felt with dread, as I reached into my purse to hunt for my phone.


"My God, it really is you."

"Hello Alan."

"Where are you?"

"In a Starbucks in the market."

He laughed so loud I could hear it through the phone. Actually, I could hear it across the coffee shop.

AFG was sitting three tables away.



  1. The plot thickens! Can't wait to see WHN (What Happens Next).

  2. Hey expatwomen....I hope you're the person behind the website because I love your site! I suppose this could be considered a long EW Confession!

    But really, could I make this up? :-)

  3. I wish I were a fictional character in Ottawa so we could hang out.

  4. Sheryl, I could sure use some friends. The problem coming 'home' is I feel like I am speaking Swahili, not English, with anyone who hasn't been an expat! It's nice to know someone would like to hang out with me.