I ran over a nail yesterday on my way back from an aborted trip to the doctor. Aparently, his address is listed incorrectly on his website and after circling the block several times I gave up. I was close to home when I noticed the bike was handling funny. So I pulled into a parking lot and saw the rear tire was going flat. I had some other things to do that day and was mildly annoyed, so I parked it and walked the ten blocks from home.
This morning I got up and called for a tow truck. Tom the driver, was an older gentleman in his fifties. Riding out to the dealership, he asked me what I do for a living. That led to discussions about computers, gaming, art and digital cameras...All in the time it took to go 5 miles! He was a really nice fella.
It took a couple of hours to fix the flat (they put in an inner tube since the tire was still good) so I walked around the nearby Wal-Mart looking for Mobile Suit Gundam toys and marvelling at all the activity there. Don't any of these people work? The joint was jumpin'! I've started collecting them recently, having gone mad for the original series back in the early 80's. I feel no shame in this. While my parents didn't deprive me of anything, I do get a huge kick out of wandering the toy aisles and buying stuff I want, knowing it's not for nephews, little brothers or my own children, (hee)...so there.
Anyway, they didn't have anything new, so I picked up the latest issue of Details, with that dreamy Colin Farrell on the cover and had a burger at Billy McHale's. The vibe out in Renton is so different from Seattle...so suburban...even in fairly unpretentious areas of Seattle-like Georgetown-there's a different energy...I sat in the bar surrounded by banners announcing all the drink specials and $2.50 Widmer Hefeweizens ($5 if keep the glass!) and office girls who've probably looked the same since 1985...I'm so used to my fairly hip, liberal city that it's almost shocking to realize that this is more like the "Real America."
Betty was waiting for me and we rode home...
Later on, I met Karen for dinner at the Alibi Room. It was good to see her. She looked tired but happy and beautiful. We got caught up and shared dessert, then I walked her to the bus stop and waited with her until the bus came.
It was really cold and sort of misty out, when heavy, dense air rolls off the Sound and the Lake and quickly chills you to the bone. I met Matt, Leslie, Stu, Seth and Sean at the Baltic Room. We had a drink and then everyone decided to go out for dinner. I'd already eaten but I didn't wanna go home yet, it was only 7:30 and Frito had left for Detroit to see his girlfriend.
So, after attempting to get into one restaurant and failing, we wound up at a new Italian place on 15th. I ordered cake and coffee cause I thought it rude to just sit and drink ice water. The waitress was a really cute redhead with an Italian accent. She asked me if I used to come into Romio's in Magnolia.
"I've seen you there before." she said.
I hadn't been in there for several years...I think Matt and I went in there back in The Visitors days (mid 90's) and if I'm wrong about that, then it was sometime in the late 80's.
Tess and Leslie started teasing me, saying that the waitress was hitting on me.
I didn't think so until she came back to pour more coffee. She put her hand on my shoulder...
Later she asked me how I liked the cake...I told her it was great.
"It's my favorite too", she purred.
OK...I know that you gotta work it sometimes to get a better tip. But the stuff I ordered only came to $5...
As we were leaving she thanked us, then turned and said pointedly to me..."You, you will come back, won't you?!"
"Uh, yes..." I stammered, all shy suddenly. Tess and Leslie really gave me a hard time then.
What should I have done? Given her my phone number?
How can I tell when a woman is just being friendly? And if she was just being friendly, why did she single me out?
I should've gone back.
I will go back...by myself this time.
Needless to say my night was made! I went over to Matt and Leslie's and we watched "Dumb and Dumber" then I Batmanned through the dark, chilly and empty streets to home...