When we last saw our Asian hero, he had on shiny patent leather shoes, some black socks, and you were imagining his bright red polo shirt while he memorized or chanted from some papers:
Well, he was back this morning with a vengeance, with entirely different shoes, but perhaps the same black socks, and he was still memorizing or chanting something from those papers he's holding.
That guy sitting next to him with that hat with the flaps down on it made me a little nervous. Who wears a hat with ear flaps down when it's in the mid-90s? As a complete aside, he had the hairiest legs in history.
After my morning weekly staff meeting from 9:00-10:00, I stepped next door to Coffee Haven to have a chat with our intern, and on the way back, as we ascended the stairs to the second floor she brought my attention to something I've happily never noticed during the one year and nine months I've been working in the building.
She asked, "Have you ever noticed that the patterns on these stairs are different on different stairs?"
Needless to say, this distracts me to no end now that I know.
I volunteered to work our organization's table in the New Student Orientation Info Fair, which was held in the Talley Student Center from 12:00-1:30. The new students come through for the first 45 minutes, and then their parents come through during the next 45 minutes.
My favorite thing to do when the students come through, which is good because it's about all you can do most of the time, is watch the plethora of different and interesting extents to which the students go to avoid eye contact. They pretty much come through, stop at the tables with swag on them, and get on out of there.
The woman staffing the table across from ours was from the tutoring center on campus, and she started all of her conversations with, "You want a magnet?" The table with info about the dorms had NC State Frisbees, which were popular, and the Student Government table was giving out what looked like little decks of cards as their swag. We had no swag whatsoever at our Office of Information Technology table.
I enjoy the time with the parents much better as they're much more engaging, which makes the time pass much more quickly. I worked with my colleague, Garrison, who is a knowledgeable introvert, so we made a good team.
I met my friend Jeff S. at The Borough for dinner and a few drinks, as he wanted to pick my brain about the black hole that is the application process at IBM. I shared as much as I could, no longer being an insider there, but I think I helped him overall.
While we were finishing up, there was a loud pop outside the window, and I turned my head just fast enough to see a car bounce back about four feet from the car in front of it that it had just bumpted into. The driver of the car at fault was a young, young thing, and he was totally distraught—so much more than it looked like that situation called for, that we quickly labeled him a drama queen.
It took forever for a cop to arrive, and when he did, neither Jeff nor I was impressed. That is to say, he wasn't our type at all.
Since I was parked at Flex, I dropped in before heading home. There were two bartenders in there—one working, the other not—two women whom I'm guessing were a couple, and playing one of the game kiosks, and a handsome cowboy sitting at the bar. I call him a cowboy, because he had on cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, which he tipped at me when he replied to my nod and "Howdy, cowboy" with a "Howdy" of his own.
This guy had a belly, but he had an adorable face with blond hair and blue-gray eyes. He started talking about his partner of 13 years, who had gotten killed in Iraq at just about a year ago now. He told me the story of how they came to be a couple, and it was so Brokeback Mountain that at one point in the story, I almost started crying. Tears welled up in his eyes as he described the first day they spent together after mutually admitting their love for each other—after having been best friends for eight years.
"We always slept in the same bed, but in all those years nothing ever happened. Then one morning I woke up to find my face right in his. And he woke up just then. And I just told him."
He cocked his head a little to the side, remembering, and that's when the pools in his eyes appeared as he remembered out loud, "Yeah. We both called in sick that day, and we spent the whole day together—in bed, getting up to eat, back to bed, getting up to watch a little TV, and then back to bed." And shaking his head from side-to-side a little as if to punctuate the inconceivability that he'd never feel those feelings again with him, he finished, "It was one of the greatest days of of my life."
Look at the time! Check, please!
Seriously though, as nice as this guy was, and as beautiful as his stories were, he was a talker. I'm sure he could have easily went on for another hour or two. But he wasn't a good listener, or should I say he never used that skill long enough to assess it. So, I got up, and on my way out I said, "Well, I gotta run, man. It was nice meeting you. I'm thankful for your partner's service to our country, and I'm sorry for your loss."