Thursday, October 8, 2009

in like a lion

(during the lovely month of october, one of my favorite months of the year, i will write a series of short true stories, and try to do one every day, a maybe less committed version of my photographic july)

"Pardon me, can I persuade you to leave the dancefloor and step outside with me for a bit?" The voice was low in my ear, and startled me. I lowered my arms, I had literally been mid-dancemove. I said sure without really considering it, since for one I was so surprised by the bold request and also because I'd noticed him already, tall and dressed sharply, crossing the dancefloor a couple times earlier. We walked out to the patio, both comfortably confronted with one of those odd moments where you know the only reason you're speaking with someone is because of attraction and a bold move. With new drinks in hand we sat on a bench. Those conversations are fun... you gather a semblance of an understanding of this new person with personal and random questions. His accent was a proper British one, it seems he was a classic Oxford snob. I revealed myself as a local, and explained why I had been dancing with an assortment of Scandinavians and Germans. He has an older sister, "his best mate", and watches Gossip Girl on occasion with her. He likes Coldplay but not Phoenix, and works in banking. I was older than he guessed, and also the oldest sibling, which he also misguessed, and a fan of quite a bit of music that he wasn't.

"So are you just traveling through here or do you live here?" I asked. Was it really almost a year ago now that I posed the same question and got a very different answer in a very different accent? The Brit was only passing through, just one night to spend in this American Riviera.

After a few minutes he asked, "Had you seen see me hovering, pacing past your group, trying to decide if I was going to talk to you?"
"No," I lied.

A short time later we found ourselves wandering up State Street, I hadn't had my phone on me at closing time so I had lost my friends. His friends had seen us talking and lost him on purpose. We walked along, humored some people shouting at us from across the street, dashed into the plaza by the old Acapulco restaurant and played with the statues that sit there. He sat on Ben Franklin's lap and we posed the musician statues' movable arms in position to play their instruments. It was a carefree way to spend the first night of October, a mischievous month that never fails to be full of stories.

I asked where exactly in London he lived and he tried to explain to me which underground stop his flat is next to.
"I love the Underground!" I exclaimed. "I have a map of it framed in my house actually."
"Prove it." He said.
"Well I'm not falling for that," I laughed.
"You don't have to," he responded.

The wandering continued.

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