Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890
I was so nervous I hardly slept all week. I left my apartment a half hour early. I parked a few blocks away from the cafe and tried not to vomit or shit my pants in a bookstore not far from the meeting place. To console myself, I cowered in the poetry section. But I couldn't find Li Young Lee (Thanks, TIna) and that was what I had wanted to read so anyway... I went to the cafe a bit early because I wanted to avoid standing in line with an almost complete stranger who may or may not offer to buy me coffee and then we would have to have that convo. Not that I am against a man buying me coffee, but I could only imagine how awkward I could make that. Plus I was worried that then he would have to watch me think about which muffin I should buy, though I didn't want one but felt like I should eat one since I could barely eat that morning and didn't want to pass out in front of him. And I didn't want him to think I care about calories or anything though as you will soon read my coffee took care of that .And then he would witness me fumbling with change and trying to pay. Yes, I thought about all of these things. Am I Elaine?So I am sitting in a black metal chair in the sunshine with my enormous muffin and my iced coffee, that I accidentally put so much cream in I may as well have ordered and ice cream sundae. I see him from halfway down the block and awkwardly stand up and he says my name and I say yes. I walk halfway there and put out my hand and say "nice to meet you", WAY PREMATURELY. Awkward. I mean, ten beats after my greeting, he has reached my hand. Meanwhile, my hand has been outstretched, waiting. We eventually sat down and had a nice time. I ended up not eating the enormous muffin. I could not stomach it. So it ended up in my purse. After all the worries about first impressions I put a muffin in my bag in front of him and that was totally fine. It reminded me of the time in a restaurant with Laura and Mike when as we walked through the bar to leave, I fumbled with my bag and a big crusty hunk of bread flew out and rolled down the carpet. I ignored it and walked on, my face beat red, as the bar patrons contemplated why homeless women seem to fit in and smell so much better these days. Clearly, I have not learned.