I'm stealing another photo Coadster took in NYC. This is the naked cowboy, with a well placed guitar. Coadster didn't know the women in the pic, she just aimed and shot.
I've been exhausted all day. I have no idea why, I just know I don't want to feel like this tomorrow, so I'm going to bed as early as possible and stealing from the old blog. I wrote this post in August of 2006. It was right after I got back from my trip to Minneapolis where I visited my friend S. and The Walker is an art museum there. I think that' s all you need to know. Here you go:
We spoke in S.'s kitchen with her friend who worked at the Walker. Her friend was telling us about how she met her boyfriend and it was all very sweet. She had gone to the Apple store to buy a computer and a hot guy with a Nordic sounding name waited on her for over an hour while she figured out how much of an investment she wanted to make. In the end he helped her carry her computer to her car and mustered the courage to ask her out. Now, however long after, they were living together.
"Those things never happen in real life. Who gets asked out by someone they don't know anymore?" I said.
"I know, " she agreed, "He said he had let too many other opportunities slip away because he had been too afraid of rejection and he vowed he would take a chance the next time. I was lucky that I happened along after that."
Move ahead in time and place to Friday afternoon in Iowa City:
I was riding my bike back home after mailing some letters downtown. They were paving the street about a block from my house and there were two men in neon greenish/yellow vests directing traffic. When I approached the corner the heavier-set guy motioned me forward with his hand.
"That's okay, I'm turning anyway," I told him and he nodded.
The other, younger, squirrelly looking guy sporting a shaved-on-the-sides mullet said, "No. Come this way. I want to talk to you." I laughed and rode away. In my head I was thinking that he looked familiar. Maybe I had gone to high school with his mom.
Skip ahead to yesterday - still in Iowa City but this time I'm on my way home from work.
The two men are both still directing traffic on that one corner. This time the older heavier guy motions me forward and we smile at each other out of courtesy. The barely twenty year old looking mullet wearer comes running over. "Hi," He says and I say hi back. My "hi" is very cautious, however. "Hey, didn't I see you around here on Friday?"
"Yeah. I live around here." I worry that I've given too much information. It is a bad habit of mine. But I comfort myself by thinking the engine of the paver machine thingy is so loud that the mullet boy/man probably can't hear me. I am apparently lying to myself.
"Really? What's your name?" I don't want to give it to him and I haven't had much practice quickly thinking of a fake name recently. I tell him my name, speaking as closely into the loud machine as possible.
"Kara or Laura?" He asks.
"Yes," I say.
And here comes the part where I overanalyze the situation. You are welcome to stay, or you could just run away screaming.
Now I can't say, "that kind of thing never happens to me", because I did get approached by a guy I didn't know. If I were still in college, I might compare myself and my situation to the Walker worker woman and her experience by thinking that if we were cars, I'd be a Chevy Nova and she'd be a Volvo. It would explain why she got hit on by the interesting guy who was at least near her own age and why I was approached by a man twenty years younger than me, who huffed tar for a living. But now that I am older and kinder to myself, I prefer to look at it this way: In Iowa City we don't even have an Apple store for the hot nerdy guys with Nordic sounding names to work, and since I either walk, run or ride my bike nearly everywhere I go, it's only logical that I would meet the guy who works a seasonal job directing traffic where he is free to rock that mullet all day long.
See how I did that? I made it a matter of circumstance. That's all.