January 29, 2001 +
IM comment of the day, context unnecessary:
"we already got the penis cake from masturbakers"
I seem to have stumbled into something wonderful this weekend. No need to say anything more; the recurring inward smiles say enough.
January 17, 2001 +
Happiness is rekindling old friendships.
January 16, 2001 +
Happiness is a chocolate chip cookie.
January 12, 2001 +
[this essay also available here]
It was good seeing you again this morning.
It's been a while, I know. I used to see you all the time, because when I worked at Billboard, we worked in the same building. (I imagine you work somewhere within Viacom.) Like me, you got to work around 9:30 every morning.
I know this because we commute together. You take the 6 to the N/R, like I did to get to the Viacom building, and like I do now to get to the Economist. But I haven't seen you in a long while, probably because I get to work a little earlier now than I used to.
But for a few months, I saw you a lot, and every time I swooned. If ever in my life I have fallen in love on sight alone, it has been with you. You are of average height, maybe five-foot-six; you have shoulder-length brown hair; you have beautiful features -- high cheekbones, sultry eyes, full lips; from what I remember from the summer months, you have an incredible curvaceous body; you may even be Jewish.
Alas, I have never spoken a word to you. While I am certainly ballsy enough to say hello, I could not figure out how. No pretty woman on a New York City subway wants to be approached by an unfamiliar man, no matter how kind and friendly he may be. And since we have only the most tenuous connection -- "Hey, baby, what elevator bay do you take at 1515?" -- I couldn't find a way to introduce myself.
I've only seen you a handful of times since I left Billboard last January. But this morning, I left for work a little earlier than usual. And when I got on the subway, a shiny and brightly lit new 6 train, at 86th Street, there you were, sitting down, applying your makeup.
You glanced at me with a hint of recognition and left it at that. I immediately lost track of what I was reading in the newspaper. You were putting on your makeup and I could do nothing but watch you. And I immediately made up my mind that today would be the day I finally said hello.
By the time the train reached 77th Street I had my entire spiel planned out for our walk from the 6 down to the N/R platform.
"Hi. You work in the Viacom building, don't you?"
(and I'd expect a tentative "yyyeah," at which point I'd continue--)
"I used to work there, for Billboard. I saw you all the time on the commute, and I always wanted to introduce myself. And I never knew how, and I still don't know how, so let me just say that my name is David, and I have always thought you are a beautiful woman, and if it's not too incredibly crazy, I'd like to buy you lunch one day next week."
I didn't know how you'd react, so I stopped my fantasy there. I half expected not to be able to finish my soliloquy without losing your attention, really, and if you turned me down, that would be the end of that. But dammit, I was going to do it and get it out of my system. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
At 68th Street the 6 train broke down.
Everyone filed off the train, and suddenly we were all standing four deep waiting to resume our commute. Minutes passed. Aggravation levels rose. I actually got pressed into you and said, "Excuse me," but mashed within the annoyed throngs of silent commuters, I opted against encroaching you in conversation.
It took us three or four trains to get back on, and I managed to get on the same train as you to 59th Street for our usual transfer. But by then your mood must have soured, and when the N/R platform was bustling upon our arrival, I gave up my pursuit. You walked by me to a point one door farther up the train, as usual, and I watched you go by but left you alone, leaving me to my fantasies.
Maybe someday I'll see you again. Next time I probably won't say anything, but if I can work up the courage again, I will.
I wish I knew who you were. I wish I knew your name, or someone who knew you, so I could find you, and know you. I hope you're the kind of person who doesn't mind talking to strangers once in a while, because someday, however briefly, that stranger will be me.
Have a good commute home. I hope I see you again soon.
January 4, 2001 +
One of my big pet peeves is unanswered communication in the information age.
If I ask a question, innocuous as it may be, I usually expect to hear something back. I find it amazing how many people blow off requests and questioning in voice mail, email and instant messaging.
Obviously, we all take liberties when communicating without being face to face. The beauty of these systems is the ability to chat at one's own convenience, be it instantly or at some later date.
But it's one thing to let a waning email conversation die, and it's completely another to neglect a voice mail for days or weeks (or all eternity), or to ignore an email that poses a question at the end that I expect to have answered. To do so is just rude, regardless of whether the question is "Can I have the Penske file by 11 a.m. so I can review the materials before the meeting?" or "What are you doing for lunch?"
Of course, it could just be that no one wants to talk to me.
January 2, 2001 +
I almost never comment on something like this, because I prefer it this way, but lemme tell ya: It is cold in the office today.