Que Sera Sera

January 8, 2007

I ended up going to the M Street Barnes and Noble yesterday afternoon, exactly like I said I wasn't going to. I know, I know, the last thing I need is more books, and I don't have the money for more books, but that place calls me home like a mother ship. Three floors! How does anyone resist its gravitational pull?

The visit had a higher purpose than just feeding my usual addictions, just so you know. It's Poo's birthday in a little over a week and I needed to find something appropriate. Okay, so it's more likely that I'd find something appropriate for him at the Salvation Army, but I can't get a Toffee Nut Crème while I shop at the Salvation Army.

It turned out to be a pretty strange trip to old B&N. I met a guy. Stop groaning. He's not my normal type of guy actually.

(As an aside? When I came home and told Poo that he said, "So like, this one has a job?" Oh, so funny that roommate of mine.)

I was trying to get a book off of one of the top shelves so I used that sliding ladder thing they have. You can see it coming can't you? The book was one unit over but rather than push the ladder over I figured I'd just climb and reach. That's right, me, Grace. So I climbed and I reached and I lost my footing and the next thing I know I'm sort of crashing down onto this guy.

He had super reaction time because he dropped the 3 books he was carrying and caught me before I took us both down but not before I slammed my head on the shelves. My hero. He set me on my feet and asked if I was okay, he even started feeling for a bump on my head, which, y'know, I don't think most people would do. I think most guys would let you feel that for yourself.

It was oddly comforting.

My ego was bruised but I was too woozy to try and play it off like I was fine so he walked me over to one of the big cushy chairs to sit. He wanted to get a manager but I wouldn't allow it. I mean, it was bad enough that there was one witness to my general klutziness, did there have to be a staff meeting about it too?

Before I go too far, let me describe him, his name is Tim and he works for the Navy as an investigator (I didn't really get this part, something about CSI, but he didn't go into details). He's tall, somewhere around 6 feet I'd guess, and he has good boy hair. Choir boy hair.

I told you he wasn't my normal type.

He kind of has an overall choirboy look now that I think about it. His eyes are hazel, or green, sort of, but when we moved to different light they looked more like they might be blue. And they're round, big and round in this Japanese Anime kind of way that makes him look mildly surprised a lot of the time. What really killed me though was his mouth. He has this fat bottom lip that makes not kissing him almost impossible.

Tim did the "How many fingers?" thing on and off throughout our little 'getting to know you' session. I flunked the first two, prompting him to offer to drive me to the emergency room to get checked for a concussion. I told him if he could keep me awake for the next hour I'd probably live.

It was a joke. Our boy Tim is a pretty literal guy.

He offered to buy me a drink in that handy in-store Starbucks and even though water probably would have been the advisable drink for a head trauma patient I went with my Toffee Nut Crème.

Oh, and we had this conversation:

Tim: "Toffee Nut Crème coffee? Why not just eat a candy bar?"

Me: "It's not coffee."

Tim: "What is it then?"

Me: "It's a drink."

Tim:(Insert major eyeroll here which made me swoon just a little) "I KNOW it's a drink, I mean, it's not coffee, it's not soda, what is it?"

Me: "It's Toffee Crème."

Tim: "Thanks, you cleared that right up for me with that last part."

It's not much but it does show that choir boy has a little snark in him. Good sign.

Because it was a bookstore the topic obviously went to what we read. I'm pretty impressed with his recently read list. I've been a huge slacker lately and didn't want to lose him by letting him know that the last three books I've read have been detective novels so I had to fib a little. I mean, I named books I've read within the past year, they just haven't been my MOST recent. Whatever.

We were both there looking for birthday presents too, isn't that strange? Okay, I'm not saying it's a sign or anything, but still, two total bibliophiles both in a bookstore shopping for other people's birthdays. Hmmm. No, I guess it isn't that strange.

He was looking for gifts for his sister, Sarah. She's an English major so he wanted to get her classics. I talked him out of it. The last thing an English major needs is classics, she's either got them or she's holding out for the early editions which you aren't going to pick up at the M Street B&N right?

I talked him into buying her this board game that's kind of great. It's called Anagramania. Those of you who know me in the real world know all about it because you've probably been forced to play at least once. Anyway it's a game where there are clues and the clues are anagrams for the word you need to guess. Whatever, shut up, it's a great gift. I mentioned to him that I have it but that none of you bastards will play with me and he said he'd play it with me.

(He's a little geeky, I bet he'd kick my ass.)

He asked what I do for a living and I gave him a pretty broad stroke overview. As in, "I sing." He dug for more but I kept it vague. I told him I do mostly weddings and anniversary parties and then kind of moved him along to another topic.

I don't know though, the more I think about the more I think he might be exactly the kind of guy who would want to date a girl who mostly covers Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney songs for a living. Maybe.

OH! I almost forgot to mention one of the best parts. I'm only reminded because of course Poo being the fashion whore that he is asked what he was wearing. He had on jeans, nice jeans, not the too nice, you know he irons them kinda jeans but expensive fashiony jeans that Poo would buy if he were straight. He had a button down shirt on over the jeans, tucked, but the best part, the BEST part is that he had a trench coat on.

If you know me at all you know that I'm a complete sucker for a man in a trench. He totally pulled it off too. You know how some guys just can't wear them, they look like they're just wearing their grandma's raincoat? Not Choir Boy Tim. CBT looked mighty fine in his trench.

We talked non stop for so long that I grabbed his wrist mid sentence (he talks with his hands, but only a little, not enough to be annoying, but enough to suggest that he's passionate and expressive) and noticed that I didn't have a lot of time to make it to the 31st street corner to grab the Metro.

(Another aside, I didn't look at the watch long enough to get a look at the name, in fact I think my eyes were still a little hazy from the hit, but it was clearly expensive and one of those fat watches that are so sexy on guys that are manly enough to pull it off. He was.)

I apologized for having to run and explained that I wanted to make the 35 bus. (I hate nights when Poo has the car.) He knew the route, says he used to take the bus all the time up until just a few months ago, but offered me a ride instead.

Okay, he's cute and says he works for the Navy, and yeah, he didn't let me fall on the ground, but I'm still not getting in a car with him, I mean, he's still a stranger. I thanked him but said no, the bus would be fine. He insisted on walking with me, it had gotten dark out while we were inside and when we opened the doors it had started to pour.

I tried to tell him there was no need for him to walk a half mile in the rain with me, it's clearly well lit and it wasn't even 6pm but he insisted. He told me to wait inside while he ran to his car (a Porsche Boxter no less-I swear I'm not making this boy up). He came back with a huge black umbrella under which he safely escorted me to the bus stop.

He'd end up soaked when he'd move the umbrella over so to be sure I was completely under cover until finally I walked closer to him, our arms touching. We fell into step easily with one another and my mind flashed in the oddest way to an image of us taking a walk, hand in hand when we are old, like in our 80's. I think I was hypnotized by the sound of the rain. Is there any sound better than rain? I asked Tim that and he couldn't think of anything better, at least not in that moment.

He asked if he could call me sometime, to check and make sure I'd lived through my concussion, and maybe to play a game of Anagramania. I gave him my card. It's the one I hand out to people looking for a singer with my website on it (so if he does a little investigating he'll know I'm not some rock goddess but instead a strange throwback girl) and my email but no phone number. I told him email was the best way to get in touch with me.

When the bus arrived I thanked him and he rubbed the back of my head gently one last time looking concerned.

I couldn't stop thinking about him the entire bus ride home. Choir Boy Tim is a far cry from Performance Artist Jake of my November heartbreak fame and I think that might be a really good thing. Except for this, he used to take the bus, just a few months ago, and now he has a Boxter. And a really expensive watch. And clothes that look expensive and new. Maybe he lied about his job, maybe he's some sort of criminal.

I don't know if I care if he is, I just hope he emails me.