A laptop lay unopened at one end of the sofa at River Maiden the little coffee shop I frequent. Doesn’t bother me, I can share, I thought, and scooted to the end farthest away and set up shop: plugged in, opened HP clam shell, booted up. I checked the coffee line. Long. I’d get the laptop warmed up and grab the end when it shortened.
The guy who’d left the laptop—only it wasn’t his, it was brother’s and he didn’t know how to operate it to get online (Mac)—returned with his mocha and made big noise “Oh. You’re going to sit there.” He ahemed a few times, and believe me, it didn’t matter, so I moved to the chair. Well, it wasn’t having the sofa all to himself that he desired, it was the stool. “This laptop gets hot,” he explained, asserting his needs over mine. He needed help of course, had to tell me his Mac issues, his background, scientist, biologist, carbon monoxide conversion mission, etc. Just kept warming up to me with all those questions. “Do you hang out here every Saturday?”
” What are you doing?”
“Oh, you’re a writer. If I heard your name would I recognize it?”
” Nope,” I answered, with all confidence and slightly amused. He’s flirting with me.
His friend showed up, knew about Macs, helped him get online, after I shared the clever code. Mr. Inept-Mac-Guy kept eyeballing me, talking loud, throwing out a conversation net large enough to drag me in, went so far as to ask if he could read out loud to me.
“Sure,” I said, turning the situation over in my head, wondering how this innocuous encounter with a Colorado clown could be morphed into a blog post. He droned about the swine flu, told me why he assessed it wasn’t as bad as everyone believed, gave the numbers on reported vs. confirmed cases.
He stared at me as if he’d never encountered a woman who could actually calculate in her head. Rapid eye movement flew as numbers fought behind his chestnut irises to figure out a little comeuppance. His eyes flicked over his Mac screen and came up with new info. “Yes, and that gives you a sixteen percent death rate.”
I nodded, gazed deeply into his soulless, scientist browns and saw my reflection, school teacher ingénue, whispers of chalk blushing my cheeks as I toyed with a difficult equation, one he’d like to help me with.
Smitten beyond belief with my good looks and intelligence he stuffed his muffin in my face and said, “Here try this, it’s good.”
I wondered if I should. He hadn’t stuck it in his mouth only picked parts off. I hadn’t had breakfast. Why the heck not? I plucked a strawberry sized-piece off and popped it in my mouth. Yummed and hummed and said thank you.
The realization gained momentum that my life had changed. I might as well admit it. The guys who now flirt with me—pretty much act the same as they always have, kinda self-centered—but now they look like this:
Yeah, gotta love my smile.