Saturday, April 22, 2006

Collision approach

You know those little asshole streets in the west village of New York where you can walk five blocks in a straight line and somehow get turned around and end up standing in Sheridan Square all over again? Maybe there are two squares that look the same and the 1-9 train loops or something. Just like New York, perception can make or break you in social situations.

I'm not a small guy, albeit I have a 32 inch waist, but I'm not short and I'm not weak looking. I'm also not terribly aggressive and would be probably the last guy to get into a fist fight. Perceptions turn you around in ways that you'd not imagine.

One of my buddies, Sean, had his brother over from New Zealand. Sean is like a southern hemisphere William Baldwin, only he works for a merchant bank and has never seen a film set. He's a very centered guy, always taking the safe approach to things. He looks "nice", in that his dimply smile would put most people at ease. I'd say he's calm enough, but somehow his brother isn't.

I found the bar in all of that New York humidity and push me pull you confusing street pattern and I am with Sean, sitting on a sofa. We're watching David strut around the room calling all the English women "darling" and "sweetheart", and pumping hands with other men probably wishing he was pumping something else.

George, Sean's brother, came to the US from Auckland and was hanging with David that night. Somehow they got along. George was a hooligan, he liked to make trouble. He was the game show host of the century, and had curly mop hair, a big toothy grin, and he was very beefy. Somehow, you could see the genetic lines between him and Sean, but George got the smiley loki-esque guy persona. He was a smiley guy that was also prone to fits of violence. You loved him until eventually you hated him, all because he'd be your buddy one minute and he'd be testing your patience the next, and back, like taking a shower while your retarded cousin played with the toilet flusher.

David is a closet gay. He was the kind of guy who pea cocked just because he was in love with the color purple. He was a skinny, no emaciated Brit who wore glasses and had a perpetual fake smile. Other Brits loved him, and they hang in enclaves so you can probably imagine his party was full of the English.

I'm not feeling at all at ease. I'm just not into speaking to English people, they creep me out. I think Sean was playing moderator, I didn't even know what I was doing there. I had an exceptional day and was feeling pretty good, but it was just not my scene... that is until Cindy walked in.

Sean's ears pricked up, he glanced to the side, went back to his drink and raised an eyebrow at me.

David's spidey sense tingled, and I think he shot a web escaped to the ceiling from the crew he was working. Perhaps in his head, hew as in the middle of the room and his whole act with these other people just stopped.

George was demonstrating a headlock technique with some guy he'd just met; a friend of Sean's whom I never actually was introduced to, fucking bankers. I watched him stop the demonstration and without letting the guy go, and as Cindy crossed the room I think he rested his jaw on the top of that guys head.

Cindy was easily 6'1, a striking 9.5 with most of her being her legs. She had a blonde bob haircut and was wearing an Ann Taylor suit and three inch heels. So far the party was a shitfest, a gay loudmouth host, a braggish frat boy pugilist, a room full of English dudes, and I suppose the only redeeming feature, a William Baldwin clone who knew how to talk about golf.

Cindy entered the room, and in the space of time it took Sean to drop his raised eyebrow I had to alter my inner fire to that of having a shitty time to that of being on top of the world. I don't think it was enough that a very hot woman had just come into the room, I had to transform.

I grabbed two empty Amstel bottles from the table in front of the sofa and launched myself out of seat. Sean didn't exist for that split second. Between me and the bar was Cindy's trajectory towards David, they knew each other in an amusing way. As soon as I was mobile Southampton was the sofa, New York harbor was the bar. I was the Titanic and Cindy was the guilty iceberg. I did not look at her, but just kind of ran into her softly as she got to the midpoint.

Making it a point to drop a bottle I hesitated slightly and as I started to bent down to pick it up she was on my left side, she also bent down to automatically assist me.

She politely blurted out, "Excuse me". She was first to collect the bottle and we both stood erect, she was still holding the empty Amstel. Right then I noticed she was eye level.

"Not sure I can do that". I smiled and held out my hand and she offered the empty bottle. I said thanks as I took it from her and stepped away. I didn't look at her as I departed and she continued on to David.

That my friends, was an approach. That's all I needed to start. There is more to tell, and the night just got better and better from that moment on, but I'm running out of time right now. Maybe later.

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