I was on the subway, reading Keith Richards' autobiography – it’s a good subway read because he is so frantic and all over the place when he is telling his life story that I can only take it in small doses before it gives me a headache – not really noticing anyone or anything around me.
As we approached my stop, and I approached a good place in my book to pause, I got up and headed for the door.
Already standing by the door was a guy, taller than me, smiling at me. I smiled back, to be polite, but then looked away.
He said hello.
I looked back up. “Hi.” Thankfully the train came to a stop and I could exit the train.
However my friend from the subway followed me. “Can I ask you a question?”
Further proof that I am not as horrible as some people take me for, I didn’t respond “umm, you just did.” But instead said, “sure.” And tried to twist my face into something that resembled engrossed.
“Are you single?”
I tried to catch myself from rolling my eyes, but I probably didn’t get it in time.
“I’m just wondering, because I’ve seen you. On the train and on broad street and even downtown and I wanted to talk to you …”
His stammering gave me a chance to think about my response. Normally when I’m sober and random strangers come up and ask me if I’m single, I lie and tell them I live with my boyfriend. What? I’m a single girl that lives in the city by herself. It is my first line of defense.
But as Thomas the Train Guy continued to enumerate all the different places he had seen me, I thought about how I can’t justify the waste of money that is online dating, and none of my friends have anyone they can fix me up with, and Salty’s firefighter husband refuses to fix me up with any of his firefighter friends, and I refuse to date anyone from my office, and it is damn near impossible to meet anyone of substance at a bar, so just how do I expect to meet someone if every time a guy approaches me I lie and tell him I am seeing someone.
So, instead I told Thomas the truth.
He walked me to my apartment, nervously chatting the whole way about nothing important. At some point he asked if I would like to grab coffee sometime and I said yes. When we got to my door, he had his phone and his business card out and eventually got around to getting my number and giving me his business card before we said good-bye.
That’s right. I gave Thomas the Train Guy my number. And yes, I realize he could be a deranged stalker and given his list of all the places he has seen me maybe that is something I should have considered earlier. But really, what could he do to me now that he has my number that he couldn’t do once he memorized my entire schedule? Plus, there is always my second line of defense – the Louisville Slugger I keep next to my bed.