"So, how'd your life turn out, man; everything you wanted it to be and more?" he asked while pouring more water into M-Dash's glass.
"Absolutely!" I replied, because I assumed he had asked us how our food was and it took my brain a minute to move past the taste of my breakfast sandwich and actually register the question. When I realized what he had asked, I looked up more directly at him and hastily added, "How about yours?" but it was too late and he had walked away.
("What an asssshoooole!")
M-Dash and I looked at each other. "You know that guy?" she asked and I looked over at him walking away. He was wearing a santa hat and waiter uniform, was slightly unshaven, and was moving almost manically around the room, checking on people and and fixing any problems. "I'm good with faces, and I've never seen that guy before in my life," I told her. "If I know him at all, it would have to be from elementary school before we were people." We were eating breakfast at a cafe in my hometown, so this was entirely possible slash my biggest fear about being home. "Well, he sure seems to know YOU!" she said. Indeed.
Either way, I was glad I had accidentally lied to the guy and answered, "Absolutely!" First off, it's not like I was gonna tell him, "Strikes and gutters," and really get into the highs and lows of the last decade or so and my current place in life. More importantly, there was a good chance I didn't know him at all, and while he might have been casually inquiring, he looked like the kind of guy who might have found me in the parking lot after the meal, stolen my license, and put a gun to my head; insisting I change my life or he would come back and kill me. Which sounds like a hassle.
On the other hand, if he DID know me and had legitimately asked if my life turned out how I wanted, I had just sounded like a massive douche by shouting, "Absolutely!" while not looking at him, and then taking a bite out of my sandwich while allegedly implying, "But I'm not gonna ask you, because you're the guy refilling my water!" Which could also end in a tragic parking lot situation.* Isn't life full of mystery and wonder.
We decided to ignore it and keep eating-- he was probably just a chatty cafe water refill guy. And a really good refill guy because he was back around a few minutes later to fill up my glass:
"The holidays are great," he began, looking at M-Dash, but clearly talking about me, "you get to see all these people you haven't seen in years," and before I could get out a single confused syllable, he turned and pranced away (if prancing can imply murder-- it was a murder prance). M-Dash and I stared wide-eyed at each other, each as baffled as the other.
"Oh, he definitely knows you."
"That was aggressive, right?"
"Yeah, that was weird."
"Like, he sounded as though he not only thinks he knows me, but also that we banged..."
"...and you never called him back."
"Exactly! What the hell is going on??"
"Are you sure you don't know him?"
"I mean...NO, but I'm sure I didn't BANG HIM!"
"Hmmm. Well, ask him!"
I absolutely didn't ask him. He was zipping around the room, rushing into the back, and the place was packed. He didn't come back to the table and I thought it would be even more awkward to track him down around customers or other employees to ask who he was. I did, however, have this little exchange with M-Dash:
"What's the less shitty way of asking this: 'Do I know you? Do you know me? Who are you?"
"Just ask, 'Do we know each other?'"
"But I know I don't know him."
"But you might have known him once he says his name."
"But that's not really KNOWING someone."
"I'm just saying!"
It's times like that I wish I could throw up on command. "Do I-- do you-- do we-- BLAT!!" Just, splowsh, right on the table. No more questions. Just some kid telling everyone that some guy he knows (who I probably just looked like) youk'd on the table and he had to clean it up. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. How'd your life turn out? Next time, just find me in the parking lot.
Thanks To Facebook and Google I Just Tracked Him Down and Have Never Seen Him Before in My Life; He Was 6 Years Ahead of Me in School, Went to a Different College, and I Don't Recognize His First Name or His Family's Last Name, But That Doesn't Mean He's Not Going to Track Me Down and Murder Me By Accident, Does It???,
*"What, like in the back of a Volkswagon?" Anyone?