Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Noble Wireless & Other Tightropes

I am sitting at Barnes & Noble Booksellers Cafe, in DeWitt, New York, decaf coffee at my side, having just finished a Warm Granny Smith Apple Purse pastry (rather dry). The good news is that AT&T wifi is now "complimentary" here, which to me spells f-r-e-e. I'm not saying that makes B&N all virtuous and all that. I'm sure they finally figured out that it's better to lure customers with free wifi. But that's cool. I'm here. My daughter purchased (actually not yet; I'll buy it later) a notebook she is already sketching in, sketching the design of her Vera Bradley purse. Who knew I'd find two such very different meanings of "purse"? A few moments ago, while paying for my coffee and purse (is "purse" truly a name for a type of pastry? I guess so), I saw someone who appeared to be a colleague from 2003. I hesitated. When I spoke, I figured if it was her [she, for you grammatical purists], she'd respond upon recognizing my inimitable voice. She did not. When she spoke, I recognized her apparently inimitable voice and began an "Is that you?" conversation. Her face blushed. Why? Was she essentially planning on avoiding me -- a plot I had foiled? We traded some stories of mutal former colleagues. She told me what she was doing, after my initial wrong guess. She never asked what I was doing or have been doing since 2003. This does not rankle me as much as you might think. [Dr. Freud: Then why are you blogging about it, Pawlie? Screw off, Sigmund.] Reciprocity. It ain't that one needs to keep count or keep score. No, not at all. But civility demands at least the appearance of reciprocity. Reciprocity, such as, "Oh, and what have you been up to?" would at least provide the pretense of mutual interest. No big deal. I hardly had the conversational momentum or verve to explain the last six years, or even the last six weeks, or six minutes. So be it.

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