Do Over: Eight

58, Flight Test Engineer

Lest you have forgotten — I have not — Eight fucked up our first plan to meet. As annoyed as I was, his reasons were legit enough and his apology sincere. (Unlike Nine, who was just rude.)

I planned our do over close to home. If nothing else, I would have coffee and a donut and a decent bike ride. These are all things I like.

He showed up.

Eight is an interesting dude, he’s had an interesting life thus far and it sounds like it’s been full of interesting characters. He tells a good story without sounding braggy — this is, it turns out, a skill. He’s an obsessive reader. He has good questions and seems curious about the world.

We had a nice conversation over coffee. He’s new to town and has questions, thoughts about my city. He’s a dog guy and is very fond of his four legged companion. When I asked what he was doing with the rest of the day he said, “I have a date with my dog.”

None of this overrides the extremely loud “NOPE” that rang in my head when he showed up. It was so loud that I was a worried I’d vocalized it. I sent him to the coffee counter so I could have a short, stern talk with myself. “Give the guy half a chance,” I told myself.

“Nope,” I answered.

Chemistry is funny, isn’t it?

He said two things which I found confounding.

  1. “You have New York written all over you.”
    Is this his way of telling me I look Jewish? Is ‘New York all over’ some kind of code that’s supposed to be more acceptable than globalist?
    ”Nope,” I said. “I was born and raised on the West Coast.”
    ”Huh. Even the direct way you have of talking sounds very New York to me.”

  2. “I don’t have to work.”
    This means he’s rich, right? Like, ‘retire do whatever the fuck you want’ rich, right? It was odd. He wasn’t a flashy dresser, quite the opposite, and he didn’t strike me as needing to impress me. But he wanted me to know he had enough dosh to be gainfully unemployed. When people who could be unemployed by choice aren’t, and they’re not doing something insanely creative with their time, I’m highly suspicious of them.