Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

14 March 2009

Story Time from Talla-classy

So I went to the coffee shop this evening to grade papers. My coffee shop used to be called The Coffee Pub and it used to be open until midnight, but now it is under new management and it is called the Red Eye and it is only open until 10:00p. Let me repeat. It is called the red eye and is open until 10:00p. Ridiculous. Anyway, there I am grading papers and I look up momentarily and my eyes meet with this white guy (maybe about 28 years old or so) who is obviously looking at me. I smile. He does that head nod thing guys do (I do it too.) I go back to my papers.

I hear "whatcha doin'?" and I look up again.
"Gradin' papers," I say. I smile again. I am being polite. I go back to my papers. Thirty seconds pass or so. This paper is kinda bad. Sometimes my students are lazy.

"Mind if I come over?" he says. He is already coming over.
"Well, I mean, a friend of mine is meeting me here."
He is unfazed. "Oh, well I will leave when they get here."
"Okay," I say. "Have a seat."

This man is obviously drunk. The telltale signs are all there. He is slightly slurring his words. He seems to have trouble focusing; he looks into my face as though he is trying to make it make sense. His depth perception is off and he almost spills his coffee twice. He knocks his cookie off the table into his lap and then picks it up and eats it.

He keeps asking me questions: So you are a grad student? Where do you teach? What do you study? Do you like it? How old are your students? What do you want to do when you are done? It would be nice if he weren't drunk. And if he weren't straight.

He makes a comment about a female customer's derriere. I try to smile. "Sorry to keep bugging you," he says.
I am still trying to be polite. I tell him he isn't bugging me.

After about forty minutes I tell him that I should get back to my papers before it gets too late.
"Whaddya say you and I go next door and get a glass of wine? Those papers can wait until tomorrow morning."
"I don't think so," I say. "I have a lot to do and this needs to get done tonight."
He insists: "Aw come on. A little vino."
I again tell him no.
He gets up. Okay, well if you change your mind I will be next door at the wine bar."
"Okay Mike, good to meet you."
"Maybe we will run into one another again," he says.

My question is: what did this guy want? Straight people baffle me sometimes. I mean, I guess he was just being sociable, and it wasn't too awkward except for the fact that he was really drunk at 7:30 in the evening, but why me? It seems so odd to pick the one gay guy in the room and go strike up a conversation and then invite him out for a drink. He was obviously straight, so what gives?

Weird.