Is it him? The one that really understands me? The one I’ve been waiting for? My soul mate?
Okay, let’s be real here. I don’t believe in soul mates. But I do believe that I met, at the very least, the male version of me tonight. And I’ll call him Scruff. He had some nice facial hair going on.
There Scruff and I was, at the front door of Saigon Noodles, reaching for the door at the same time. Like a true gentleman, he let me go in first. I asked for a table for one, and immediately he did the same. Connection #1.
As I sat down, my eyes followed him to his seat–the table diagonal from me where I could watch him, but not vice versa [insert evil laugh]. Yup, I’m officially the world’s creepiest diner. I opened up my latest issue of The Economist and noticed he also brought in the paper. Dining alone to catch up on some news? Connection #2.
We both ordered our food, and the waiter brought out our spring rolls. I thought I was the only fatty in the world who would shamelessly order an appetizer and an entree for one. Connection #3.
Later, our noodle soups were delivered to the table and I smiled at the thought that we both ordered pretty much the same thing. As we began to dig into our respective entrees, I noticed he took out a pen and flipped to the crossword. This is where my heart skipped a beat.
Dining alone while working on a crossword? Did Scruff realize that ever since college I brought a crossword puzzle with me 99% of the time I dined alone? Let me tell you friend, I go out to eat a lot on my own. And the one time I decided to read my new subscription to The Economist I am able to live vicariously through this young, bearded stranger and his word puzzle? (Okay, I confess I ripped out the crossword from somebody’s paper the other day and worked on it at lunch).
Will I ever encounter this wonderful man ever again? Could we have a future where Scruff and I both go out to eat, share an appetizer, and get through the crossword together? Or perhaps this was me staring into another dimension where I’m a tall, lean, white cruciverbalist male in his twenties?
I will never know.
The only thing I can count on is that if I ever see him again, going through the same ritual, I will either make it a table for two or kill him because I’m tired of not being my own person.
This is Amy Hu signing off for August 30th, 2012.