OK, this (Mostly) True Story post is going to be a bit on the short side because I came home from work, had a glass or two of wine, and suddenly it’s 9 p.m. and I’ve only started writing.
So…story about life. Let me think.
There was this one time that I was on a second date with this guy, who we’ll call Steve. We’d just gotten out of a movie, I think it was The Men Who Stare At Goats. I know, I know. Interesting choice. The worst of it it is, I’d suggested it thinking it would be something he’d like to see… you know what, can your judgment! Dating is difficult, people!
So anyway, we’d gotten out of the movie and it was probably like 9ish and still early, so we decided to head downtown to this bar we both liked for a drink. We were waiting on the subway platform for a train to come. There was a homeless man sitting on a bench nearby.
Why didn’t we move further down on the platform, you ask? Honestly, homeless men are so common in New York City, if you were to try to move away every time you encountered one, you’d spend your days spinning in a erratic circles. And this one looked pretty harmless, as far as homeless men go. He was just sitting there, minding his business, staring at his worn shoes.
Then he suddenly looked directly up at us. I was steeling myself for him to ask for money, but he didn’t. Instead, he did something shocking: He reached his hand into his pants pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. From his other pocket, he pulled out a lighter. Then he opened his mouth and asked, “Do you mind?”
His tone was the same one you’d use to ask whether someone minded if they took a cell phone call at dinner, or if you borrowed their pen quickly to jot down notes during a meeting. It cued me to give the only possible response to such a question asked in such a tone: “No, not at all. Go right ahead.”
And he smoked that cigarette right on the subway platform. Steve looked at me and raised his eyebrows wordlessly. The smoke wafted. It was absolutely absurd. I, being the law-abiding citizen and secret total wuss/lame-ass that I am, was internally freaking out! What was he doing?? That was SO illegal! He was just BOUND to get caught. Weren’t there cameras down there? Put it out, Man. Save yourself!
Eventually our train came and we got on. He was still happily smoking his cigarette, somehow a free man. Apparently, you don’t get caught every time you break the law? Weird.
Anyway, when the doors shut, Steve and I both laughed harder than we had throughout the entire duration of the movie (and that movie was also very funny). So, oddly enough, the highlight of date night for both of us was witnessing a homeless man commit a misdemeanor. (Or maybe it’s a federal crime in New York these days…I’d ask my fact-checker to look into it but wait, that’s me, and I’m lazy.)
Ah, the romance of witnessing the bizarre. A shared uncomfortable experience. Is there anything more poetic? Makes one’s knees weak, am I right?
So do you guys have any weird date stories? (Are there any other kind??) Would love to read some in the comments–drop me a line!