OK...I have spent too many days trying to write this down already, so in the classic writer's style I decided to make it
two three parts.
That would make this Part I.
For the first time all evening I am silently asking myself just what the hell do I think I'm doing. The reality is not so much that I am asking myself this question for a genuine answer, but that the sheer oddness of it finally hit.
I ordered another Coke. Alcohol wasn't required to enhance this scene; in truth, caffeine wasn't either, but Coke is the standby when I don't know what else to drink.
There is bustle all around me. Sitting at this table in one of a dozen Indian restaurants on 6th street on the lower east side of Manhattan. I haven't ever quite been to this part of the city before, but felt comfortable with the surroundings. I was just taking in the activity.
Waiters were tripping over each other and shouting strange orders at one another in some semblance of a recognizable language. Well, I have always assumed so. They could have been speaking in tongues for all I know...actually, for all I know, they were. However, whenever anyone from our table ordered something it seemed to show up, and any further analysis would be superfluous. Oh well.
Beyond the glass doors to my rear is the city. No, it's *The City*. There is no need to describe the bustle of The City. It is constant...omnipresent. You can feel it in the air, and smell it on the breeze. Electric and enveloping, it runs up your spine and down your fingers. I love the vibe in the village...so much more honest than greed of the financial district or the shallowness of midtown.
Somehow I don't think that I'd have been allowed to change into my "night clothes" in the bathroom of Moran's or Windows on the World.
I'm very hungry.
The initial fits and starts of the conversation were expected. Three people trying to fill the silence with whatever comes to mind, while some theme can be agreed upon. Given the participants present, the local geography seems to be a good place to start.
My first thought on this tête-à-tête-à-tête was that it would be a meeting of webloggers. Loony, Following Eden and Evil Twin were breaking bread in some form of a digital summit, communing over the state of our lives as they existed in the digital realm. But this wasn't happening, at least, not yet. This was Amber, John, and Tony, a web designer from California, a computer nerd from Jersey, and a transplanted Toronto musician sitting around a table...otherwise normal people shooting the breeze waiting for the appetizers.
It was weird because it wasn't. Not really.
That's not to say that the circumstance that brought the three of us around this table isn't surreal. The likelihood of any other medium drawing together these three otherwise unconnected people seemed incredibly small, however moot as well, since here we were. As time passed the conversation became easier, the company more trusting. The main courses were delivered and no one had really mentioned the web yet. How cool.
The Muttar Panir was awesome. I am an authority on this since it's the only Indian dish I will eat. I do that frequently with certain types of food. I find one thing I truly enjoy, and run with it. Every time I order Indian I get the same thing. At least I can compare all restaurants fairly.
Tony wasn't what I expected. I hadn't seen many pictures of him, but none of them did justice to the man. I was prepared for that possibility since I experienced something similar when I met Amber, but no matter how ready you are for it, the reality is a trifle disconcerting. No matter how accurately your personality translates onto the words of the web, the digital images and sounds that try to fill in the third, flesh-and-blood dimension of a living soul don't do a very good job.
That's probably a good thing. At least the surprises are all positive.
Stories turned back and forth, to and fro, in a great social round robin of the American dinner. Even if I could recount every word here, ninety minutes of inane and not-so-inane chatter is too much to replay in print. Suffice it to say, it was a good time.
Tony, who's upcoming musical performance was instrumental (pardon the pun) in drawing the three of us here, excused himself to go and prepare for the evening. I bid him farewell for the moment, paid the bill, and Amber and I took a short stroll towards Avenue A.
:::::posted by erratic :: 12-something AM EST linky
Monday, July 2, 2001
I don't know if I have ever so completely unplugged for such a long period before. It was a good thing.
No, I'm not dead.
Yes, I'm back...more or less. I have roughly a billion emails and voicemails to go through.
No, I'm not "OK" (but thank you for asking). Things are still good and bad (aren't they always), differently than before, but I have the energy to deal with some of it now. As for the others, well...
If I go dark again for a couple of days, don't be shocked. I found it more refreshing than I originally suspected.
To everyone who sent their good wishes and thoughts and hugs, thank you. You rock.
I find it odd that I have so much in me to write, and so little compulsion to put it all down at the moment. Some of it will get out of my head via phalangical transfer sooner or later. I am gearing up the machine.
We apologize for the delay, and thank you for your patience. Your call is important to us.
Please stand by.
:::::posted by erratic :: 10-something PM EST linky