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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Night at the Racetrack

By the time I got off work on Sunday night, I was pretty much brain dead. I could not see straight, I could not understand customers requests. “You want vanilla AND strawberry?” I was wiped out. It was the end of a seven day work week for me and I was zapped.

Then I was supposed to find a car and get down to Lincoln Park to buy those barstools. By the time I found Ronnie, the stools had been sold. Bummer. Now what? I was a little rested and feeling like I should do something. So I decided to meet one of my blog readers.

He has been reading my blog for quite some time, since last summer or so. He’s a bartender on Sunday nights at a local bar. I hopped on the bus and went up. Before I left, I traded my red vest for my Schaal Avenue Neighborhoodie. I knew he would recogize the sweatshirt, if he didn’t recognize me. Since I’d never seen a photo, I couldn’t be sure if he was the bartender or not.

I walked into the empty bar and sat down. For a second I’m thinking, this is not the right guy. Shit. Now I’m stuck here and he’s not even here. “Leah?” “Yeah.” “What can I get you to drink?”

I have written before about how bizarre it was to sit down to dinner with my parents and Geoff and listen to them talk about my time in London, that I didn’t even need to be there. There was also the BlogReader I dated while I was in London–who read and memorized my entire blog before our first date. That left me with no stories to tell him.

Now I was sitting across the bar from a man who has read my blog and asked me on a few dates. He likes my writing and how I present myself here. I was always flattered, but a little wierded out. It is hard to catch up with someone who knows so much about you. On some level, it must be what it is like to be David Sedaris–after reading his books, you feel like you know him on an intimate level. Then you stand in line for 2 hours and when you get up there, he is kind, you talk for two minutes, and walk away. You know intimate details of his life and he has merely signed your book. It was a one way conversation. Him telling you for pages and pages about his life. When you learn that much about a person, in person, there is a give and take. They learn equal amounts about you. So to sit down with someone who knows me for the past year and I don’t know but one or two things about.

The scales aren’t level and it is bizarre.

It was a nice evening and I’m glad I stopped in. A good friend met me there for the second beer and that was fun. She always livens up the conversation with an easy laugh. Turns out that I am not that easy to talk to, unless I’m selling you ice cream.

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