I was going to meet my friend Michael who I knew as a barback when I managed the sports bar back in 2019-2020. He and I had become friends and after the smoke from covid cleared we decided to hang out and get a drink.
We arranged to meet at Mix, which is a brick oven pizza bar with world-class pies at 21st and Chestnut st. They do a 12″ that when it arrives at the table seems like too much, but it’s easily crushed by one hungry dude… no problem.
I left my home around dusk and walked west on Pine street towards 21st street. I got to the corner of 20th when I saw an older woman all dressed in black exiting her house. She was with a man and another woman. As I passed by she reached out and caressed the grey french scarf I was wearing. That seemed a bit odd but she was just admiring it and maybe seemed slightly tipsy but delightful.
I love that scarf. It was made in France and given to me by an Englishman who had acquired it in Australia. We were in a bar on 11th street back in 2012 at an event at a place called Strangelove’s. He was looking to do business with the company I was working for at the time and I liked the scarf he was wearing. So in a drunken act of kindness, gave me the scarf. It’s grey and white and the colors sort of fade together. It’s long and slender and has an “aging English rocker” vibe to it. So I’ve worn it every Autumn since then.
So back to the present. This older woman grabs my scarf and starts chatting with me. The people she was with say goodbye and leave.
She’s an attractive lady who looks to be in her late 60s or early 70s. She loves my scarf and I stop to chat. She introduces herself and I’m sort of surprised and intrigued by this encounter. Remember… I’ve been in isolation for the last year and a half due to the pandemic, so I was happy to chat with anyone at this point.
She proceeds to tell me that she just came from burying her husband. He was a successful dentist for many years and they were married for a very long time. But why does this woman seem to be hitting on me the day of the funeral? It seems odd, but she’s so charming I just go with it. She asks me to remove my mask so she can see my face. I comply and she says: “You’re far too handsome to be hiding that face.”
I’m thinking, “Is this woman drunk?”
We chat some more and after a short while, we exchange numbers. She tells me she has to mourn the loss of her husband for a month due to religious beliefs. That’s fine with me. I sort of get that, but this lady seems ready to go now.
She says she’d like to meet up for coffee one day so we can get to know one another. I’m fine with that. She’s charming and engaging and it’s nice to talk to someone that comes from at least somewhere near my historical background. I’m sure there are a lot of great stories to share.
I tell her I have to get to Mix to meet up with my friend but will be in touch.
A few weeks go by and I text her and don’t hear anything back. Was it just a tipsy encounter on a painful day? I don’t know. Is she done mourning? Who knows?
A few months pass and I don’t think about her all that much. But recently I ran into her again. She looked at me and was like, “Do I know you?” I dropped the mask and she lit up. She grabbed my hand and squeezed. She was happy to see me again and we chatted a bit. She told me her dog had just died and she would have to bury him this week.
I’m thinking it seems like the two times I’ve encountered this woman there’s been a death. I’m not superstitious, but it still seems a bit strange. But of course, this doesn’t deter either of us and she still wants to meet up for coffee.
So maybe after her pup is in the ground, we can finally meet up and hang out for a bit. I’m intrigued by this unique opportunity and would like to see where it goes.
She did say something about taking me to Scottsdale and showing me off to her friends.
So there’s that.
UPDATE: I ran into her again recently and she gave me a bag of M&M’s! This seemed odd but I love the mint ones. She was sweet to me and there were some hugs. I don’t know what her deal is and I haven’t seen her since. But I did text her when I got home and thanked her for the candy. The texts went like this:
Me: Thanks for the M&Ms!
…and that was it.
As this saga unfolds, (and I hope it does!) I’ll write more. Stay tuned!
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