Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Slow Burn

Almost a year and a half ago, I was riding the Number 10 bus up Granville to a rehearsal. I was sitting next to one of Vancouver's own brand of crazies, who was singing along at the top of his lungs to something on his earphones. On the other side of Mr. Crazy sat a handsome guy with prematurely grey hair. I took one look at his suit - pinstriped, bespoke, lined in rose silk - and knew he was from London. We made eye contact a couple of times over Mr. Crazy's head and smiled. Then - he got off the bus. I remember thinking at the time, "If this was a movie, he'd get back on and ask me for my number. Or I'd get off and ask him for his number." But he didn't, and I didn't, and that was that.

A few weeks later, I was sitting in my office at work when London Man strolled by my office. I nearly fell out of my chair. He worked in my office? I frantically started trolling the company intranet to find out who he was, but to no avail. I tried wandering some of the other floors of our vast office a few times, to see if I ran into him, with no success.

A few weeks after that, my good friend Chris phoned. "Remember I told you my childhood friend was going to be starting in your office? Can you go and say hi and make him feel welcome? He's just moved back from England and is feeling a little out of place." I agreed, and went up to Chris' friend's office. Lo and behold - it was London Man. Trying to play it cool, I sat down and chattered frenetically at him. He was good natured, and chatty, with a wicked sense of humour, and we agreed that we should go for drinks with Chris soon. However, due to workloads, and then me leaving my job, it never happened.

Then, a few months later, London Man added me on Facebook. He informed me that he was moving to Calgary at the end of the summer. I told him that was a horrible idea as he would be leaving me behind. He would occasionally post on my wall that we needed to go for drinks soon, I would agree, and nothing would happen. And then, last month, a Facebook private message: "So. Are you married?"

My response: "No. Is that a proposal?"

Nothing in response. I put Chris and his wife on the task of sussing out whether London Man was interested - no report back. And I assumed that by now, London Man was long gone to Calgary. But then, tonight, a reply:

"No. But we should at least go for a drink first."

Me (after waiting at least an hour to reply so as to not appear eager): "That would probably be a more sensible solution."

How were we going to go for a drink with him in Calgary I wondered? Through the power of the internets, I found out - he didn't go! He's here! London Man didn't leave!

So. Now to drinks. After these months of build-up, this better be good, I tell ya...and I hope he wears his pinstriped suit.

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