Two nights ago, I walked back from work in the evening. I’ve been walking to and from work every day this week except yesterday, when I had to take the car, to pick up a colleague and drive to a business meeting in the morning. It’s nice to walk, it’s some 25 minutes time to myself, without any digital or other distractions. All week I’ve still been bothered by that eye thing, so I wasn’t really completely free of distraction on these walks, but still they are nice. So on Thursday night, I am walking along this street that has started to become familiar now, and I saw a very beautiful woman speaking on her phone. She was talking, I was walking home, what is there to do, I kept walking. But then I kind of didn’t want to let her out of my sight, so I slowed down, got out my smartphone, and started messing around with Facebook, standing at a corner a little down the street. Later tonight I was going to meet Lenny, the drummer in my band, to check out a rehearsal room. So I was fiddling with messages with him, to figure out when and how to meet. And as I was standing there, the woman came closer. She had ended her conversation, and was standing a little further down, at that same roundabout, apparently waiting for someone. And while she was waiting, and while I was fiddling, she kind of hovered closer … walked past me … with only a couple meters distance, kept waiting, hovering, I kept waiting, fiddling, peeking … And kept wondering: can I do something? Say something? What can I say? She had clearly seen me, she knew that I had seen her, there was a possibility to have a conversation … Or was I only thinking that? So I looked back at my phone … And she seemed to drift on along the street, still waiting … I looked up again, wait, she turned around, idly, looked at … no … past me … or maybe at me? And I was unsure, and timid, and looked at my phone again … And so it went, until the car she was waiting for turned up, she got in, it was a silver VW Golf, and she gave the driver a kiss.
And I was standing there.
What keeps me from saying something like “Hey, you seem to be waiting, I am waiting, why don’t we have a coffee while we wait?” What keeps me from saying that? What keeps me from even smiling at her. I somehow cannot bring myself to openly smile at a woman I see and like. I am not sure what the mechanism inside me is that makes me want to seem unconcerned, or cool, or something like that. Is it fear? Fear of being told a simple ‘No’? Why? Is a simple “No” worse than this? Thinking I could have done something that I didn’t do just because I am a coward? It’s a mystery. I am 41 years old, a successful entrepreneur, a musician, all around interesting person, I speak four languages, and have lived in five different countries, yet I cannot start a conversation with a random woman on the street. I need to change that. I somehow need to change that.
In Austin, I was better at this. In English, these things seem easier. Or maybe with Americans they do.
Checking out the rehearsal lab with Lenny was nice. We might join that, we could have it one night a week, and no longer be restricted to the expensive times that we get at this other place where we’re only getting in by the hour. After that, Lenny and I went for a beer in a live music club where we’d once already been, it’s not far from my place.
Not much else noteworthy happened this past week. The evenings were calm and slow, feeling not quite myself because of this eye thing, I mostly just went home and ended the evenings early. Since I was kind of freaked out by this infection, I went to see another eye doctor yesterday, a colleague had helped me find both. He told me more or less the same thing, it doesn’t seem to be anything really bad, it just needs patience, and facial packs, and drops, to go away. I hope it’s pretty much over by Wednesday. That’s when L, the girl I met in Texas, is coming.
Last night, we rehearsed with Lenny and Arad again. It was good. We are making progress, each time. And: we’re really having fun. This can become a really good band!
Today, Saturday, I am taking the day extremely slowly. I feel paradoxical about days like that. On the one hand, I totally yearn for days like this, when I don’t need to do anything. I woke up around 10:30 and stayed in bed, finishing “The King of New York” on Netflix, and then watching another Netflix film on my sofa, just killing time until the afternoon. On the other hand, I feel that somehow life is passing me by, that I am not using my time well when I’m wasting away a day like that. But that would mean that a life well-spent somehow always means activity, without a stop. And that cannot be right. Maybe it’s that wasting time by myself is what feels wrong. Maybe I just really do need someone in my life.