Sunday, October 23, 2005

I have a few days and not much news to catch up on. Let’s see.

Last Tuesday, which would be the 18th, you may recall that I tried and failed miserably in an attempt to find Jamie. I managed to succeed on Wednesday, when he was opening for folk singer/guitarist Mark Silver at the pub at which I’d twice found myself on the previous evening.

Before entering the two gentlemen assured me that Jamie was indeed playing that night. I threw my hands up in relief and the older of the two men imitated me with a laugh and said “Thank Allah!”

You won’t find a comment like that in America. I fully appreciated it.

I babbled a minute about my grand search the night before and the younger man winked at me.

I went in and bought a Magner’s (cider) and sat down. The younger gentleman, whose name I now know to be David, came and sat next to me. We had a nice chat for a while. Jamie came out and gave me his usual look of surprise at my attendance.

David got up as the show started (he’s the secretary for the club, which apparently involves holding the door for latecomers), and when Jamie was finished he came and sat next to me. We watched Mark, who reminds me either of Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel, play, chatting during the breaks between songs. During the intermission he jumped up to do some business or other, and the woman sitting next to me started chatting about music and musical ability.

I started to wonder if this club was so lacking in walk-in audience members that the arrival of someone new caused a stir. I think I’m right.

Jamie invited me out the next day (Thursday) for breakfast and a little shopping. Something we were planning to do in Greensboro, which fell through. After the show Jamie went to pack up and chat to some people, and the bartender – apparently the other young member of the club, came over to talk to me. Remember what I said about the group being really excited about new people? I think the younger members were even more thrilled that I was under the age of fifty.

We trooped out to some little bar where they were having a music session. I, being the clever, clever young woman that I am, had brought my knitting with me, and sat and knit and listened. Because let’s face it: if you don’t play an instrument or sing, a session can be god-awful boring. I have tested this theory a number of times and I am so totally right. Yay music and all of that, but damn.

Quarter of one rolled around and I found myself a nice headache to latch onto, and so told Jamie I was going to head out. I had to walk home, after all, and wasn’t sure how long it was going to take me. He said if I waited another ten minutes he’d give me a ride.

Awesome, right?

I keep forgetting that I need to take Jamie’s concepts of time with a grain of salt. Maybe even a cup or two. We didn’t head out until after one – which was actually fine, since now that I wasn’t walking time was less of a factor. But we were also dropping off one of the other musicians. Who lived far enough outside of the city that his street didn’t show up on my city map.

But car! Driving! No worries! Much. I got home around two, and Jamie and I decided that meeting at 10 was silly, and 10:30 was far more reasonable. In retrospect I probably should’ve walked.

Waiting on the sidewalk for him the next morning (he was right on time, I was early) a Hari Krishna-style nun came by to ask me if I was happy and you know religion makes you happy and do you have any money? As I was telling her I wasn’t interested Jamie came up and put his arm around me, and we gave each other giant grins. I looked at the nun, confident that I’d answered her question about my level of happiness. Neener, neener, neener.

Y’all, Jamie and I have been trying since we met a year and a half ago to hang out without interruption and this was the first time we’ve actually accomplished it. It was fantastic.

We went to a café and sat for over an hour, talking about life and such things. I think he’s trying to get revenge on me for telling him that he would love living in North Carolina, because he spent some time telling me that he could see me in Seattle, or Boston, or at least not somewhere I’ve lived before. Now is not the time to settle, but rather to try something new and different.

His ambition for me to try things was contagious, and that bastard has me thinking about going back to school, a thing which I have been staunchly against since graduating.

I paid for breakfast while he was in the bathroom, and when he found out he tried very hard to repay me at least part of it. I refused, despite his repetitive urging, and he gave me a long hug.

We visited every shop along the Royal Mile that sold sweaters, as he was searching for one for his new sweetie, if you will. (Girlfriend isn’t the right word, and this is definitely more than a friendship, so I’m borrowing a term from a friend of mine). She has similarly colored hair to me, so anytime he found something he liked he would hold it up to me.

In the middle of our hunt we stopped for a beer and discussed sweater-and-gift options, his Scotland tour next September, and more of life.

He ended up buying her a ring, too, and as per our new custom, asked which I liked. I pointed out one, and he asked if I would like it. I turned a violent shade of pink and said no. He asked why I was blushing, and I told him it made me shy when people bought me things. But he did, because he can be ridiculously charming.

He departed suddenly after staying an hour and a half later than I thought he would. Since we’d spent so much time wandering he had to take a cab back to wherever he was staying, and our goodbye was brief. His cab drove past me and he turned to wave and blow kisses.

It was heart-achingly sweet, and an unreasonably fun day.

And now Jacqui is ten minutes late picking me up for today’s swing dance (as she predicted), so I’m going to finish getting ready and hopefully have a more entertaining entry later.

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