There’s a table in the bookstore that I’ve been particularly fond of for a few years now. It’s a little round ditty for two next to the window. It’s a perfect location– isolated enough to share private sagas of heartbreak and friendship, but it is also snug up against the window so passersby can see how many friends I have. At that very table, I’ve had some of the best conversations of the past few years. More importantly, I’ve heard (and spilled) really juicy gossip at that table (using a volume just quiet enough so that the bookstore customers can’t hear what I’m saying, but just loud enough so that they know they’re missing something good). One could say I became a man at that table. At the very least, I’ve eaten thousands of over-priced chocolate-covered almonds there.
Like many other weekday nights throughout my college career, I was sitting at that Very Special Table on a Monday in February. The windows were painted with cute scenes of innocent kittens playing with balls of yarn. My friend Andrew Perelman (whose name I use in full so that if any future employers google him, they know about his involvement) walked by on the sidewalk outside and saw me at the table. He came up to the window and waved.
It should be noted that I startle easily.