Thursday, April 9, 2009

No. 25

Beer: La Cerveza del Pacifico
Date: April 3rd, 2009

Place: El Matate, The Mission, San Francisco, CA

I wasn't really sure about Ian.

It was my first day of my first job in a town that I'd been in for 35 hours after I'd driven late through the night from Atlanta after a last minute red eye from Seattle. I'd closed up all my relations and jobs and apartments in Georgia and driven up and taken a job and was sleepy, scared, excited.

Ian took me to the photo studio to take my picture. That's what they do the first day of a new job in which you are underpaid (unknown at the time) and soon to be overworked (also unbeknownst). He was chattty. Threw out a number of pop culture references. I laughed. I wasn't sure about this guy.

My photoshoot was crap. But that's how all my photoshoots are. If you are an extrovert like I was when I was 25, you try to capture all you intelligence and wit in one picture. And then you just get a bad picture.

That following weekend, there was a theme party at an art director's house. I only knew my roommate, who'd started the same day as I had, and the guy who'd taken my picture a few days before. I talked with the chatty guy and threw out a number of pop culture references and laughed and thought what a lot of shallow, self preservationist types think Is this Ian guy cool? Or is he just being nice because he needs friends? Will I be the laughing stock of this party if I only talk to him? Where'd he get his shirt?

At some point my brain got the best of my and I decided to break off the conversation and meet someone else. Or many someone elses. Fortunately for us all, one of the elses I went to talk to was a petite Greek girl named Marianna.

As the weeks went on, I realized that Ian was chatty and threw out a number of pop culture references because he was simply one of the nicest and with it people that I've met in my life. He's a genuine guy. He trusts in people and does the right things and operates his business and marriage with self effacing humor and humility and tact.

As time went on I realized that Ian didn't need friends. He had plenty. All over the place. He never meets a stranger because he's got one of those personalities that makes you think that all in well in the world and if we all just smiled more and gave more of our time we could all be pals the world over and the wars would stop and the birds would sing a few weeks earlier and global warming is just a big opportunity.

Ian wan't chatty and throwing out pop culture references that first day because he needed friends.

He was doing it because I did.

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