Monday, December 14, 2009
Date: December 11th, 2009
Place: The Thirtsy Scholar, Cambridge, MA
I'm not good at waiting.
Unless I don't know that I'm waiting.
I was able to wait for my wife. Because I didn't know she was coming along. I can wait for Christmas. I can wait for thirty.
But when I'm sitting, waiting on someone to show up, that's when I fidget. When I pull out my phone and pretend that I've gotten an important message. When I shallowly yawn. When I keep looking at a door to see who is there. And then look away when the person there makes eye contact to see if I'm their blind date or business meeting or the like.
So we are waiting, Marianna and I, on a bitterly cold Friday night, in a neighborhood pub, trying to decide whether or not to go ahead and order a beer, trying to buy a few minutes from the waitress who wants to get drinks on our table and amounts on her tab that we might add 20% at the night's end.
And we are meeting neighbors. Neighbors who I don't know (50%) or have met twice (the remaining 50%). The remaining 50% I met in Mississippi. Jacob. The older brother of Lee, who I spent a lot of time with in years past, and a little time with within the last month. I knew Lee's brother was at Harvard, after getting his masters at Yale, after getting his something at Ole Miss.
I'd say he's on the up.
And now I've got my beer. A hearty Newcastle. And a Marianna, sitting right across. And we've got a couple of hovering SoCo reps who are trying to get us to take shots. (Spoiler alert: I do.)
The last time I saw Jacob, he was about a buck twenty five despite clocking in at over 6'2". I think he had a scarf over a t shirt. I can't quite remember. Just that he looked like the kind of guy who should be tucked away in a library in New Haven or Cambridge, with a pipe, thicker scarf and a thesis.
Now, years later, as Jacob and his wife come into the pub, I finally see the 50% who I've not met yet, but emailed frequently to set up our evening, and Jacob, who's now built more like a linebacker, but who could still pull off a professor.
It's a quick pint. Jacob is on a schedule; three papers that must all be longer than books I read, due within the next forty eight hours. Katherine is on his schedule too. We only have a pint, but I find we've got four years before he finishes up. Four more years of pints and professions - twelve hundred miles and nine years removed from where we first met.
I patiently wait for the next pint.
At that point, I suspect it won't be numbered.