FlashBack Friday- Memento

When I first met him I had no interest in dating at all. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I had plenty of interest in dating, just not serious dating. Prior to meeting CableDad, who at the time was not yet a dad and therefore simply Cable (or Cableless, his favored gaming tag), I had been in a rather rocky relationship that through its ins and outs had lasted well beyond its expiration date by at least a year. It was the sort of relationship that had a rocky beginning, a dreamy middle and a vicious end. By the time I was truly emotionally cut free from that debacle I had made the conscious choice not to date with any seriousness for quite some time. I felt a strong desire to revert back to my earlier days of “boys are toys and must be put back in the toy box when I’m done playing with them.” Ah, the simplicity of it all. No need to have “the talk” ever. No need to apologize for not calling when I should have. No need to try to explain why I’d prefer to go out with my friends. Simplicity.

Yeah, not really, but that’s the way I had envisioned being single again after 3 years.

And that’s what would have happened if a friend had not decided to intervene.

Cynthia was a bartender at a restaurant not far from my house. On the days that I was not teaching class I would bring my work or a book to the bar, sit drinking coffee and working while she was busy and chatting it up with her when she was not. It was a great trade off. I had a mental diversion from the tediousness of Freshman essays and gained a constant caffeine source. All was right with the world. Little did I know that Cynthia was plotting my relationship future.

CableDad Cableless lived in the apartment building next door to the restaurant where Cynthia worked. His office was in the building next to that. Now, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this about CableDad Cableless, but he’s a bit of a homebody. He HATES driving and if he had his choice he’d only work contract jobs from home. Having said that he is also a huge FOODIE. Nothing can get him to leave the comfort of his couch like a good meal. So, put 2 and 2 and 2 together and you have CableDad Cableless frequenting the restaurant at which Cynthia worked and I hung out.

One typical Miami summer afternoon the rain came down so hard that I lost all power in my apartment, which wouldn’t have been so awful, but it was a day off and with no lights in the house I couldn’t even sit back and enjoy a book. I phoned Cynthia at work to bitch about it. (Because nothing makes me happier than working up a good senseless rant) She quickly informed me that the restaurant hadn’t lost power and that if I wanted to I could bring my book down in case she got too busy to chat. Eureka! The day was saved. So, I grabbed by biography of Elizabeth Tudor (That’s Tudor, not Taylor. Yes, I am a geek. I’ve admitted to that at least a dozen times already) and headed out the door.

When I got to the bar there was only one other customer there, sitting reading quietly to himself. I chose a bar stool a few down the row, settled in, opened my book and greeted Cynthia. She brought me a coffee and said she’d be back in a few minutes so I began reading. Now, when I read I rarely remain on the same plane as the people around me. By that I mean that it hardly matters what I’m reading, I will get completely absorbed. It’s sometimes difficult to get my attention if my nose is in a book.

I point that out only because what happened next was totally out of character for me.

I heard Cynthia talking to the guy with the book at the bar. Actually, what I heard was the word “memento”. Now there are two reasons why that particular word caught my attention. Firstly, it’s not entirely common to hear random Latin vocabulary come out of Cynthia’s mouth. (I do specify that it’s not common for Cynthia, but for a great number of my friends and acquaintances it is VERY common, the upside to being a medievalist.) Secondly, a few months earlier I had seen an absolutely fantastic movie called “Memento” and I had been raving about it to Cynthia anyone who would listen since that day. I was pretty sure that she had not yet seen the movie so my curiosity was piqued to hear her mention it.

I turned my attention to Cynthia and the guy with the book at the bar. (For a long time, by the way, when I mentioned him to my roommate I referred to CableDad Cableless as the “bar book guy”.) He was three bar stools away and was enthusiastically gesturing with his hands while describing a scene from the movie. “Hmmmm,” I thought. “Reading, drinking coffee, talks with his hands” (a rather potent family trait but not something I frequently encounter in others) “and likes my new favorite movie. Inter-es-ting.” It was this moment that Cynthia demonstrated her match maker abilities in full. She positioned herself between us on the other side of the bar and asked me a question about the movie. She then made a comment about it to him. This went on for a little while until I noticed that Cynthia was back at work and I was talking to “bar book guy” about the movie. The entire time Cynthia kept us well stocked with coffee.

It must have been an hour or so later and I noticed that I had been chatting with “bar book guy” for quite some time and that the rain had stopped. He must have noticed the time as well because he hurriedly got up, excused himself saying that he had an appointment, but could he take me out for sushi some night. I thought about it. We had spent a lovely hour discussing interesting topics. He read. He wanted to eat sushi. He read. I agreed, provided it was a weeknight, we’d go dutch, he wasn’t picking me up at my house and it wasn’t called a date. He smiled but agreed to my conditions and gave me his phone number. I did not give him mine.

When he walked out of the bar, I turned around to Cynthia and said, “Who is that guy?” which may sound like an odd question since I had just spent the past hour talking to him, but Cynthia has the elusive talent of great bartenders to inobtrusively get people to open up and talk about themselves. She said that he came in nearly every day for multiple meals and that during the course of her examination of him she had determined that he was perfect for me but she had to orchestrate the meeting subtly since if I realized I was being set up I’d never stand for it. From the moment I had made my griping phone call she had set me up.

Fine. I’ll go out to dinner with him, but that’s it.





Sign in below and visit other participants’ flashbacks. 🙂


~ by CableGirl on Friday, February 1, 2008.

19 Responses to “FlashBack Friday- Memento”

  1. Okay, I totally loved that story, and also realized we could probably geek out over one another’s reading lists as I am a bit of a medievalist myself.

  2. CableGirl gets funky with the strikethru function! *g*

    I love this story… we have to make a movie of it in reverse narrative now, starting with MJ [little] locking you in the garage, progressing slowly thru CableDad tattooing gourmet recipes to his flesh, climaxing in a Sontaran Invasion of 32nd avenue, and scored by Monkey Village all-stars. [aside, to my PA] Francine, get Stephen Soderbergh on the line, please, and get me two iced chai if you would, fax one to CableGirl, please.

  3. hey I liked the story.. I mean the reality a lot..
    Flash back friday looks like a brilliant idea.

  4. Wonderful start to this great project! You really told this beautifully. And brava, Cynthia! BTW… I’m playing, and I’m signed in, but it doesn’t seem to be showing. I’d love to see others who are playing, too.

  5. Ok, I saved my space on the linky thingy, now I just have to type it. And loved reading that story by the way!

  6. Wow, what a tale! I loved it.
    I also wanted to explain why I didn’t jump in with a post for this first friday flashback… or flashback friday. See? I am so knackered I can’t even get the name right!
    It’s been a hell of a week with a major rampant virus going through our school, so last night, rather than blog I went to bed. And tonight? I am about to do the same.
    Loved the tale though, truly I did, and I plan to join you next week! Button and EVERYTHING!

  7. Amazing how your future can get handed to you in an instant, isn’t it?

  8. What a great story!! Thanks for sharing your flashback!!

  9. I loved this story!! I was in the same situation as you, just out of a bad marriage, boys are toys, nothing serious when I met my husband. Isn’t it amazing how life works out?

  10. Great story! blog hoppin!

    –Virtual Varmint

  11. What a great story! It left me wanting more! LOL!

  12. I love these kind of stories… especially since I know it had a happy ending. =)

    Etcetera – blog hopping

  13. Great story, great flashback!
    Blog hoppin;

  14. Haa, thank god I was out of town or you’d probably have come down the street to my house 😛

  15. aw. that’s an excellent intro. i’m all warm and gooshy with kitmet, now.

    blog hopping!
    ~ aka stumbleina

  16. Beautifully written story! The weather even cooperated by adding the “stuck in the rain” factor. Like a cool indie film. No, don’t worry, I would not insult your geekiness/intelligence by saying it was like a nice chick flick.

  17. Great story! I got so wrapped up in the wake and funeral I was in Chicago for that I completely forgot to participate. Are you doing it again next Friday?

  18. yes, Yes, YES! Every Friday will be FlashBack Friday. If you missed it last week, join in this week. I can’t wait to read more flashbacks. 🙂

  19. I read this before, and planned to join the fun, then got sidetracked and realise that I never commented. So, better late than never. I love romance stories that are quirky but true!!

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