Filed under: Pot Luck
So it was nothing really. But at the time it was odd: two consecutive days where a random senior citizen guy took an extraordinary interest in me, for no reason at all.
Tuesday, it was outside my apartment building. I had just rushed home to make myself a salad, after running a few errands after school. I passed this big bellied guy on the phone as I headed out to my bike and thought nothing of it. A minute later, as I’m futzing with the lock on my bike, he comes up to me, speaking in Hebrew and handing me the phone.
“אנ’ מדבר אנגל’ט” I said, and he changed over to English. He thrusts me the phone and says, “Tell her I’m the fattest thing you ever saw, and she needs to have a healthy lunch with me,” he says.
He continues: “Tell her! Tell her!” he insists, and then says to me in an aside: “I’m trying to get her to say yes to a lunch date. Tell her I look terrible and fat, so she will accept my offer to eat at a vegetarian place.”
(This is this guy’s technique?)
I grab the phone and am charming. “Well, he’s not the thinnest I’ve ever seen him,” I say (not wanting to insult him.) When he encourages me silently, I go for it: “Seriously, he’s so big that he took up the whole sidewalk, and I can’t ride around him,” I say. He yanks the phone from me and asks her, “Did you hear that? I am so big that he can’t ride his bike around me!”
He shoves the phone back at me, and I improvise some more: “You should definitely come over here and go out with him. He’ll take you to a nice place…” He cuts me off with, “No, I will pick her up and take her to a beautiful place!” he says. I backpedal, “I mean, you should let him pick you up and take you out. It’s a beautiful day. You two can sit outside, he’ll take you shopping afterwards and buy you some nice things…” (His eyes open wide, but he’s into my performance and still encouraging me.)
Eventually I get myself out of this by saying I have to go to work (it was true). He’s still on the phone with her, but he leaves her hanging and asks me how we can stay in touch. I just give him my number, because I don’t expect to have this phone for much longer.
15 minutes later, I’m in the office when the phone rings. It’s him. “That was great,” he says. “It didn’t work for this time, and she doesn’t love me yet, but I thnk I will get her next time.” I tell him I’m glad. He thanks me for helping him out on the spot like that and makes a comment like, “This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.” Um, didn’t we just meet? (I’m thinking.) He says, “I’m not gay or coming onto you like that or anything, not that there’s anything wrong with that…” He senses that he’s putting his foot in his mouth and says, “Sorry, sometimes I make stupid jokes.” I tell him, “No, it was clever,” but secretly I’m pushing the silent alarm under my desk for the authorities to come get this guy and haul him away.
Anyway, I don’t think he was a gay psychopath, just a jovial dude with a big personality. But my plate is so full, I don’t have time to see and stay in touch with the great friends I already have here and abroad. I don’t need to add Fyvush Finkel to the mix.
Then, the next day, as I entered the mall where the Maccabi eye doctor’s office was in Azorei Chen, I meet a security guard who I ask for directions. His name is Moshe, and he tells me he likes my “I Love New York” shirt that my friend Jeffrey made for me. He tells me he is also from New York and made Aliyah more than 30 years ago. He yaks some more, but I get away from him.
On the way out, he asks me if I’ve signed up with the AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) yet. I tell him I haven’t, and he praises them and says he volunteers there. Then, he asks for my number and tells me he wants to stay in touch. Him, too? I doubt this guy was gay or lascivious either, but two old guys wanting my number in just as many days – what, do I have “Pop Pops of the world, let’s be BFFs” tattooed on my forehead suddenly or something???
3 Comments so far
Leave a comment