It happened like this:
I had seen him once three months earlier. Best Dude Friend was playing a set at Small Coffee Shop and he was there with a guitar and backup vocals. I remember thinking, Other Guitarist is cute, and because of happenstance and maybe, because the cosmos thinks it makes a better story, I left early after the Best Dude Friend’s concert, which I never had in the history of any of his shows. I left and went to a bar and Best Dude Friend and Other Guitarist went to another bar equal distance from Small Coffee Shop. I thought nothing more of that night until 3 months later on an unobtrusive Saturday evening in October when Other Guitarist walked through the door again.
I don’t remember his walk down the hallway or even Best Dude Friend introducing us. But I do remember the handshake, accidentally calling him ‘Matt’, and one elevator look (in which brain was giddily checking off the following things: brown hair! hipster glasses! handsome! your pants fit! and converse! I always say, Bless a man in good footwear, fall for one in converse. No, I never say that, but converse!).
And suddenly, loud and distinct, over all the other rapid fire senses invading my head, brain said, Yep.
You see, I have this sliding scale of neurosis and calm in my head. Calm, together Nancy, or Smoking Jacket Nancy, as I like to call her, is a BAMF. She drinks brandy out of a heavy crystal glass, sits in a fancy red leather wingtip chair in silk, striped pajamas and a majestic purple and gold embroidered smoking jacket and she knows everything before it happens. She gives good advice and I’ve never seen anyone rock fancy house shoes like she does. She’s the part of me that always keeps her calm and shakes her head slowly and knowingly when the other side of me takes over.
That other part of me, Neurosis Nancy, doesn’t come out often. She freaks out about money unnecessarily and scares me into not buying paper towels because what if my heating bill is 8,000 dollars this month and if only I hadn’t bought paper products I wouldn’t have overdrawn the checking account! And she yells things in my head while I’m driving like, “OH GOD! Remember when you were in that accident! That car over there is is going to smash into- Oh, no false alarm. You’re fine. Drive already.” I would like to clarify that Neurosis Nancy never rules my head, but sometimes she grabs the microphone and yells incoherently for 30 second to 5 minutes before Smoking Jacket Nancy can sick her highly trained pack of dobermans on her. Typically, I exist much more toward Smoking Jacket Nancy on the spectrum.
So, in my head on that day, Smoking Jacket Nancy was raising her brandy glass and wiggling her eyebrows knowingly as I accidentally called Other Guitarist the wrong name and I could hear her voice saying, Yep, this is something. And it was, because nothing like that had ever happened, ever, in 24 years.