November 5, 2009

Way less than 6 degrees of separation

The year was 1993 and it was a beautiful spring day in New York City. Cherry trees were in blossom, snow was long gone, and the melodic sounds of birds chirping mixed nicely with the bellowing horns of cabs and the occasional “Fuck You AND your mother!” emanating from the bustling streets of the City.

On this particular day, a Sunday, yours truly and his family are celebrating an amazing milestone. My graduation from college. At a couple of different times in my four years at Columbia, I feared I wouldn’t finish. But there I was, diploma in hand, with a very proud mother who wanted to treat me to a celebratory dinner.

We decided to eat at the famed Tavern on the Green, located on the Upper West Side of Central Park and a short walk from Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon. On this day, we have come to dine and my mother would spare no expense. In fact the food was so good that I don’t remember one thing that I ate that day. But I do remember I had to pee.

So I went to find the men’s room. It wasn’t hard to find but I remember that it wasn’t particularly large. There were two urinals against the wall and there was already someone using the one furthest from the door. I sauntered up to the other urinal and proceeded with my business – being careful to follow the Man Rules of looking straight ahead at the wall in front of me. No glances anywhere to my left would be acceptable and I followed the rules to a tee. After I was done, I zipped and headed to the sinks where the other guy was already situated. We both washed our hands in silence. As I glanced up at the mirror my sink partner’s sandy brown hair hung loosely across his face. As we finished up, he stood up taller as we reached for the towels on the counter. It was then we made eye contact for the first time.

“Hi.” He said softly, accompanied by a slight nod of his head.

“Hey.” I said back, nodding my head in reply.

We both threw our towels in the trash and I reached the door first. I held it open and he thanked me as he passed by. He turned right to return to his table and I turned left to return to mine, never our paths to cross again.

And that, my friends, is how I met Kevin Bacon.


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