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                  Living Hell - Volume #1, Issue #2

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Contents
========

  o Movie Hell Postscript
  o Car Versus Semi on Interstate 40
  o Last Night at a Bar


Movie Hell Postscript
=====================

See http://www.moviehell.com/ for final totals of films
reviewed, grades assigned, adjectives overused, and naughty words
written, plus link to last year's retrospective "One Hundred Re-
views Later."


Car Versus Semi on Interstate 40
================================

See http://192.220.87.232/jpg/pin  for pictures and wee narra-
tive on terrible-looking, non-fatal wreck from June 5.  Includes
landing, loading, and lifting off of Carolina Air Care's "Tarheel
One."


Last Night at a Bar
===================

[ Happened one year ago ]

The subject is spotted at 9:45 p.m.  She arrived earlier, I think,
but this is the first time I've noticed her.  The first time I've
taken a *really* good look at her.  She's standing alone, a few
feet away, and apparently looking for another individual.  Her eyes
rapidly scan the room, her head turning in every direction.  She
loiters a little longer and returns to the second room.  I'm in the
back of the first room, watching as she leaves.  I'm still watch-
ing, a few minutes later, when the subject pokes her head back in.
Is she still trying to find that third party?  Maybe she's bored.
Or restless.  Her measurably cheery presence-- at least at a dis-
tance-- disappears again, leaving curiosity (mine) in its wake.
Five more minutes pass before I decide on a course of action.
Crossing the first room to the second, I position myself against a
wall, opposite the door and beside a large monitor.  Twenty, maybe
thirty individuals are inside, some interacting, others merely mil-
ling by their lonesome.  I spot the subject immediately and spend
the next eleven minutes (and a half) studying both her and those
interacting with her.  Are they extra-attentive?  Do their gestures
or expressions reveal the nature of their interpersonal relation-
ship, if one exists?  I watch *her* as she circles the room, in
search of someone to interact with.  I also notice that *she* ini-
tiates each encounter.  Good.  She also choose a different partner
each time.  Good.  She neither appears to be there "with" anyone,
nor visibly "interested" in anyone.

During this assessment, I also mull *my* coming actions.  Make eye
contact?  Approach abruptly?  Discreetly pass a handwritten note?
Alas, my mulling is unexpectedly cut short when *she* bee-lines for
*me*.  Before I can blink, I've accepted her hand and we're leading
each other onto the dance floor.  My first inquiry is made midway
through the song.  I ask her name and occupation.  She works in the
same field as I.  Good.  I also mention my hobbies.  She has a sim-
ilar set of interests.  Good.  Over conversation continues into a
second song and, soon thereafter, I'm standing again, alone at the
wall.  Information learned so far:  she works in town and lives in
town.  She's around the same age as myself and has been employed in
her field for several years.  She smiles a lot and displays a gen-
erous amount of enthusiasm while dancing.  I make a mental note:
do not mistake an effervescent personality as an enthusiastic reac-
tion to meeting me.  Other observations:  she does not appear to be
either engaged nor married; neither indicators are spotted on her
ring finger.  There *does* appear to be a diamond on her *right*
hand, however.  Divorced?  I've also been watching the *men* watch-
ing her.  At least one person looks slightly smitten, but he only
glances at her occasionally.  Good.

Three more songs are played.  I approach and ask for another dance.
This time, I open the conversation with the weather, specifically
talking about recent storm activity in the area.  Segue to our com-
mon interests, which she displays both knowledge and enthusiasm to-
ward.  Good.   The conversation again stretches over a second song.
When we don't talk, I pay attention to her physical form-- or at
least, as much as can be learned from loose-fitting clothes.  By
this time, I've also slipped a non-business business card into my
shirt pocket.  So, while we're walking off the dance floor, I offer
same.  She accepts with a smile and thank you.  First, thanking for
the dance.  Second, thanking for the business card.  Good.  I re-
turn to The Wall; she returns to working the room.  Having make a
successful "contact," I'm tempted to leave.  And yet... I remain
curious.  Will she drop me a later line?  Perhaps initiating a con-
versation about our common hobbies?  And, most importantly, has she
perceived enough interest from me?  Regarding the latter, I decide
no.  Casual encounters are a dime a dozen and, when there's dancing
to be done, attention is tossed about like loose change.  No, I
need to cinch this one.  Thus I wait.  Wait for a break between
songs.  Wait until she's alone.  Seven-and-a-half minutes later, I
stand beside and speak my carefully chosen words "very nice to have
met you."  She smiles, seemingly matching my sentiment.  And then I
take the plunge.  "I'd like to talk to you again, away from here."
She stares blankly.  Uh oh.  I repeat myself and this time she
hears what I must've mumbled.  Big smile.  Yes, she answers.  Then
she clasps my hand in appreciation.  I nod, return her smile, re-
turn her clasp, and leave the building.  Yes, I think I might ask
this person to have coffee.

Copyright 2000 by Michael John Legeros

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