"hey, can i take your picture?"
i met nick as i was walking down times square that friday night. nick was handing out tickets for a comedy club to tourists and various passersby. stefanie told me later that these folks (mostly guys) are referred to as "barkers," due to all the shouting they do, and the obnoxious way they assault your ears when they do it. but this guy was nowhere near yelling, nor even remotely repellent as all the others i ran into on the street.
in fact, he was polite and funny, and totally cute. naturally, i took the tickets, even though there was a slim to none chance that i would be going to the club. as he handed them to me, he asked "hey, can i go with you?," then smiled. i did the whole kinda giggle-smile thing, because i suck at flirting with actual words, told him "thanks," then continued walking.
as i got to the stoplight to cross the street, something told me to go back and get his picture. i can be horrendously shy most of the time, especially with total strangers, so i stood there at the corner, pretending to take pictures, as my inner voices had at it. when was the last time an actual hot mans flirted with me on the street? when was the last time i actually flirted with anybody, or struck up a conversation with a stranger? what harm could it do? he would just say "yes," and it would be cool, or say "no," and that would have been that.
so i went back, and asked him if i could take his picture. he responded "sure! although, i should probably be taking yours!" (nick, if you're out there, this was so the right and smoove thing to say.). "click!"
after that, we introduced ourselves, and spoke for about 5 minutes or so, then we had to say goodbye, as he had to get back to handing out the tickets (but he said that he would be there until midnight, if i wanted to stop back by), and i moved on down the street, to continue my photostroll.
about ten minutes later, i had managed to walk another block, and had stopped to take a shot, when i heard a voice behind me, "miss, i don't think you're allowed to take pictures here." i turned around, and it was nick. he found to tell me that the club had called him back in, but that he really enjoyed meeting me, and that hopefully, he would see me later. it didn't show, but on the inside, i had melted just a little bit.
of course, it didn't even occur to me at the time (probably because i was distracted by his smile), to give him my flickr address (note to self: get new Moo cards made!). later on, though, i decided to do something i'd never done before, and wrote down my flickr info to give to him. on the way back to meet stef at Radio City Music Hall, i stopped by the club, and asked for him. the receptionist at the entrance said she wasn't sure, but that he was probably on stage, as his show had just started. she asked if i wanted to go on in and watch, but time was pressing, and i had to meet stef, so i told her "no, thanks, but could you please give this to him for me? i'd really appreciate it.," then headed on out, slightly regretful that i couldn't stay, but with a big smile on my face nonetheless.
i don't know if she ever did give him that slip of paper, but that's alright. the experience is indelibly marked in my thoughts. i mean, seriously, look at that smile!
thanks again, nick. maybe another day....