Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Accustomed to your face.

The first thing I said to Juan Pablo at Larry and David's wine-and-cheese party Sunday was that he looked familiar. I'm fairly sure it sounded like a line.

"Have I met you before?" I asked him. "You look really familiar."

Juan Pablo moved to Atlanta from South America about seven years ago to go to Georgia Tech, so I knew I likely hadn't met him at school.

(I recall the night I kissed the beautiful Latin man wearing a dress at the Boybutante Ball when I was 20, but that was not Juan Pablo. That beautiful Latin man in a dress was the same one I walked up to in a cafe weeks later and asked, "Hey, didn't I kiss you?" And he blushed, then turned back to his book. I'm never smart in those situations.)

So I thought maybe Juan Pablo was that guy or the guy from the sweaty T-shirt photo that I downloaded over and over and over years ago from Planet Out. But he wasn't that guy, either.

Anyway, last night I was working at the cash registers of my bookstore when Juan Pablo walked up to the counter with a copy of Dan Brown's ANGELES Y DEMONIOS.

"Juan Pablo!" I said a bit loud, and he looked at me and smiled. "So THAT'S why you looked familiar!!"

Juan Pablo is the guy who sits quietly at a table in the Linguas en Espanol corner of my bookstore two or three nights a week, the one whom I walk up to on occasion and ask if he wants me to shelve any of his books for him.

It's amazing how different a regular or semi-regular bookstore customer can look in a different setting - particularly when the customer is seen by candlelight, wearing a good smile, tighter pants and a more open shirt while speaking frequently and eloquently and holding a glass of white wine.

Juan Pablo apparently hangs out in my store after his regular trips to the gym.

He was surprised to see me. We spoke for a few minutes. I rang up his book, shook his hand twice and wondered to myself why I hadn't put mousse in my hair yesterday morning.

When he left, I'd forgotten to deactivate the security tag in his book. So it beeped when he went out. (I hope he doesn't hate me from now on. I was just so distracted that he was there.)

I knew he looked familiar.

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