(sitting in an all-night diner)
A: When I was somewhere in the vicinity of 10 years old, my uncle--the one who came out here recently and at that time he must have been, oh, 21 years old--my uncle and I were sitting in Bonanaza--a family steakhouse chain in the southeastern US; you don't have them here do you?
S: (shakes head)
A: Anyway, we were sitting there eating and there was this elderly couple--probably about 90 years old--sitting nearby. They weren't talking to each other. They were just eating and looking around absently. They didn't seem unhappy or anything, just...content. So my uncle looks over at them for awhile and says, "Look at them. They've probably said everything there is to say to each other. Now they don't even need to talk because they know each other so well. I want that." I thought it was so interesting that he said that, even when I was only 10. I mean, you don't hear a lot of 21 year olds say things like that, you know? I'm sure he doesn't even remember saying it.
A: I doubt that he even...[pauses and lifts nose and sniffs the air in the diner]...oh my God! Wait! [continues to sniff] That smell, do you smell a lady? Like a lady's perfume?
S: (shakes his head)
A: Who was it that just walked past me? That busboy over there?
A: He smells like my grandma! I mean, I'm sure that's not a compliment from his perspective, but he does. He smells like my grandma's perfume. How funny: I was just telling a story about one of her kids and now I smell her.
S: (sits in silence)
A: You know, I don't know what's going on in your head when you don't say anything. Do you just sit there and think about how crazy I am? It must be interesting to sit there and just watch me talk endlessly about the weirdest things.
S: It's like watching a one woman tragedy unfold before me.
* * * * *
M: [nods toward S. and says in a whisper] He has a crush on you.
M: Yes, he does. I could tell as soon as he got in the car.
A: No. We're really good friends. Maybe you're not used to seeing that between a man and woman?
M: He has a crush on you.
A: We tried that already and it didn't work.