baking photos by kristen yoonsoo kim
Him: Hey. Nice to meet you. I’m Y.
Me: Nice to meet you too, Y, I’m Michael.
Him: It’s so funny. I was just thinking about you, the other day.
Me: Oh, is that so? Why?
Him: This is so weird. I’ve just met you, but I feel a sort of connection between us. Something cosmic, maybe.
Me: Haha… please sit down. Take your coat off. Would you like a drink? I think I have some Xmas whiskey around here somewhere…
Him: Of course. I’ll have some whiskey.
Me: What would you like me to mix it with? I have ice, and ice.
Me: It’s a joke. I don’t have any mixers.
Him: Ice will be fine.
Me: So, cosmic connection?
Him: Well, you said hi to me on Grindr…
Me: That’s true…
(sometimes i think cylons have invaded my grinder app)
Him: Which led me to your blog, which I spent the last three days reading.
Me: You what?
Him: I read the whole thing.
Me: Congrats, I haven’t even read the whole thing…
Him: Is that so?
Me: No. I’ve read it a few times…
Me: What?? I’m self absorbed! Keep going…
Him: Anyway I was at a soba restaurant the other day, and I kept hearing them call out a name to someone in the kitchen. They kept yelling Kazu!
Me: Aw. My little brother, Kazu. I love that kid.
Him: Exactly. He looked so familiar, and I thought the coincidence was too strong, and I had to try to meet you.
Me: Well I hope you’re not too disappointed.
Him: No, not at all. When I hugged you hello, I noticed you have a nice smell.
Me: I… uh, what? I mean, thank you. Thank you. That’s very sweet of you to say. You’re a very cute boy yourself.
Him: I’m 32.
Me: I know, but you know what I mean. Can I sniff you?
Me: You know, now that we’re keeping tabs.
(pause – I smell him.)
Me: You smell nice too.
Him: Thank you.
Me: Well I’m glad that’s out of the way. So you were talking about connections?
Him: Yeah. I do this thing. I have dreams sometimes. Sometimes they come true. Well, no, not exactly, but it’s something similar. Do you have time? Can I tell a story?
Him: A while back I had a dream. I dreamed about my 4th grade teacher. I hadn’t thought about him in a long time, but he was one of my better teachers and he was well liked by the class… Anyway, that’s pretty weird to just dream about your old teacher like that.
(grindr, that’s not what umbrellas are for…)
Anyway, in my dream he was dead. Everyone was sad that he was dead. Lots of students had gathered to celebrate him and commemorate his death. Well, I didn’t think much about the dream until a few months later when my grandfather in Tokyo had a stroke. I was supposed to go back and see him, but I had this feeling that everything with my grandfather would be all right. In any case, I wound up taking a flight back to Tokyo.
Me: Bye, bye – 1500 dollars.
Him: Right? And here’s the weird thing: my grandfather wound up being fine. BUT. While we were visiting him in the hospital, I found, just by chance that my 4th grade teacher was there, dying of cancer.
Me: Are you serious??
Him: Yes. I happened to walk by his room and notice his name on the door.
Me: That’s amazing.
Him: Yes, and I contacted a number of our classmates that I could find on Facebook, and we all went to visit him, and thank him for teaching us, and affecting our lives. And then he died, shortly after.
Me: Is that true?
Me: That’s a beautiful story. Hey…
Me: Thank you for telling me that. I’m glad you felt a connection with me. I’m glad that you’re here. And, know what?
Me: I think it was a very kind thing you did, organizing your classmates together to visit your teacher. I think that’s impressive.
Him: Oh… I just wanted him to see how much further down the line he had affected the world. I wanted him to know that he taught us well, and that we went out in the world and did well. It was important to me.
Me: Well thank you for telling me about that. I think that’s inspiring, somehow.
Him: Thank you.
Him: Can I smell you again?
Me: Yes, of course you can.