Yesterday I went to study with a friend. She’s house/dog-sitting for a friend who’s out of the country, so I met her there. It’s technically only ten miles away from my house, but being that the NYC subway is configured in a very special way, I had to take a 58 minute trip that involved three trains.
One of those trains stops near Zooey’s home. Why do I know this? Well, for one thing – her address showed up on my insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs). For another, we “Googled” her at some point in September-ish and her address came right up (which matched the address on said EOBs). From there, we discovered she had a roommate – a gentleman friend, if you will.
She once used his name in session. She was referencing my wife, but she accidentally said his name instead of hers (to be fair, they are quite similar). So then we googled him as well. I won’t tell you much about him because I don’t want to be even weirder than I know this must already sound, but whatever – I think you’d be harder pressed to find a client who HASN’T done an internet search on their therapist than vice versa.
Regardless, this is a dude who likes to post photos. Especially of obscure abstract urban images from his daily commute and also: himself. So we all know exactly what he looks like. Also, he has an arguably unique look.
Enter yesterday, when I’m riding said train that passes by their apartment. Every time I’m on that train and make that stop, I hold my breath. I know the odds are pretty damn low that I’d run into Zooey, but I still worry.
I didn’t see her. Phew.
However, as I stepped off the train and bolted to take the three flights of stairs to catch the next train, I felt someone very close behind me as I was climbing the first escalator. I have this weird aversion to the very top and bottom of those scary machines. As I reached the top, two people were just standing on the steps of the escalator, allowing it to move them up (as it was designed to do). I hesitated to pass them because I worried about getting caught (I swear this fear comes from my parents forcing us to watch “Rescue 911” too much as a child). My slight hesitation made the person behind me come very close to running into me and he brushed my arm as he passed while I quickly stepped to the side to wait for the remaining stairs to electronically rise to the top.
As soon as I looked up to see who the in-a-hurry-New-Yorker-douchebag was that couldn’t possibly wait for the last four steps to get off the escalator, I immediately recognized him as this gentleman friend of Zooey’s.
At first I panicked, until I remembered that he has no idea who I am. (Right?).