At Curry-For-A-Dollar restaurant (which I don’t recommend for its food) near Berkeley, we ordered and found a table in the enclosed room. As we sat down, Chris went to find a restroom. As I waited, I started looking around the restaurant, noting the decor, the 8 person table of people who came for a bday? a night after a huge project? friends?, the staff who were friendly and seemed to have fun, the chairs…
“Do you live in Berkeley?” A man at the bar turned and asked me.
He was slightly balding. Caucasian. I pegged him as early to mid forties. Possibly even late thirties.
“No,” I carefully started. I couldn’t help but try to guess at his intentions. There’s no such thing as friendly conversation anymore.
“Oakland?” he asked.
“No…” I considered just forcing him to guess and play a game. Instead, I continued, “San Francisco. I just wanted to visit since I went here for college.”
He started talking about how he went to school in the south and how he came out to Oakland. I asked if he came to this restaurant often — highlighting the concept of curry for a dollar. At that moment, Chris came back, meandering to the table.
Immediately, the guy cut me off, “Oh, I am sorry. You have company! Have a good evening.”
In embarrassment, he quickly left.
Chris looked at me, “What was that all about?”
“I don’t know. I guess he wanted company.”