Pain and Shame and Handicrafts // Liana Liu
From my interviews I have learned the following: people like hot people, and people reading books in coffee shops are constantly being approached by wannabe lovers. So today I asked myself why I have never been approached by a wannabe lover while reading in a coffee shop.
It was a moment of pain and shame before I realized that I don't ever read at coffee shops. In fact, I rarely leave my apartment. Take that, pain and shame! Unfortunately for you, I am boring. Fortunately for you, other people do leave their apartment and have amazing interactions with the outside world, so I ask them questions about it. For you, darling, only for you. Today's interview is with Kacee, instructor of literature.
What are you reading now?
I'm reading Ana Castillo's So Far From God. Have you read any of her work? It's a very exuberant style of writing--she includes recipes and magical things. Do you know Ntozake Shange? She has a book called Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo that reminds me of Ana Costillo's style. They complement each other because they are both women-centric and have elements of the supernatural and recipes and folk-pieces incorporated. (1)
That sounds great. So you're reading this at the coffee shop. Do people ever try to pick you up while you're reading?
Once I was reading at Fire Roast, in my neighborhood, and this guy asked me about what I was reading. He seemed kind of nice and kind of creepy, in that way where it's hard to tell...
And what happened?
Because I'm in a committed relationship I always manage to either explicitly or implicitly give the stop sign.
What's the stop sign? (2)
Turning back to my reading, or making an inconclusive comment, or mentioning my boyfriend. Sometimes I feel bad because I'm interested in meeting new people, so I feel bad that I cut off conversations too quickly because I'm attached and if I sense that sexual interest...
Yeah! Because you don't want to lead them on but at the same time, everything is so sexual! (3)
I'm curious about other people, but I've learned through experience. When I was younger, in my early twenties, I would often think, "Oh, he's not necessarily being sexual, we're just exploring each other as people and having discussions." (4) And I realized no, pretty much every guy who talks to a woman who is sitting alone in a café has some kind of sexual motive. Even if they are fifteen or seventy-five.
Has some seventy-five-year-old hit on you?
I had a good friendship with a seventy-one-year-old man which unfortunately kind of soured when he confessed that his feelings were more-than-friends. This was after I'd been driving him to his doctor's appointments and hearing about his diabetes and gas and other old-man ailments. We enjoyed listening to classical music together, talking about literature, and I encouraged him to seek social outlets in his building, an old people's building, and he said the ladies in his building were too old for him!
Wow! How did you meet him?
I was volunteering for a service that drives senior citizens. He's very dapper. He's Argentinean and has a very interesting life story. He was a diamond setter and also played the piano, he would play for ballerinas... (5)
Are you sure you weren't interested? Who doesn't like a dapper seventy-year-old?
Yeah, he always wore cologne and a nice outfit when I saw him, which is more than I can say for most men in their twenties.
Have you ever dated someone or refused to date someone because of what he was reading?
I dated this welder who really loved Louis L'Amour.
Sexy! What happened with him?
He was too much of a pothead. (6)
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