Lynne d Johnson



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06.25.04 12:55 AM

new york ain't really that big

believe it or not, i don't really get out that often. i mean socially. well, not unless it's somehow work-related, or possibily a meeting with a fellow blogger, and then there's the occasional brunch, dinner, or movie with a friend or my love. but really, i don't get out much.

so tuesday night when n. called me to accompany n. to a play about a drag queen's birthday that n. was writing a review of - i said sure why not. besides, i hadn't seen n. in eons. but then n. also wanted me to go to this spot where some new acquaintance of n's was having a birthday party. it wasn't a private party. it was happening in a well attended venue - but it was one i had never been to. i didn't really want to go, you know having to get up for work in the morning and all, and still having to finalize a midterm i was making for my students. but i gave in anyway. and i'm kind of glad i did, because i got to study six degrees of separation in effect.

at first i was all ho hum, i'll have one drink and be out. but eventually, some folks came to the table where i was sitting and we engaged in a conversation about being adjunct professors-three of us at the table are. we also talked about music, pop culture, critical theory, yadda, yadda, yadda, yaa.

for my first drink, i wanted a mojito, so we had to get up and go to the front bar. on our way there, i ran into c. and a friend of c's. i hadn't seen c. since last summer @ the 7th annual wordstock music & poetry festival at fort green park in august. and it's funny, because c. is a good friend of m., a buddy of mine who has been studying in london for the past year. m. came into town last week and is currently staying at my house. c. had just stopped by this spot for a bite while waiting for er (electric ride) featuring st. juste and bilal at joe's pub. and go figure, c. and m. are hooking up for dinner next week.

and so the degrees of separation begin.

so i'm sitting at the table, and i look up and i see o. now it's funny, b/c the last time i ran into o. out and about i was with n., and as i said i haven't seen n. in eons. coinky dink, huh? o. worked where i currently work for three years so our tenure there overlapped.

after getting up to say hi to o. i look over toward the bar in the back and i see j. who gave me a nigger nod (that's just a lift of the head that says "what's up). j. is a former friend of my brother's.

back to coversations at the table, the drinking of red stripe, and the discussion of students who don't believe you're the professor on the first day of class. students' disbelief is built around this idea of what a professor looks like. and while all three of us at the table who are in this situation are well in our 30s, somehow it doesn't fully hit the students on first glance. as this talk is going on, i raise my head to look around the spot. and lo, and behold, but who should i see but y.

now i met y. a little over two years ago through another n. who used to work with me at the same place as the n. who i was out with on this six degrees of separation night. after meeting y. that one time, we hung out together another time. that one time i hung out with y., y. was semi-responsible for the relationship that i'm in now. y. simply instigated, making a flame that had just sparked really heat up and burn bright.

the other interesting thing about seeing y. on tuesday night, was that it was the eve of my second anniversary with my love. at this point i'm tripping, considering y. did play a role in my relationship.

y. and y's friend, like c. and c's friend, were only at this spot as a resting place until they also made their way to joe's pub for er. the other funny thing about y., who i really don't see or even speak to all that often, is that the one time y. and i hung out, the night i met my love, y. also told me about this crush y. had on one of the bartenders at the place we were hanging that night. this particular bartender, at the time, was dating n's ex. not the n. i was out with on tuesday night, but the n. that i met y. through.

this crush also later turned out to be one of my mentees, and still is by the way. my mentee came to my attention from a blogger who i've hung out with a couple of times. originally when this mentee approached me all of these degrees of separation between us were unknown to us.

i planned on writing this wednesday morning when i got in, but i was too freaking tired. it's possible that at this time, i may have left out a person or two that i bumped into. i really can't be all that sure.

as i'm writing this, i sit and wonder, is new york really as big as most people think it is? or do you just always find certain kinds of people in similar places? i'm still unsure. but even though i don't go out much anymore, things like this tend to happen—a lot. granted i've lived in this city my entire life, except when i was at school in VA. and later upstate, and then lived in Albany during an internship. but for the most part, i've been here, in NYC—from the bx to bk—all my life. so i guess it kind of makes sense, that i'm always bumping into people i've met at some time or another.

i think i'll give it another test if i make it out to central park summer stage on saturday to see patti labelle.

posted by lynne | |


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