"I will hide when he comes!" The Hippo said. "Dont be such a baby. You gotta meet him." said Tomo. "But if he meets me he will know how lame the Hippo really is. I've worked hard to create that image and he might even think the Hippo was cool, you know". "Well, he's gotta find out sooner or later." Sigh. I really do want to meet the Goose in person but I'm so boring, dull and lame, I was just afraid he'd discovered the real me and laugh.
After a 3 hr bumper to bumper on HI-1, I've simply forgotten that I should be nervous and so when I turned around the corner and spotted them (he) standing in front of the video room at MBARI, I wasnt afraid anymore. The Goose was exactly how I imagined him to be, only a bit quieter, more soft-spoken, taller and all americanized. I think I managed OK until later that day, during our seafood dinner at Phil's, after a few sips of my favorite Blackstone Merlot, suddenly I remember I should be nervous. Well, the wine, as usual, did the opposite effect on me. Made kinda sleepy and the nerves gave. I got tongue tied. Later when we finally took them back to the hotel in Monterey, while M and Tomo kept on chatting away, unwilling to part company, Goose and I was standing on the other side of the Chick Magnet, silent as a lamb. So when he was finally next to me in flesh and blood, I got nothing to say. After all this was the guy who made a pilgrimage to Hippo's birthplace, who taught me everytime I know about web development, and now that he was finally here, standing next to me, I got nothing to say to him. Another deja vu, didnt this happen with some other guy, some other time, not long ago, in some other place? Sounds like the story of my life. I'm not one for small talk, and I remembered discussing silence with him, so I hope he didnt think I forgot my manners (I dont have any to begin with!) or that I didnt like him or anything like that. It was, well, a bit embarrassed and I was hoping Tomo would come to my rescue, but he was enjoying M too much to remember me. Finally it's time for the goodbyes and only then did I dare to touch,, with both hands, his clean shaven face, like I had wanted to do, on one brief moment, oh so long ago (I couldnt really remember why I had wanted to do this, only that I've promised myself, if I ever met him in the flesh, this was something I would do).
Dunno what he thought of me (I wont even dare to ask!) . I just hope I didnt scary the shit out of him.
"I'm so proud of ya, Hippo, so glad you didnt chicken out. So, what did you think?" asked Tomo, on our way back. "I had a honest to God good time, and it wasnt scary at all".
Hm, truth be told, I really hate these kinds of meeting. After 7 years, one would build up some kind of image about someone, and the tone of writing may or may not coincide with the tone of a real voice. But I have no fantasies about this guy. He's just what his words said he was. Wouldnt it be nice if everyone was like him?
M was very nice and less scary than I thought. She's really more down to earth than Goose made her to be. She even laughed at my jokes. I thought I would just desintegrate into splinters at the sight of her. But she was a lot nicer and likable than I've imagined.
Now there would be no more mysteries in my life. Now everytime I write to Goose, his face with a shy smile would materialize in my head , and I no longer think of him of simply just a virtual thought in my mind.