This story also takes place in the coffeeshop.

One day, I was sitting and reading, or writing, or something. A man came over and asked if he could sit at my table. He had a laptop, so I cordially asked him what he was working on.

Bad idea. Eventually I realized that being friendly means “I want to sleep with you” to most men. But I didn’t know that, at the time.

He told me that he was working on his second book, and handed me a bookmark advertising his first. It was a “humorous” collection of quotes from George Washington on etiquette, or something like that. So, basically, he had found a few things George Washington said, put them all together, and summed them up a little bit cleverly. Does this count as writing a book? I’d say it was up for discussion, but we can humor him for now.

I stepped out of the coffeeshop for a cigarette, and this gentleman followed me.

“Hey,” he said, “I’m having a book release party on Friday, if you want to come.”

The endearingly narcissistic idea of inviting me to his own book-release party as a first date was tempting, but I said no. He wasn’t perturbed.

“Ok,” he said, “Want to play ping-pong sometime?”

“No, thanks,” I said. “I don’t like ping-pong.”

“Ok,” he said, “Want to go out on Saturday?”

“I’m busy on Saturday,” I said.

“How about next week?”

“I’m really busy next week.”

“Fine,” he said, “why don’t you just give me your number, and we can find another time?”

Seriously, dude? Four rejections wasn’t enough of a hint that I wasn’t interested?

At that point, I just wanted to get away, so I gave him my number (stupidly) and ran.

He called me several times and left several messages. I didn’t answer or return any calls. Of course, I still had to see him in the coffeeshop fairly frequently, and he always talked me up. But I could deal.

His next book eventually came out. It was a funny collection of things Jefferson had said about love. Groundbreaking.