Wolf & Crane, 10:55 PM
It's quiet when I enter. It is, after all, Monday night. I sit at the bar with my laptop, order two pours of Japanese whisky, and set to work on blog posts for Bushido Brewery. This is the spot where I intend to initiate eye contact today.
I look around to see who's here. There are three groups of people in the place, each group is a couple or a group of three. And there's a 40-something Asian guy sitting at the end of the bar. I consider approaching one of the groups or asking the Asian guy (I haven't asked many Asian guys yet) but choose to wait and work for now.
A little while passes and a large group of Asian friends comes in. For a while they are to my left, the girls sitting at the bar and the rest standing. We're sitting close, and the girl to my immediate left keeps grazing my left arm with her arm or with her back when she's facing away from me. I consider asking her to make eye contact, but don't. Eventually the group grows larger and moves to a table. Later, another girl from the group comes up to the bar to order shots. I greet her and consider asking her to make eye contact, but again, don't.
During this time another solo Asian guy - about my age? - entered the bar, sat a few seats to my right, and has been ordering whiskey drinks. He seems friendly, and talks with the bartender about whiskey selection and cocktails. When he's not doing that he's keeping to himself and using his phone. This is my guy.
I am leaving soon to catch the bus, which only comes once per hour at this time of night, so this interaction needs to happen now.
"Hey. Will you make eye contact with me for 60 seconds?"
He orders a glass of water. I pull out the timer and start it. Just as we begin it's clear he has the hiccups. D'oh! Oh well, we're going for it.
He hiccups throughout our eye contact. It's kind of funny. I smile, he smiles. He has a friendly, kind energy about him. He makes it all the way through the 60 seconds, hiccuping regularly. What a trooper.
I give him a card and learn that his name is Albert. He says that he knew this was for some kind of project when I asked him. He tells me that he often finds himself in awkward situations, so this - making eye contact while having hiccups - is not a big deal. I ask him if he makes those awkward situations or stumbles into them, and he says "both." I think that's funny, and am interested to know more about him and the kinds of situations he gets into.
It's time to run for he bus. I snap his photo and invite him to email me if he wants to get a drink sometime.