So like most mysteries, this one had a simple yet pleasant outcome. As the 49 bus neared my final destination, I texted: "I'll be there in less than 10 minutes." My mystery texter immediately replied. "I'm here. c u."
[warning: tense shift ahead]
So I get off the bus on 24th Street and walk the short block to Muddys. The cafe is brightly lit, intentionally grungy, and filled with an assortment of characters. As I head for the counter, a guy catches my eye. He is pale, with very long, dark black hair that is partially dreaded. His beard is also long, bisected, and a couple beads are strung there. But it is his face--gaunt, white, and covered with black, tribal-looking tattoos--that snags my eye. He is a beautiful unfortunate.
So, trying not to stare, I attempt to return my gaze to the counter when a guy at the next table waves.
What is he doing here, I wonder, as I wave back and turn to order.
Doh! I turn back, wave lamely again, and shout out, "Can I get you anything?"
The mystery texter: a friend from my own neighborhood. I haven't run into him in a while because he'd moved to The Sunset, the neighborhood across the park from mine, so our paths no longer cross.
Mystery solved, soy latte in hand, I proceeded to his table and enjoyed the evening.
Sometimes, being lame isn't necessarily a bad thing.