My date and I were only out for a few drinks. After all Thursday is the new Friday isn’t it. We found ourselves at this bar that had two seats right next to the fire waiting for us. The air was warm, the stars were shining, my date was glowing, and I couldn’t ask for a better night. We had some drinks but spent the entirety of our time talking to one another. Neither of us took a sip from them.
Her and I were lost in each other’s presence and for a moment completely forgot about the world around us. It wasn’t until a couple people broke us from our trance and asked us if they could sit around the fire with us snapping us back to reality. We were oblivious to everyone else but we weren’t that couple at the bar that was sucking each other’s faces. We were just hanging out together which made us approachable and able to make some new friends.
Me being the talker I am, quickly made conversation with our new fire mates. I introduced myself and welcomed them to the fire as if it was one I started myself. (It was gas powered and already on when we got there) The two guys were Asian and I only mention this because it is relevant. Just as I must preface this now, before we got to the bar my date and I hung out with Mary Jane for a little and if you don’t know me, my eyes tend to get quite squinty after.
At this time though, we were all hanging out for a while. We were all around the fire sharing some laughs together. My date was hitting it off with one of the guy’s girlfriends and us guys kept talking about typical guy shit you know. The night was going swimmingly and I remember thinking to myself these guys are pretty cool. Then there was this moment when conversation got dull and one of the dudes asked me, “You said you’re from Boston right, you guys all stick together up there?”
I didn’t think of anything about the question at first. It was weird but I assumed he was wondering about his culture and gave some generic answer like, “Oh yeah everyone got their safe place you know like mostly Malden.” Which was enough to satisfy him but left me discombobulated. I thought it was an arbitrary question to ask that was extremely open ended, but let it be. It was until his buddy asked me a similar question a few moments later I realized what was going on.
His friend asked me, “Do you have a lot of Cambodian friends back up there in Boston?” That’s when it clicked for me… these dudes think I’m Asian. That was why they must have been so welcoming to me when I started the conversation. I answered his question admitting to him that I do indeed have some Cambodian friends back home and let that simmer for a moment.
We were all smiling, laughing, they were thinking I was one of them, you know, like this cool guy from Boston, all having a good time, until I broke the silence awkwardly, “I have to admit to you guys I’m actually Italian.” All those smiles we were sharing, all those jokes we were just laughing at, quickly disappeared. A second ago they thought I was wicked cool, now after informing them that I’m not actually Asian like them, I’m a nobody to them.
I apologized to them for my eyes being so deceiving and it would be the last thing I would say to them. They all quickly chugged the rest of their drinks and left the bar. I think it crushed my heart as much as theirs when they found out I wasn’t them. I almost made two new friends that night.