Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Meeting of Feet and Minds

I took the train to East Orange after work and met Khalil at his apartment. I asked him if he felt like walking around the neighborhood, and he was happy with that idea - especially since he was looking forward to getting a Belgian waffle at his favorite diner. It was fairly cold outside, but we did a lot of fast walking that kept us warm. We talked about the Transformers movie, the toys, and the various incarnations of the cartoon, and I told him about the animated movie that I loved so much in high school. He told me about Deadpool, his favorite comic book character, who apparently has healing powers similar to Wolverine's and came from the same Weapon X program. I made a mental note to read up on the character.

We walked west, back east nearly to his apartment, and then south toward the diner. It turned out to be closed, so we walked west while Khalil told me about a few alternate restaurants. He mentioned that Roberto's had good burgers, and I was sold. Roberto's turned out to be a little pizza place in Brick Church Plaza. Khalil suggested an Italian Burger, which turned out to be a two-patty burger on a long bun with french fries right on the burger. We split it, along with a bottle of soda, and it hit the spot.

As we walked back we started talking about the Spider Man movies. When Khalil got on the subject of Venom, Spider Man's black costume that turned out to be a sentient alien creature, I got really enthusiastic. He'd never heard the original version of Venom's origin story that thrilled me back in the eighties, so I told him all about how Spider Man had picked up the alien symbiote during the Secret Wars when he thought he was just getting a costume from an alien clothing fabricator. By this time I was absolutely beaming inside because I knew that my knowledge of comic books and Transformers had never had such currency.

My kung fu is strong.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Meeting Khalil and family

I met Khalil, along with his mother and sister, in Newark. We talked with great enthusiasm about our favorite foods to eat and cook, comic books, movies, sports, and outdoor activities. I told him that if he wanted me to play sports with him I'd be happy to do so, but that he'd have to teach me! I explained that I was a fat kid and so gym class was not a fun experience for me, bringing home the point by telling him about my most embarrassing gym experience. One day in junior high we playined that game whose name I can't remember that involved using a football on a basketball court. That day was unusual for two reasons: the boys and girls were to play together, and the coach was unmerciful enough to put flabby me on the skins team. I was so embarrassed that I forgot what I was doing and scored a point for the other team! It was the only point I ever scored while playing that game. I think the story made a big impression on Khalil, because a few days later his mother mentioned that he'd told her the story!

Khalil was excited to hear about camping in the Adirondacks, and about outdoor activities like hiking and snowshoeing. By the time the meeting was over both I and Khalil's mother were sure enough about the match to say that we didn't need any more introductory meetings. I walked out smiling at how well we'd hit it off, and looking forward to getting to know him and sharing my enthusiasms with him.