Who's Afraid of Maura Johnston?

September 22, 1999

I waited outside the Wall Street Kitchen and Bar, a decidedly white-collar establishment that keeps its nose in the air while remaining pleasantly middle class. Or at least, Financial District middle class. (On a side note, it should be call the Wall Street Bar and Kitchen, with the vast selections of beers on tap, pages of scotches and cognacs, wines and champagnes).

I had shot off a couple of rag-tag e-mails to Scott Cohen, who has been the only other person from the 'Web' that I had met offline (if you don't include my pre-college days as a BBS'ing geek). They ran to the effect of me wondering what I was doing. Not from an elicit rendezvous perspective, mind you, but rather from my first real contact with someone even on a cursory level associated with the clique (that does not exist, of course, but it does). Tra la la la.

It wasn't really that, either, I suppose. But more of the 'Well, she's considered to be, like, a Web Goddess for Christ's sake.' Sure, I can be witty here and there between annoying little posts on the various club scenes, but why would anyone from the web actually want to meet me? In Scott's case, it was getting out of the house to down a few beers. Besides, as Maura will point out later, Scott and I appear to have a good rapport.

A slightly wet, yet still perky Maura showed up, we shook hands, and acted awkward as I suspect most people in the same situation do. For some reason, she believed I would be bothered by the fact that she had gotten wet from the rain, something about first impressions I think.

It was pleasant. It was fun. We chatted. I had a very good time. She asked about my life, my wife, my boy. I pulled out the requisite photographs, only to find that I had misplaced my engagement photo of my wife (which I have since found).

I was surprised, but not surprised, to learn her destination after leaving New York.

I became an automaton mouthpiece for The Man, extolling the benefits of working in technology for the financial industry, to help get out of the 'scene' of New Media.

Order her crab cakes. I suspect she did not finish it in lieu of creating a bad impression. I didn't finish it because I thought she may have liked to have more.

Inevitably, the topic turned to the Web. Of course it always does. Well, at least Scott and I had a rousing session of deconstructing various happenings after a number of beers.

Ben Brown likes Newcastle Brown Ale, I found out.

Stalker-type people are very weird.

I blithely claimed to have the answers. Maura looked surprised.

I believe I probably talked a lot about myself, which I tend to do when I haven't a clue what to say. Rather, instead of talk, I should say 'blather endlessly.' I have this slight problem of babbling. On and on. And on. See?

While we said that we should get together to talk more over drinks or some such conveyance, I can't help but feel that I may force her to kindly blow me off. It will, of course, will all be my fault.

I used to be such an interesting person.

Now, I'm just some web guy with an inferiority complex.

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