There I was staring at this stranger with his hand extended. Slowly and reluctantly I shook his hand. He had a firm and self assured grip. I still did not know what to say.
“You’re going to catch a fly” he said with a smile.
After what felt like an hour I managed to say: “What do you mean ‘nice to see you again’?”
He slowly put the book back into its place, picked up his back pack and said: “I am dying for a coffee and I think you will need to sit down when I tell you.”
For one that can normally talk for hours on end I could only managed a faint; “Okay.”
We made our way out of the library and into the fresh spring air. It had been raining an hour earlier, but the sun had broken through since, its rays glistening on the wet pavement of the open area in front of the Library building. People were walking about minding their own business while I was raking my brain to try and figure out where I have met this man before.
But I failed.
He motioned with his head to a small coffee shop “In Time for Coffee”, on the other side of the open area.
Neither of us had spoken a word since inside the library.
Suddenly it dawned on me that this is a hustle… He wants money or he wants to sell me something…
Oh he is good; he waits for a passerby to notice him and say something about his leather back pack or strange watch. And then he gives them his catch line… oh, this is actually brilliant, and so convincing…
‘Nice to see you again.’
And then when you are on the back foot trying to place this stranger, he drags you off for a ‘coffee’ so that he can ‘explain’ himself.
What am I doing? Why am I walking with a complete stranger on my way to have a coffee?
He stopped a few feet away and turns toward me.
“I am not a hustler, I don’t want your money and I am not trying to sell you anything” he said with that grin again. He then turns back and walked inside the coffee shop.
What!? Now he can read my thoughts as well. Who is this man?