Reminding me of something.
Something that explains why I’m liking chatting with Jeanne in a way I shouldn’t be liking. Something that tells me that maybe Jeanne isn’t Jeanne.
She said: “We scientists.”
She loves to ask questions.
She’s particularly fiery.
I believe I’ve caught something on the fishing line.
And I’m going to turn the tables on her.
LuckySuit: Absolutely. I am tenacious, determined, and focused. What about you? Oh, wait, am I allowed to ask the same questions? No, of course not. Let me rephrase. What is your favorite quality in yourself?
As the three dots flash on the screen, I can’t wait to see what Not-Jeanne says.
The Crock-Pot is off.
The presentation is done.
I’m winning at poker.
Grams is still tinkering in the garage.
And I’m weirdly having a blast inspecting her new man-friend. He’s hilarious. And forward. And direct.
I love a good question-asker. What is my favorite quality?
As I drum my unpolished nails against the counter, I laugh out loud. It’s the very quality that has me talking to Grams’s man-friend. And it’s the quality I learned from the woman herself. So it’s with complete forthrightness that I answer.
But once I send that, it’s not enough. So I add a little something more.
HotRodLover: As you can see, since I’ve demonstrated it tonight. I possess it in buckets.
LuckySuit: Indeed you have, and it seems you have amassed quite a bucketful. Can I assume that inquisitiveness extends to the heavens above us? The stars in all their glory?
Whoa. Grams’s friend is reeling me in with his talk of my favorite thing. He’s getting the full seal of approval.
HotRodLover: My curiosity extends to the far reaches of the Milky Way and beyond. After all, knowing the stars helps us to know ourselves, I like to say.
LuckySuit: And why do you like to say that?
HotRodLover: They remind us of our place in the universe—how vast the universe truly is, but how we can still play valuable roles in it.
LuckySuit: Ah, is there anything better than philosophizing on why we’re here?
HotRodLover: Nothing, nothing at all!
My face glows. He’s so not a serial killer. He’s perfect for me.
I mean for her.
He’s perfect for her.
He’s absolutely ideal for Grams. I start to tap a reply, when my own phone dings. I ignore it at first, but it chimes again, and I check it.
Mom: Hey, has Grams said anything to you about the guy she met at the car auction?
I squint at her question like it holds some clue to who the guy on the other end of the poker chat really is. I play coy to see what else Mom knows.
Kristen: No. What guy? Did she tell you anything about him?
Mom: Not enough! I’m trying to figure out if she’s gone on a date with him yet. She mentioned to me that they’d chatted after she snagged the Camaro, and I was hoping it would lead to something more. :)
Kristen: Well, did you ask her?
Mom: Gee. Why didn’t I think of that? ;)
Kristen: Want me to play spy for you?
Mom: Yes, go full 007.
Kristen: Anything for the woman who owns the high-rise building and lets her mom and me live here at cost.
Mom: Cost? Lady, I let you two live there at way less than cost.
Kristen: The things we do for family.
As I hit send, I spot a reply from the dating site, and a new sensation blooms inside me. Hope.
Hope that ThinkingMan has reached back out, because chatting with LuckySuit reminds me how much I liked talking to ThinkingMan. And that’s exactly why I started a profile in the first place—to find that connection.
I click over, and there he is.
ThinkingMan: Hey, Telescoper. Are you looking at the stars again tonight? I hear Cassiopeia is going to show off and twinkle.
Telescoper: She always struts her stuff! But right now? I’m chatting. And thinking.
ThinkingMan: They are two of my favorite activities.
Telescoper: I’d like to ask what the third is, but that might be too forward. So let me ask something else—why don’t you believe opposites attract?
ThinkingMan: It’s a myth. A fairy tale. It’s handed down from storytellers because it makes a good story.
As I type, Grams’s man replies on her phone, and I whip my head to that screen, setting my phone down before I can write back to ThinkingMan.
I read LuckySuit’s answer, trying to remember what we were last talking about in the poker app. Like a juggler, I’m tossing the conversation balls higher in the air, trying to keep my eyes on all of them. First ball—Mom and I were discussing some guy Grams met at the auction. Second ball—ThinkingMan and I are chatting about stars and opposites repelling. Third ball—Grams’s friend LuckySuit and I were gabbing about . . .
We were talking about understanding how we all fit into the bigger picture. That’s what his reply is about.
LuckySuit: I had a feeling you liked all things logical, scientific, and mathematical.