I'm in that postpartum stage where my brain has been juiced and I'm working from muscle memory. I have little or no brain power for extraneous functions, such as remembering times. Or, like, words. My once decent vocabulary has devolved to, "Hey, could you get me that...uh...thing? You know. Thing." Add in nondescript hand gestures, and there I am.
* * *
Last week Noah received a text message from a random number. When he asked "Who is this?" the person wrote, "Justin."
"Which Justin? I know two."
"That's neither Justin I was thinking of. Who do you think this is?"
Noah explained he was a dude and definitely not named Lexie. Justin L. wrote back, apologetic. He and Noah exchanged another couple niceties, and Noah commented to me he seemed like a really nice guy. That's when it got weird. Not because of Justin L., but because of me. I've been deprived of adult interaction (except my Mom, but she doesn't really count. She's a weird blend of teenage boy [loves action movies and rom-coms; nothing too cerebral] and elderly computer user [doesn't truly understand Facebook]), and I'm so tired, I couldn't help but feel a connection to Justin L.
Noah and I made conjectures about who he might be, if we'd be friends. His number was local, so if he was a Wake Forest student or graduate, he'd either be from here or have stayed here after graduation. Because college kids are still on their parents' phone plans, with numbers native to wherever they're from. His diction suggested Gen Y; he threw in "it's all good" at one point, in an off-handed manner, as though he'd been saying it for a long time and it was no longer douchey, just a conversational throwaway. He seemed genial, perhaps slightly geeky. In short, just like us.
We spent fifteen or twenty minutes talking with and about Justin L., whose errant text perforated the comfortable routine of our evening in a not unpleasant way. This guy became part of our conversation, by virtue of a few typed words landing on the wrong digital target.
"Should I text him and ask him about himself, tell him my wife and I have a wager going?" Noah wondered.
"You could. Then again, that could be perceived as slightly stalkerish."
But if anyone would get it, Justin L. would.
In the end, we decided against it. But how to end this accidental conversation with no normal social markers, like saying "Oh here's my friend arriving now, here's my bus, my name's being called, it was nice talking to you."
Noah sent the last text: "Let me know how it goes with Lexie."