An Afternoon, a Fist, and Valentina

I finally had the opportunity to meet Valentina from the INTJ lists yesterday. I had some bidness to attend to in Detroit so we made arrangements to meet up at the noon hour. I was going to be in the area of the Coleman Young Municipal Center so I said “Isn’t there a statue of a person we can meet up at?” She said “Yes. There’s also a statue of a fist.” Oh hell yeah, I thought. “Oh hell yeah” I said (sometimes I say what I think), “Let’s meet up at the fist!”

So I’m wandering around the front of the Coleman Young Center. I see the statue of the man holding up the Death Star but the fist is not to be found near the building. On a hunch (and with the sneaking feeling that someone might be observing me from another direction) I turn and look in a little median area in the street and I see it, Joe Louis’s Giant Fist. A person is sitting there looking all amused and waves at me. I presume it’s Valentina but just in case it might be a person waving to someone else near me, I give a little jerky hiccup of a wave that might be explainable as me adjusting my sleeve if it turns out to be a case of mistaken identity (always maintain plausible deniability).

It’s Valentina all right and she immediately begins talking to me as if it’s old times. Well, to all you people who might be reading this 100 years in the future this IS old times as far as you’re concerned. But from my perspective these are new times. This is actually the second time I’ve talked to Valentina though because we had a phone call once back in the days and I recognize her voice. She has something of an accent but of course that’s a very familiar situation for me since there are a lot of Mexicans in my family. Valentina speaks passable Italian and she has giddy fun making fun of the fancy Italian phrases they put on the menu at the place we go to eat which is in the Resaissance Center.

The lunch was great (something with shrimp and crab meat) but the food is almost besides the point since we’re having some rip roaring discussions (remember, this is from my perspective, from her perspective I might have been a total bore or some taco bell doggish type weirdo). We had a lot things in common as far as subject matter (she’s married to a Muslim pool afficianado). Oh get this: her husband if proficient with English but sometimes still uses the wrong word. A trip to intensive care somehow turned into a trip to ‘insensitive care’. Man, when I get hurt I wanna go there! I think that’s the place you go where they patch up your injuries but call you a towel-head in the process. Stellar!

When the meal was over and we were getting ready to go she saw me looking all around like a beagle looking for a place to take a piss.

“What are you looking for?” she asks. “Um. The. . . the watchacall, the bill. What happened to it?”

“I took care of it.”

(slow motion movie theatrics): “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

“Yes. That’s the rules. I invited you to lunch, I pick up the tab. That’s the way it works.”

“Ok. Thanks very much. I had no idea!”

After the lunch she invited me to take a tour of her office. I said yah so we went to the Penobsc, Penoscb, Penabs. . . Very Tall Building and went up to like the forty-something floor. The office had a very nice vantage pointwhere you could look across the Detroit River and see into the foreign land of Canadia. I could see Canadian casinos and when I squinted I could see Canadians with their beady eyes and flapping little heads. Also you could see Ford Field and Tiger Stadium. It kind of reminded me of looking out the window of Phelps‘ office in Very Tall Building in Dallas from where you could see Kennedy being shot.

Unfortunately the meeting ended rather abruptly as I suddenly discovered that I was running short of time as I had to get to that office and do that thing. We bid each other a fond adieu at which time there was much weeping amid vows and counter vows of suicide if we should not meet each other again, you know, the usual thing. And thus went my wonderful afternoon with Valentina and a fist!

5 Responses to “An Afternoon, a Fist, and Valentina”

  1. Valentina says:

    I had a really good time.

    Lunch was a lot of fun. Especially making fun of the pomposity of the menu and ‘finer dining’ in general. Like two waiters serving Mexi’s soup from a creamer (one to carry the bowl and one to pour the soup with a flourish into the bowl from the creamer). The food and service were great, though.

    Lots of good conversation, too. Topics ranged from Islam to italian to jive turkey sandwiches to “Bottled Noodles” (apparently a specialty on Mexi’s Mom’s side). Of course, we tried some MBTI but since I still don’t get the Ti Fe thing, we moved on. But it was cool to have a conversation that could vary from the funny to the serious to the obscure to the intellectual all in the space of two hours.

    And yes, Mexi did look disturbed when I told him I got the bill. For a second he looked like I had just slapped him or something.

    But as anyone who has been to Detroit knows, we are nothing if not hospitable, dammit.

    And, if you get hurt we send you to insensitive care because really, aren’t you just being a big baby? In Detroit, we care enough to give you something to cry about.

    Thanks Mexi! Call me anytime you’re in town.


  2. Phelps says:

    Dude, that wasn’t Kennedy, that was just some random thugs. You can see the Greyhound station from our windows.

  3. mexi says:

    Oh. I was wondering why he got blasted right in his cornrows.

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