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Look At Me

by James Bridges
HERBAGE MAGAZINE

I find it fun to make eye contact with random strangers across a room and overly recognize the fact that you both have connected. Especially when I am overly medicated. I can’t imagine where this desire would derive from, but it’s there and I can’t help myself.

Try it. It’s a fun game. Especially if it’s completely unexpected and out of the blue.

Once I made eye contact with the most beautiful woman in a room of about 200 people. She was one of those girls that commanded presence when she walked into a room. You could swim in the essence of her confidence.

No worries. Once we made eye contact my instincts kicked in and I was able to lipsync with her. She couldn’t tell what I was saying. Later that night she asked me what I was saying. I told her that I was saying “later tonight you will come ask me what I am saying.” She didn’t find it amusing, but I did.

The most fun ones are the ones that act back. Those are typically the ones with the largest imaginations. The kids.

While dining on a pier enjoying my fish and chips I recognized a rather interesting fellow that could have easily been the doppelganger of Patrick Renna from The Sandlot. He was walking toward the exit as he turned around and made eye contact.

He took the bait. Now to get it in the boat.

Eyes locked. Straight faced. Both of us like solid statues daring one another to blink. He continued to walk toward the exit following who was presumably his parents. Eyes still locked.

This kid had skills.

It lasted for a good 47 seconds until he bumped into the people in front of him.

Who’s the winner? This guy!

Once I was driving in Santa Monica and showing some friends what Hollywood wanted people to believe Hollywood was like. I was stuck in traffic as I looked over to my left. There he sat in the rear seat as his driver was cursing traffic. The king of eye contact. The stare down master, Robert Downy Jr.

As he smacked his gum we locked eyes. The fan in me was a little off putting to my game, but I was still managing to keep up. Chomp, chomp, chomp… This guy could chew some bubble gum. Let me tell you… We went at it for a good solid 30 seconds. I wasn’t going to back down from the master, yet he did have my respect.

As he drove off I believe we considered it to be a draw as he double raised his eyebrows, smiled, and zoomed off. Something inside of me says that he was the big winner that day.

Maybe one day there shall be a rematch. But we have to smoke a blunt first.

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