Since I work at the Front Desk of a local science museum, I don't meet everyone who works in the museum. There's distinct cliques of Front Desk folks, store employees, exhibit monitors, and lab assistants. Front Deskers and the exhibit monitors seem to interact most of all, while students from the Bilogy Lab are mistrusted. There's just something unsettling about a group that chooses to work with chinchillas, rather than human beings.
The result of this is that there are people I see multiple times every week as they enter and exit the building, but I never actually talk to them, or even learn their names. I sometimes spend idle time at the desk idly speculating on why the bandanna-wearing Asian girl from the Biology Lab is so serious, or if the art school girl from exhibits makes her own clothing. I also make up secret nicknames for people, most of which are shared only with myself.
Recently, this breathtaking Chinese girl was hired as an artist's assistant. Even though I'd mostly only caught glimpses of her, it was enough that I dubbed her the CGAME, in the vein of David Foster Wallace's "PGOAT" (Prettiest Girl Of All Time) in Infinite Jest. "CGAME" stands for "Cutest Girl Amongst Museum Employees." Anyway, for weeks, she'd stroll through the lobby, and I'd think "CGAME" and smile, both at her enormous cuteness and my equally enormous cleverness. Once I said it out loud by accident, and I had to explain to a befuddled co-worker what I was muttering.
Said befuddled co-worker was there when I actually met the CGAME last Friday while moving Math Around the World to a new location. Her name is Karen, and she is both cuter and and shorter up close. She's also not very good at lifting up enormous Hex boards, though the "Delta" formation she made with Trading Towers, Game Sticks, and Shongo Networks was a thing of beauty. Yesterday in the Museum Cafe, she told me she was a PEIS major, that she hoped to work at the museum full-time, and that she liked the way my voice sounded over the intercom. She also cuts her sandwiches into smaller pieces with a knife and fork before eating them.
So I gave a phone number to a girl for the first time in God knows when. I hope she calls. I wish I knew how to punt.