The Neighbor is a serious kind of guy. Not the kind by whom you feel scrutinized, he’s just very straight-laced and totally literal. His brain is a finely tuned machine which often misses nuance and inflection. Think Data or Spock, any kind of Artificial Intelligence where the machine grapples with human inference and ambiguity. TN and I have found ourselves entangled in more than one clumsy Who’s On First? dance.
For example, last night I asked him about the photos I wanted to post today. We took them Sunday morning as we lay sleepily in my bed and the cat wound his way between us with an elevator butt. TN checked in with Reddit, his go-to internet hangout. I snapped pics of half his face, his profile, his lovely furry chest. No more of his face was visible than the ones he had already approved, in fact, a little less was shown.
“So, are you cool with the pics I took the other day for TN Tuesday?” I asked as we walked the long uphill street to my apartment.
“Sure, whatever you‘d be comfortable sharing.”
“You mean me-me or what I’d be comfortable sharing of you?”
“Whatever you‘d be comfortable sharing,” he repeated slower.
Laughter bubbled up in me as I realized he didn’t see his own double subject and I attempted to rephrase my question.
“I don’t share any part of my face [so that’s moot], but you already have, so I don’t know what you’re saying. Can I share the pics of you with part of your face?”
He sighed in exasperation and said again, “Whatever you want so long as you can’t recognize me.” Now we’re getting somewhere.
“Ok, except I can recognize you because I know you. I have no way of being really subjective about it.” I covered half my face with my hands. “This works for Batman, though!” He just rolled his eyes at me and smiled.
“I wish I could write you some program to download to go from Super TN at Work to just TN with Hy.”
He laughed loudly. “Hy, I don’t think there’s any program that will ever make me understand you.”
I laughed, too.
And that brings me to what I really want to share with you: I can make him laugh.
This serious, data-minded man finds me to be hilarious. I tickle him, I tease him, I poke fun at his robotic nature and he melts in my hand as he realizes he’s applied genius brain-power to a Tommy Boy-type situation.
What can I say? I guess I can bring anyone down to my level. Even a sexy, furry Spock.
[Ed. note: TN Tuesdays is a semi-weekly meme which will share more of The Neighbor with my Internet Boyfriend (aka, readers). All photos will have his approval before I post them. He is eager to see what you guys think and has requested that I share any comments.]