Liz Le Man on Fire

I Can See Better Through the Fog is a storytelling podcast series in the vein of This American Life and the Moth. It tells the ongoing story of an echo boomer’s quarter life crises, featuring life, art, love, and San Francisco. Press the play button below to hear an audio recording of this latest entry. If it doesn’t work, you may need the latest version of flash software. (click here to download). Another troubleshooting tip would be to go directly to the soundcloud website. Sit back and let your ears do the work. The text version of this entry is provided beneath the list of selected tracks.

Runtime: 6 minutes and 15 seconds.

Selected tracks: The Heart’s A Lonely Hunter and Man on Fire

“I’m Max,” I introduced myself with a smile. The girl slipping into the booth across from me met my outstretched hand while reciprocating my smile with one of her own. “Lizzy.” Her hair was done Franklin Pierce style. Curly and swooshed to the right. Next to her sat my good friend Paola. In front of her rested a pint of Stella. It shimmered amidst the bar’s faint glow. Paola and I first met at work nearly a year ago. Over the course of the past two months we had become close. Her grandiose love affairs and minimalistic life style were and are both fascinating and inspirational to me. I find myself often living vicariously through her and assuming some of her habits that I so admire.

For the next hour, the three of us nursed our drinks. Paola knew Lizzy through her roomate Remy. They go to college together, but first met elsewhere. One morning Remy was late for the bus to class. Lizzy was as well. The two rushed together to catch it. Once on board, Lizzy discovered that he was just as outgoing as she was. “It didn’t surprise me at all when Remy told me he was a Libra,” Lizzy explained. “We Libras are best when we herd together.” Her witty and energetic sense of humor emanated from the crystalized green eyes behind her trendy thin glasses. “I guess that would make you and Remy Libros,” I joked. Lizzy laughed and turned to Paola. “I like this guy already.” I relayed how I knew Paola, followed by a short history of my coming out and dating record. We then migrated a mile west, away from the Mission, to meet up with some of Lizzy and Paola’s friends in the Castro.

Per usual, I found myself the lone gay man grouped with a league of lesbians. Glancing around the bar I noticed multiple guys I’d went on first dates with. This was my first venture to the bars since I deleted my account from the dating site where I originally met all of them. I kept my attention on Paola, Lizzy, and the rest of the lesbians, content not to make contact with any of the men from my digital age. “Sometimes I feel like Liz Lemon,” Lizzy admitted. “I’m just this nerd that screws up all my best opportunities.” I chuckled, then added,”I feel the same way, even though I’m not as quick or witty as her, or you. I guess you might call me a Liz Le Man.”

As the night wore on, a guy in the bar continued to catch my eye. His checkered black button up was tight in all the right places: shoulders, back, torso, chest and biceps. The nose was large, but it had a beautiful shape and blended nicely with the rest of his face, which was topped by long, dry, brown hair that was spiked forward. I looked over at Paola who was caught up in conversation with a girl Lizzy had set her up with. I turned to Lizzy and gave her a nudge. “See the guy in the black checkered shirt.” She looked his way and then gave me a flirtatious smile. “You want me to go talk to him for you?” I hesitated. After being so charming and outgoing with Lizzy I felt frustrated that I’d returned to my usual introversion and timidness toward strangers. Before I could answer, Lizzy walked out of my view and began talking to the guy in checkered black. She then ushered him over. “I’m Amato,” the guy in checkered black introduced himself with a thick Italian accent. I stretched my hand out to meet his. “I’m Max.”

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