Thursday, January 7, 2016

My Curiosity Got the Best of Me...Again.

"I remember my first time like it was yesterday."
                                                    -Brian, two weeks ago

(Brian was referring to the first time he ever heard a Kanye West song. I wish I was joking.)

I remember my first time like it was yesterday, too. It was both awkward and terrifying. Only I'm referring to the first time I ever saw a customer leaving Tom Cats.

If you're from Durham or have ever ventured over near South Miami Blvd, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Tom Cats.

This place is sketchy as all get out.

You're driving down Highway 70, passing by gas stations, fast food restaurants, and car dealerships.

Normal, right?

But then you glance up on the hill and see a gravel driveway leading to a ranch-style brick house with the blinds closed and a sign that says "Tom Cats."

There's a big wooden privacy fence around the back of the house that says "Customers Only."

Nothing legal could possibly be going on in this place.

(Not actually Tom Cats, but a close enough representation.)

I've driven by Tom Cats no fewer than one million times in my life.

I have never seen an actual customer...until last week.

So I'm driving back home to Raleigh a few days ago when, like always, I glance over at Tom Cats.
I immediately do a double take.
There's a Lexus SUV coming down the driveway.

This SUV was not just someone who accidentally pulled into the Tom Cats driveway to turn around. (Although I imagine if that happened it would be pretty funny. You're just trying to turn around, pull into the driveway, look up, and think "What the...".)

This SUV is creeping down the gravel driveway, and you know me, I'm straining my neck trying to get a good look.

I've never seen an actual person frequent this joint, so it's an exciting moment in my life.

The SUV pulls out onto the highway right behind my car and by the time we get to the next stoplight, it's right beside me.

I kept trying not to stare at the guy, but I couldn't help myself. I needed to see this. As luck would have it, he felt me staring. He turned his head toward me and we made eye contact.

I quickly looked away, but it was too late at that point.
He had seen me.

When I thought it was safe, I slowly turned my head again to see if he was still looking at me, and - no joke - this happened:

(No, Jimmy Fallon was not at Tom Cats, but this represents what happened in the story.)

So then the two of us were looking at each other, knowing exactly what the other person was thinking. 

I know you were at Tom Cats.

She knows I was at Tom Cats.  

When the light turned green, he let me go first and then got behind my vehicle. I was pretty scared at that point, thinking he might follow me home and then try to murder me because I knew he was at Tom Cats, but then he pulled into Pizza Hut. 

So that's a recap of my first time. 

It involved awkward eye contact, nervousness on my part, and heavy breathing. It was invigorating, as expected; however, I cannot recommend it. If you ever find yourself car to car with a Tom Cats customer, just keep looking forward. 

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