Below is Joanna’s account of the night that she and I met. For the sake of accuracy, I’ve also included a few of my own amendments on Joanna’s story.
JO: We met at a karaoke bar on the Lower East Side called 2nd on 2nd. We were there for Raphael’s birthday party, and Jessica brought me along.
First of all, it wasn’t Raphael’s birthday party. If it had been, Joanna wouldn’t have known anyone except Jessica, whom she claims brought her to the party. It was actually the birthday party of Joanna’s friend Dan Leif, and she knew everyone at the party.
JO: Jessica introduced us, and a few minutes later you went outside to make a phone call. I followed you outside and pretended to fumble through my purse, so that when you finished your call we’d be able to talk. We chatted for a few minutes and I think became quite intrigued by one another.
That’s all true! I remember our first conversation very well—especially the fact that we connected immediately. I wanted to keep talking to her all night!
The only thing that Joanna’s side of the story leaves out—which is probably wise—is the content of my phone conversation, in which a roommate and I discussed our suspicion that a mouse had died in our bathroom wall.
JO: Jessica and I sang Neil Diamond’s “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,”
Which I—like the rest of the karaoke bar—had never even heard before.
JO: And then Jessica and I left while you were in the bathroom.
JO: But then you came to my Christmas party the next night, took my cell phone off the table when I wasn’t looking, and entered your name into my phone—which is why it still, to this day, says “Ben that handsome devil” every time you call.
I also used her phone to call myself, so I could call her and make her see me again. We hung out the next day, and the day after that as well.