This is the story of my first (but certainly not last) very personal and private conversation with Mos Def.
I was standing at the information desk at the bookstore last night, considering how much richer and fuller my life would be if I could just give up my discount and my free books and not work three nights a week, when a gentlemen in an army green jacket approached me, plopped his bag down on the floor, and told me that another store had called on his behalf and put a book on hold. As he removed his pageboy cap and mopped his sweaty bald head with a white bandana, I recognised him as Mos Def and swiftly considered my next move.
The books on hold are kept behind the cash registers, so booksellers are given the option to either tell customers to talk to a cashier or to go grab the books themselves. I of course wanted as much interaction with Mos Def as possible, but I realised that in order to get the book for him, I'd have to know what last name it was being held under. I figured that the likelihood of his giving the name Mos Def was slim, but I also figured that if I asked what name it was being held under, he'd think that I didn't recognise him. Because I'm white.
So I sent him off to one of the cashiers, wistfully remembering the nights I spent riding around in The Communist's . . . I almost said "sports car", but then I realised that it was actually a sporty-looking Saturn . . . two-door listening to Mos Def. One of my co-workers–who isn't white and therefore is much more trustworthy than I–approached the desk, and I said, "Yeah, that's Mos Def, right?", and she confirmed.
So I ran over to the cash register he was standing in front of and said, "So, I wanted to get your book for you, but I was too embarrassed to ask if it was being held under the name Def," and he laughed and said no. Then I said, "So, The Woodsman?" and he looked really confused for a second and then really shocked, like I'm the only person who's ever mentioned the film to him. Even though he was so good in it. Or if not good, then at least cool. I said, "Pretty much the greatest movie ever," and he said, "I don't know about that, but it's certainly Kevin Bacon's finest work." I said, "I'm from Ohio, so I don't know anything about music that isn't Billy Ray Cyrus, but that movie made me love you." And then we made out.
I of course immediately left Kamran a voicemail that said, "Hey, so, would you feel differently about me if I told you that I just had a very personal and private conversation with Mos Dof? 'Cause I did," and he called back and asked if I mentioned him. I asked what I'd possibly say about him, and he said, "Maybe something like, 'My boyfriend is actually the mos' def. Or at least second-mos' def.'"
I argued that he's probably second-to-last def.