Sometimes a past event replays in my head and suddenly makes sense. In 2015, I lived in downtown Seattle and I'd sometimes go into work on Sunday afternoons. Unscheduled. Sometimes I'd eat afterwards at a nearby restaurant.

I'm eating a small steak in an empty bar and a Dolph Lundgren character comes in with yellow leather pants and a Russian Army peacoat. He sits down and buys me a drink in a Russian accent, talks about his son, asks questions.

I'm annoyed.
I want to read my phone.
I project annoyance but he ignores it.

Then he goes into business deals, his network, what do I want out of life? Money, women, guns, cars? More questions, more talk about his network, financial freedom.

I'm polite but I have no interest in Amway.

Then he pulls up a woman's photo on his phone, tells me (rather pointedly) that her name is Lena and it hits me. He's showing me a Russian chick I met at a club last month. Now I'm confused. What the fuck is going on? So she knows this dude, but how did he find me and why?


The only thing I gave her was my phone number.

How did he find me at THIS restaurant on a SUNDAY afternoon?
Even I didn't know I'd be here until I was.

And I see only two explanations:
  • he followed me from my apartment and waited outside my office for three hours. Tracing my number to my apartment takes some skill, maybe Private Investigator level.
  • he geolocated my phone, which takes more skill, like FBI, CIA level.

Is he a jealous boyfriend or husband? But no, I don't see that. He never mentions her again, he's not angry, he keeps talking about his network and opportunities. The photo was intended to shock me, I get that... but... more as an incentive.

So today, thinking back, maybe he was recruiting me for "election hacking". I wrote the book on Memetic Manipulation in the early 2000s, my DEFCON presentations are public, my website was up for almost ten years and often visited by military, government and Federal Reserve IP addresses.

He eventually left me alone after his son showed up.
But the weirdness of the meeting stuck in my mind.