10 dollars a pop

She stood very still, looking at me with piercing eyes. I’d first seen her weeks ago, enmeshed in conversation with an acquaintance . I wasn’t sure then but I knew there was something special about her. Not the at-first-glance heart pounding special. Nor the jovial I-can’t-help-but-see-her special. The unexplainable special. The scary kind of attraction that makes you think about her at 2am in the morning as you’re trying to sleep.


Automatically, “Hi. Aaah, Josh.” I stood not sure if I should raise my hand.

“I know.”

“Oh. Well …”

“Petra.” I felt my right eye squeeze shut embarrassingly, a nervous twitch, and giggled a little.

She looked at me quizzically but thankfully gave a small corner of the mouth smile. I wasn’t very good at these moments. Not knowing anything about a person for some is great. They can wax lyrical about what they’re drinking, or make jokes about some nonsense or other. But I always feel stuck. Not wanting to blather trivialities or bore people with interesting specifics I freeze.

“So, are you going to join us?” She bends her neck giving a nod to a table over her shoulder. Sitting there were people I know on site but couldn’t describe how if pressed. I look back at my friend who had been quietly ignoring me and saw the slight movement of his chin which meant as much as, “Go, I’ll be fine!”

I had met a few of them before. The blonde Poll Joanna, a designer at a local firm and her long haired post-hippy boyfriend. Where I’d seen them before I couldn’t recall but I’m sure they were kind of people who just happened to be everywhere I was.

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