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.

“Hi.”

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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