I can’t help that I am naturally enthusiastic to meet someone new, fascinated with their life story, and immediately inclined to invite them to see a concert or a movie or a show. It isn’t flirting, it’s my obsession with finding like-minded people.
There is a woman who rides the trolley with me, if I am running five minutes behind schedule. She is pretty, with a slight frame, lightly freckled with dark hair that seems meant to be tucked behind ears, and lips so thin that they disappear when she smiles.
A few days ago she waved me down from across fourty-third street. “I thought I was running late,” she said breathlessly as she matched pace with me, “but then I saw you.”
I’ve been fascinated with her for a month now, her thin-lipped prettiness and her mysterious destination after she gets off the trolley at my stop. In our last conversation I learned she was from North Carolina, which explained her slight accent. I went fishing for more.
“Where do you work, anyhow? You get off at nineteenth, right?”
She works, as it turns out, at the Art Museum. She made her job sound clever and enviable, talking about scurrying around the photo archives like a mouse, climbing up two stories of filing cabinets to just barely glance the sun peeking through a basement window. It sounded altogether romantic, and she seemed to think so, describing the tunnels that connect from one building to the other – catacombs. As as she spoke I found myself utterly fascinated, wanting ot ask her for coffee or lunch so I could listen to that wonderful romanticism some more. And then I realized that that would sound an awful lot like asking her on a date, and that the last time I did something like that the girl in Borders though I was either stalking her or actively advertising that I was hoping to cheat on my girlfriend.
So, I suppose I’ll just have to wait until the next time I see her on the corner.