Hudson River Park, Saturday afternoon
BAA lies on a blanket in the grass, reading Jane Austen’s Sense + Sensibility. An older stranger pulls his bicycle to a stop in front of the blanket.
Stranger: Hi. Excuse me. Do you know if there is going to be live salsa music here later?
BAA: Uh, no, I’m sorry I don’t know. Stranger lingers, staring. BAA awkwardly looks back down at her book.
Stranger: So are you a med student?
BAA: chuckling No, no I’m not.
Stranger: Would you like to come to an event with me at Lincoln Center? I’m dancing in a, um, er, a dance performance. It’s Venezuelan. This man is anything but a Venezuelan dancer and he’s pushing 70.
BAA: strained, but politely When is it?
BAA: Ah, sorry, no. Wouldn't you know I have a, a… a thing then. Wednesday, yes, I have a thing. BAA does not have a thing Wednesday.
Stranger: What about another time?
BAA: My boyfriend would be opposed to that. Fake boyfriend saves the day once again.
Stranger: What’s his number? I’ll ask him. Stranger reaches for phone.
BAA: BAA looks down at book, hoping he’ll disappear.
Stranger: Ok, thanks, bye.
A North Alabama Fall Road Trip to the Shoals
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