How Love Begins on the 71-Limited (I Think)

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Good Afternoon:

The 25-ish young woman sitting in the back row with long brown hair and sunglasses that looked like ski goggles stared for a long time at the 25-ish young man standing about four feet away in pants, shirt, vest and necktie (but no coat), all in varying shades of grey and silver. His hair was even longer, even if bound in a pony tail, but tightly bound by a dozen rubber bands, roughly one for every inch or so of hair.

“Hey,” she said, “Do I know you?”

“Um, I don’t know. Let me look at you a sec.”

He squinted at her for a few seconds.

“You do look familiar.”

“You garden much?”

“Love gardening,”

“Were you gardening in Golden Gate Park last Saturday?”

He squinted at her again.

“Were you the bicyclist who nearly killed me?”

“Yeah, that was me.”

“Oh. Well, um. Nice to meet you.”

“But you know, you stepped in front of me.”

“Didn’t seem that way to me.”

“At least I missed.”

“That was cool.”

“I’m Rachel.”

“Nick.”

“Nice to meet you.”

“You, too.”

“Yeah. Come on, have a seat.”

“Thanks.”

“So, like, are you a professional gardener?”

“Volunteer. I work for the City’s Environment Department. I create brochures, PowerPoint presentations, write reports, stuff like that.”

“Cool.”

“Thanks.”

I probably should have stayed on the bus longer to be certain, but this is how people fall in love, right? When one of them nearly accidentally kills the other? I learned that at the movies. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Vonn Scott Bair

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