SHE WAS AT THE BAR WAITING when I arrived. We had been introduced earlier in the week at a party where she smiled and looked away, reminding me of a figure in an Edward Hopper painting. I gave her my card and the next day she wrote asking if I wanted to meet for a drink.
I ordered a glass of wine and she began talking as if we’d been having an ongoing conversation for years, interrupted only by silly things like work and sleep and other people. She said she’d been hiding in short stories, really short, the kind you could read beginning to end while waiting in line for coffee or during commercials. Then she laughed and said not to worry. She didn’t have a problem with waiting. Then she excused herself.
I assumed she was going to the ladies’ room but after twenty minutes realized she wasn’t coming back. So I downed the wine I’d been nursing and left feeling odd and dejected. Then next day I got a note from her thanking me for such a great time, and asking when we could get together again.