Mom and I walked along Main Street in Nyack, desperately trying to find the little Italian bistro that served the gluten-free penne where we had eaten the year before. The biggest challenge was that we didn’t even remember the name, just that it had outdoor dining tables and a loud fountain that made me have to pee when I sat too close to it.
After a few blocks, my mom asked the stranger, who I could hear softly padding behind us, if he was from around here and knew of the restaurant.
“No, sorry, I’m just visiting.” He must have seen the hunger-induced desperation in my eyes when I turned around to look at him, though, because he went on. “But why don’t you try me?” Our horrible explanation and lack of name or address wasn’t very helpful. “I’m really sorry, wish I could help.”
We continued in the same direction for a bit, then turned around when it started to become less populated. We walked past the car and down the other way when a voice came from behind us, “How are my girls? Any luck?” I spun around to see the guy we had asked directions of before.
“Uh, no. My mom’s just asking this woman here,” I gestured over to where Mom had stopped to inquire about our destination from a shopkeeper who had come outside to water her plants.
“So where are you from? Not here I’m assuming.”
“Ha, no. Long Island. Out East.”
I looked at him: kind of cute, terrible outfit, probably a decade (okay, maybe more) my junior.
“Just a trip then?”
“Yeah. How about yourself?” I quickly changed the subject, not wanting to talk to a stranger about the reasons for my “trip.”
“Oh, Long Island- I was in Queens for a bit, we were practically neighbors!” He went on to answer my question, but I forgot to listen as my mind wandered, first to the fact that I’m not actually very close to Queens, then over to my mom, who was taking an exorbitantly long time to get directions to a seemingly lost cause, and, finally, to thoughts of “How do I get out of this? HowdoIgetoutofthis?!” He finished talking and was staring at me, most likely waiting for a response.
“Where did you say you lived now?”
“Brooklyn.” It was obvious that he’d all ready said that, but he looked at me, still smiling. My minimal make-up and little sundress must’ve made me look like I was closer to his age (maybe it was because I didn’t have any kids trailing behind me at that particular moment), I guessed, because it didn’t seem as though he was going to budge.
“How long are you here for?”
“Just a few days.”
“Oh, nice. A little vacation. What brings you to Nyack, then, visiting with friends?”
“No, uh,” I gulped, “I have some medical stuff at the hospital.” I lifted up my right arm where the clear tubing from the IV port popped out a bit from the bandage that concealed the rest of it.
I didn’t give him much time to respond, as my mom was finished talking to the woman from the store, and she turned back toward where we had come from, a look of determination in her eyes. “La Tratolio. Seems we were right by it before we started back this way.”
“Right.” I turned back toward the boy, whose name I never got, nor intended to, “It was nice chatting with you. Have a good trip!” Which I wasn’t sure was an appropriate thing to say, since I didn’t hear what he was actually doing here.
“Thanks, you to!” He smiled again, then pivoted to walk in the other direction.
“Was that guy trying to pick you up?” Mom asked when we were safely out of range.
“Maybe at first, but I was quickly able to put the kibosh on that with my sexy medical talk.”
We both laughed and kept walking forward.
~~~ www.noimnotdrunk.com ~~~