No. 224 - The Photo Shop - Part I.

It was the first Saturday you came back after our sophomore year, and you told me to meet you at the photo shop on Ninth Street. You gave me twelve prints, twelve photos from your sorority parties and we went for beers at The Alligator Lounge. You called again at the end of June and I knew that you wanted to talk about something serious because you were already laughing when I picked up after the third ring. You were always that way with laughter and we were both young, very young, so I thought your seriousness was a good thing.

You told me to meet you at the photo shop on Ninth Street again, where you had given me the twelve prints a few weeks before. I showed up in a green t-shirt and navy khakis and you were wearing one of your flower-printed dresses, the ones you would wear that whole summer and autumn, and also a straw hat with a navy ribbon on the front. I can remember this much without any effort at all: you said you wanted to go out for a walk all evening, and that we should start by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. I thought the Manhattan Bridge would be better but you insisted, we should walk the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked the Manhattan Bridge and to myself I called this one small victory. It was the middle of summer so the sun stayed high in the sky until nine, and even when the night fell neither one of us were tired, we didn’t want to go home. We only wanted to keep walking. We were standing at the end of Manhattan, near Battery Park and you said we should walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and then you spoke. That’s when you finally said what it was that you wanted to say. It took me a few days to process everything and we didn't talk at all for a few weeks even though I went by the print shop and asked around, just to see if the guy who was always touching up photos had seen you of late. He hadn’t and I took this as a sign. It was a pretty clear sign. I took it as a sign, a clear sign. But then something happened in August. I was walking in front of the courts around Borough Hall and it started raining and I didn’t have an umbrella so I ran toward the subway station, so that I could duck underground for a few moments and wait for the rain to pass. Then you were standing there and waiting for the rain to pass as well. And I didn’t know what to say and neither did you. Then lightning struck, the rain kept hammering down, and the thunder we both could hear.

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