I walked out onto Main leaving a happy hour at this pretentious bistro when a woman pulls up to the sidewalk. “Do you know how to get to Atchison from here?” Her accent was distinctly British and with only a glimpse of her over my shoulder, I already felt a strange enticement. I walked closer. The car was like an old station wagon beat to hell. She was leaning across the passenger seat to the window, smiling. The backseat was filled with a couple luggage bags, but mostly large empty canvases, an easel, and art supplies. I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was in a simple t-shirt and shorts. Her skin was deep-tanned, and from the play of the afternoon sun with the shadows inside her vehicle, her green eyes were backlit crystal fires looking up at me. The words in my head said, “Of course, I’ve actually been to Atchison. It’s a long drive from Kansas City. I’m not sure how to tell you to get there so I would need to ride along with you if you want.” But instead I said, “No I’m not sure how to tell you.” By then some other men had come out of the same place and heard us talking. An older man gave her directions and she drove off, slowly, toward the interstate ramp. I put my hands in my pockets and walked the way I was headed.
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