(Continued from Geneva – 3)
It was strange walking down the hillside of the concert amphitheater alone. He hadn’t done things like this by himself for a long time and had to resist the urge to keep looking to his left to see if she was following. Suddenly, the idea of sitting here by himself for the next eight hours-no matter who was on stage-felt a little oppressive.
About a third of the way down the bowl he saw an empty spot in front of two folks about his own age sitting in beach chairs.
“Would I be cramping your style if I spread out here?”
“Knock yourself out. As you can see, we have no style to speak of. How many are you?”
As he lay the quilt out, “I’m a group of one today.”
“Ah, a true fan…” said the fellow, turning back to his partner.
He sat and gently turned his back to them. He didn’t want to appear rude since it was going to be a long day but he didn’t want to be the solo guy who automatically feels a right to nose into every conversation around him.
He barely had time to notice the empty blanket in front of him before a woman (he would have called her a girl since she was around his daughter’s age) clomped across it and sat hard, paying him no mind at all. She was a not-quite-pretty but definitely interesting strawberry blonde with frizzed out hair tied on top in a bun that looked like a wind-ruined bird’s nest. She was wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt and cut-off jeans. Very high cut offs.
Then two other girls, dressed pretty much the same came and flopped onto the blanket. One small and round wearing a trucker hat and the other could have been a boy-tiny, slim with dark hair peeking out from below her hat. She was distinguished more than anything by her sour face that squinted even away from the sun. “Where is she?” he heard one of them say. “She was in the beer line”, said strawberry blonde.
They kept glancing eagerly behind him until their faces-even the crabby little one-lit up. He thought she would come from the right where a clear grass aisle had formed itself so he cocked his head that way anticipating with the rest of them. He felt someone step on his quilt to his left. He turned to see a tanned thigh at his shoulder and felt a light touch on the top of his head as she almost stumbled.
“Excuse me”, she said.
He allowed his eyes to slip up her thigh to the brightest pair of green eyes he’d ever seen outside of cartoons. It was a concert, so of course there was music in the background but he’d swear later that he heard harps. The smell of lilacs in the spring had to be his imagination, but he smelled them nonetheless.
“That’s fine”, he said as-steadied-she removed her hand from his head, slipped past and plopped on the blanket not three feet in front of him. Okay, he thought as he watched the green-eyed vision sway to the music, the seat could be worse.