Roman gets my phone number off an application for employment at the West Portal Bookshop in San Francisco. I imagine him taking my application off the stack and going to stand outside in the grey with his ankle showing tight black pants, jacket and long black hair.
“Hi. No. I’m not calling about the job.” Roman is, tall, olive skinned, he rocks back and forth when he stands with his hands in his pockets. “Would you like to go for coffee?” he asks.
I tell him, I’ll meet him at eight.
The Blue Danube Café is in the Inner Richmond District, between the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. Inside there are little twinkle lights and small walkways; we join the lines of people waiting to order and pick up.
Roman is attractive and repulsive; I see vulnerability in his weighted shoulders: he smells familiar. Like cigarettes.
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