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“Anderson’s humorous prose... accurately describes being young and single in New York... readers will enjoy its element of escapism... engaging romance boosted by a fun main character and her baseball-playing love interest.”

--Kirkus Reviews (kirkusreviews.com)



Spring 2006

I scurry down the street as fast as I can, having no particular place in mind, only knowing that I can’t go into that party. My own party and I’m a no show. Can’t be helped. I need to be away from here. Away from him. And him. Far away. To think. To sort my thoughts.

The tears start falling as I near the avenue. I will them to stop. PLEASE. Just ‘til I can get myself back to my apartment. Then you can wail and thrash about all you want, I promise myself. I round the corner in search of a cab. Not a one. Surprising for this hour on a Sunday night. I start walking aimlessly.

I can’t believe this. For this to happen and...well, there’s a Starbucks. That’s something you can always count on. No matter where you are...Harlem; on a deserted island off the coast of Antarctica...there’s a Starbucks and somehow that makes me feel a little better. I’ll just pop in for a cool drink, sit down and calmly figure this out.

I open my bag for a tissue and items start popping out all over the sidewalk. My hairbrush, perfume, and two tampons make their way out before I can stop them. Of course, what one would call ‘a nice breeze’ comes along at just that moment and carries one of the tampons off down Chambers Street. I recover the remaining items best I can and wipe my face on my sleeve. These are party clothes that will never see the party, I reason, so who cares about a spot of snot on my jacket.

Just as I am approaching my salvation—aka Starbucks, a tall lanky gentleman in a tux approaches me.

“Lose this?” He asks.

His accent is British. He is holding up a tampon...presumably the one that got away.

“Never seen it before,” I mumble, continuing to walk.

“Oh, come on now, saw you goin’ after it like it was your long lost chap,” he tells me.

“Look, mister, I don’t know who you are, or what you want, but I don’t have a need for a used tampon.”

“Well, it doesn’t exactly look used, now does it, in the traditional sense I mean.”

He displays the wrapped tube between his fingers, as if it’s the next item up for bid at Sotheby’s. I turn away disgusted, more because of his maleness than because of the tampon. I mean it’s just a tampon. My tampon. Rather, my former tampon.

I look straight ahead and continue to put distance between us.

“Just...buzz off.”

Okay, admittedly lame, but in a pinch, it still carries some punch—no?

“Ah, come on now, I’ve come all the way from England to meet a woman just like you,” he shouts to me, arms raised over his head, as if ruling a field goal kick as good.

“I doubt it,” I say under my breath, though were I in a better mood, I might pursue that thought.

He is tall, dark, and handsome. I just happen to have my fill at the moment with tall, dark and handsomes. Nope, no room on my dance card for another. Perhaps if he returns in say...2025. I should have this all sorted out by then.

I walk into Starbucks, survey several empty tables and breathe a sigh of relief. The last thing I need is to be crammed into a corner seat with someone’s elbow and cell phone conversation inhabiting my space.

Note to Self: Sunday nights at Starbucks, practically empty.

I order a Venti Vanilla Crème and take a seat at a small table in the corner. I dump all my stuff onto the opposite chair and heave my body down, as if it weighs 500 lbs. That’s what it feels like. Like I’m lugging around two tons of shit.

I take a long swig of my drink, allow the sugar to hit me and consider...how did this happen? What have I done to deserve this?