What can YOU say in six sentences?
Barely conscious, Ryan Lang left his apartment each morning at 6:00 am with a Mel's plastic bag in hand, glanced at Katrina De Luca's door on his way to take Max for a walk around the block and past Bob's Exotic Flowers where the dog routinely had a bowel movement.
Ryan knew Katrina only from chance encounters at the mail boxes in their building, Mel's sandwich shop where they self-consciously waved, and from watching when she was unaware; he watched her water and sing to the tiny basil garden on her balcony, her casual stroll home from work dressed in purposely torn stockings and vintage dresses and like every other person with eyes in New York, he was in love with her.
He had once gotten her mail by mistake and met Duke, a large chocolate-faced Balinese who was rubbing Katrina's bare ankles, dragging his whiskers along her black-painted toenails where Ryan longed to begin his journey, his study of her body as he would her native Italian, to meditate on the fray of her cutoffs, the taut cotton of her faded tshirt, the loose black nest piled casually on top of her head. He quickly assessed her apartment instead with walls painted red and framed posters of Paris and Marilyn, then he slowly inhaled the popcorn and patchouli, a world so unlike his plain rooms and Elements of Software textbooks, his bungling bulldog and dirty socks.
When he found Katrina on Facebook he gathered a rare bolt of courage to Friend her which she accepted immediately, and her 574 Friend count did not dampen his enthusiasm as he scrolled past her job at Turntables selling used CDs, vinyl records and posters, through fifty pictures of Duke and many more of Katrina in stage makeup and various costumes at Castinets Playhouse. He slumped in the black swivel chair his dad bought him his freshman year at MIT and wondered what Katrina might find attractive about his life, about a dog who loved routine, roast beef and exotic beauty.