At first she acts like she is looking past you, like she is reading the sign on the restaurant behind you. She stands across the street, but it’s a narrow street, so you can clearly see her face, those blue blue eyes, she isn’t any older than thirty, and you see that she has this smile that isn’t related to a mere restaurant sign, it’s a smile like she’s looking at something familiar, something sweet, but maybe a little sad too, like it reminds her of her grandmother who is buried deep in South Dakota. You turn to see if something smiley and somber is going on in the restaurant, and of course nothing is—it’s dead in there—but when you turn back, she’s looking straight at you, and contrary to your normal avert-your-eyes manner, you look right back at her, you connect with this stranger across the street in a way that you consider rare.

So without taking your eyes off her, without looking for cars in either direction, you cross the street to talk to her. Who wouldn’t?

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