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Paul doesn’t remember going to a football game this overcast afternoon, and damn well can’t recall traveling to a big city that seems somewhere in the northeast. Maybe it’s New York or Philadelphia. It’s certainly far from California, this high school football stadium, bleachers on all sides backed up against big buildings surrounding the field.

“What school is this?” Paul asks a lady.

“I don’t know.”

Paul watches her walk away and thinks women seldom know where they are or who’s playing. He approaches a man.

“Say, buddy, can you tell me what school this is? We don’t have anything like this where I’m from.”

“I have no idea.”

“Then why are you here?”

He continues eating popcorn.

Thank goodness, Paul sees a policeman.

“Excuse me, Officer. What’s the name of this school and who’s playing?”

“Couldn’t tell you that, Sir.

“You should know the name of the school where you’re working.”

“Move on.”

Maybe it’s halftime. Paul isn’t looking at the field, he’s studying buildings that overlook the field, and thinks this is impressive, the school’s probably in one of the buildings and commercial offices in the others. He takes a walk. There’s no fence around the field and he walks down a pedestrian-only street, between more buildings, and steps into a bakery where he buys several glazed donuts. Eating rapidly and wishing he’d bought chocolate, he walks back to the stadium and waves at a man.

“Excuse me, what the heck’s the name of this school?”

“I don’t know.”

“How come nobody knows anything around here?”

The man walks on. So does Paul. He’s eaten all the donuts but one which he’ll save for after the game. He doesn’t think he’s seen a play but has vaguely noted two helmeted and padded teams on the field. They don’t matter. No one’s watching the game. They’re busy sitting somewhere else.

No. It can’t be but is. It’s her – Claudia, his favorite girlfriend. She’d left him a few years earlier in California, saying she didn’t want to go out with anyone. He hated her for that but felt his love return.

“Claudia, I can’t believe you’re here. Where are we?”

“I don’t know.”

“Here, have a donut.”

She takes the donut and silently walks away. Paul watches her graceful figure and feels sadder each step.

He resumes walking around the stadium and down the pedestrian street and returns to the stadium and marches up to a cop.

“Listen, I want to know what stadium this is and what’s going on?”

“Look, I already told you I don’t know. Now get lost or you’re outta here.”

This entry was posted in Dating, Football, Romance.