and he's really very sweet

A large pink sun, quickly shifting into that special kind of Peeps-chick-yellow, throws color over the ocean like a giant disco ball. None of the bars are open just yet, but, across the street from Hodad’s a few dreadlocked blondes speckled with sand, are getting soused anyway.

Wanda Wolra parks her car on the main drag, across the street from The Black, and watches the dawn weirdness of Ocean Beach waking up to face the day. There are your standard bums curled up in shop stoops, hippies too young to have even really heard of Woodstock or the ‘60s wandering around the streets dazed, and surfers – up and at’em hitting those waves.

Getting out of the car, Wanda hastily looks back over her shoulder, hoping to get a glimpse of someone inside The Black, like the day’s opener, but it’s far too early for that. She doesn’t know why exactly that store has always bugged her, but it has. Under the veneer of patchouli incense, something reeks.

Oh well, an adventure for another day.

She turns the corner and enters Café Morning, taking a seat in the back while she waits for her friend Nicky to show. Minutes later, Nicky, decked out in her running gear, throws open the door and declares loud enough for everyone in the café to hear her, “Don’t dare hug me, I am drenched!”

Coffees ordered, pleasantries exchanged, the girls get down to business.

“You look different,” Nicky squints and makes like she’s scanning Wanda. “Definitely not the hair . . . same messy moptop-“


“Not the shirt, you wore that one last time we were here too, by-the-way, don’t think I didn’t notice . . . oh my god, oh my god,” Nicky claps her hand over her mouth, “she met somebody! That’s what it is!”

“What?!” sez Wanda, blushing.

“You did, you did, I can tell!” Nicky stands up and prances around.

“Shhh,” Wanda shoves Nicky back into her chair. “I don’t know if it really counts as ‘meeting somebody’.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well . . . I mean, I had a brief conversation with someone, an attractive someone . . . I’ll give you that, but you know – numbers weren’t exchanged, nothing of that sort.”

“But you were into him?”

“Yeah – he had this, I can’t really describe it,” Wanda’s face is red and hot, “I feel like such a flake saying it, but I guess – aura? He had an amazing aura.”

“Aura. Ha-ha, wow.” Nicky claps her hands together, “Oh baby, sounds like you really shouldn’t have missed out on this one.”

“Come on, what was I supposed to do? It all happened so fast. I was sitting in the airport lounge working on my fanfic piece to kill time while waiting to board the plane.”

“This is the one where Buffy the Vampire Slayer goes to grad school?”

“No, I’ve tabled that one for now. This is the Warehouse 13 fanfic . . . you know, with the alternative timeline, where Claudia Donovan ends up falling in love and running away with Douglas Fargo from Eureka? Because it’s just so obvious that they both want it . . .”

“Right, okay . . . so?”

“So, the plane was late. I got tired of sitting. And when I stood up, there was this guy near me. I mean I didn’t even see his face or talk to him at first, I was just like . . . overwhelmed by his …”



“So then what?”

“Well – nothing really. We talked a little bit about the plane being late. Then it began boarding and we didn’t have seats near one another and that was that.”

“That was that? You know, you could have got his number or asked him out or something.”

“Nah, that would’ve just . . . been . . . awkward.”

“Not as awkward as the MISSED CONNECTIONS ad I’m gonna make you write now. Muahaha.”

“Oh . . . hell . . . no.”

“Aw, come on, it’ll be fun.”

“I don’t know how to do those things.”

“What things? Write personal ads or have a relationship?”


“Right, well, how about if I write it and send it for you . . . let’s just see what happens, okay? Got a pen?”

Grudgingly, Wanda reaches into her purse and tosses a pen at Nicky.

“So what was he wearing?”

“Black hoodie and jeans, I think. Had a tattoo where there could have been a watch but wasn’t one.”

“Okay, let’s see if I’ve got it right.” Nicky writes on a napkin: MISSED CONNECTION (?) / You: Hottie in hoodie with arm tats and amazing aura / Me: Shy girl, but next time I see you, I’m going to follow you home . . .

Wanda Tinasky