I’m a member of that big Brooklyn food co-op. Ten thousand plus members big. Costs are kept shockingly low by our labor; every four weeks, I put in 2.5 hours of work there. I’m in receiving, stocking the shelves; lately I’ve become a squad leader, which means I ask (in the co-op we ask, don’t tell) other members to stock the shelves and otherwise run around the place like a chicken with my head cut off, putting out fires, keeping my fellow cooperators happy, tracking down answers to all the unexpected questions (Orthodox woman looking to buy two boxes of young Thai coconuts: 18 coconuts in all; what is that, 8000 macaroons?).
For several months now, I’ve been saying “see you in a month” to a fellow member there. A month’s a long time. I’ve found myself missing her when she missed our shift. I found myself enjoying talking to her when she was there. I found myself lightly touching her arm or back upon meeting. I found myself wondering what her story was... So we found ourselves chatting on the corner. She said we should get together sometime. Several sentences later I asked her if she wanted to get a drink. Now. It was after eleven. She works full time and is in a PhD program, with homework due by 8 a.m., so of course she didn't have the time. We went to a place around the corner. A couple of drinks later, I was in her floor-though apartment with its funkycool dumpster-diving furniture looking at her etchings. Specifically, the painting she won at the recent BAM art auction. She was supposed to be doing her homework… and since I was distracting her anyway, I kissed her.