How to Not Pick Up Girls: Sidewalk Improv

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There’s a hand corrupting the distance between me and my destination. It’s flown out, unexpectedly, in the middle of a song playing loudly—but not loudly enough—on my headphones. “HEY, HEY, HEY,” I hear, turning in the direction of the voice, thinking it’s going to be—I don’t know—someone I know, given the abrupt physical contact. Instead it’s someone foreign, literally and figuratively. His name is Alek and he is from the Ukraine. I know none of this ahead of time, given that he is a total stranger, but acquire it over the course of the next ten weird minutes on Bedford Avenue.

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