Paul had been directed by the Internet to a spot in downtown Tucson that wasn’t where the coffee shop that he had agreed to meet Samantha was. He had left 45 minutes earlier than was necessary and taken his camera along with him just in case he saw something that would look good in black and white, and thus on his Tumblr account.
After getting out of the car and spraying himself lightly with $15 dollar cologne (which he had bought for $45), he set about looking for the coffee shop that he had never been to. Paul parked at a public park that was a few blocks away, because that seemed easier than parking on the street in the metro area of Tucson on a Friday afternoon. He had gotten his driver’s license only three months before and was still uncomfortable parking his parents’ minivan in crowded areas.
Paul walked along the sidewalk next to the park in a navy blue cotton shirt and tan khakis that looked something of shiny in the afternoon sun. He started sweating almost immediately after he started walking.
His first stop was going to be the coffee shop, but after walking around the metro area for 45 minutes, and not taking any photographs, he realized that he may be in the wrong place and decided to text Samantha to ask where the coffee shop was. She replied immediately and directed him the opposite side of town. He panicked slightly after he realized his mistake, but he had done nothing wrong; it was the Internet’s fault, as he found out later. After calling his brother to find out how to get to where Samantha had told him to go— he was too ashamed to ask her for directions— he was almost seven minutes away from the car. He picked up his pace and began sweating much more than he had hoped he would.
Being out on a July afternoon in Tucson, he had not hoped to not sweat at all, but he had hoped to keep it to a minimum. He wanted to feel as comfortable as possible and, since he also wanted to smell as nice as possible, he considered giving himself another spray of the cologne. He decided against in on the idea that too little was better than too much.
On his way out of downtown Tucson and into the southern part of the city, Paul found himself wishing that the coffee shop had been on the side of town that he was on previously. Not only for the reason that he was there previously and could have been on time to the meeting, but also because as he got further south, he realized that the city got dirtier and more depressing in complexion. The entire city always felt dirty and depressing to him, but at least the north side had skyscrapers and exciting new construction developments and larger shopping areas. Downtown was a place where you could park your car and walk along the streets to find a shop, while the south side was a place where you had to drive your car to get from one store to another and maintain any amount of comfort.
He weaved through traffic, going an average of ten miles an hour over the speed limit. He imagined Samantha sitting in some coffee shop he had never seen, waiting for him and began to plan out his facial expression and first words he would say to her when he walks in and tries to console her half hour lost on account of his misinformation.
Then Paul got really tired of writing about a bittersweet night that actually happened and decided to give up writing forever.