The morning fog’s drifting into the city while Michael’s deciding between a magenta sweater and a black one. He chooses black because it matches his tie and glasses, and wants to impress Julie—the secretary and his future wife. When he’s dressed, he carries his bike down the stairs and out onto the street for his ride to work at a graphic design company, where, for several hours a day, he sits in front of a computer designing album covers for bands.
It’s Thursday, so Michael waits until Friday to ask her about her plans for Saturday night, though they’ve went out before. They’ll visit a local bar where he’ll order a Captain and Coke, and she’ll order a Tom Collins. They’ll sit in a booth side by side, so they can talk while watching the only other two patrons, a couple, shoot a game of pool. On the mounted, big screen TV, the San Francisco Giants will be playing the Los Angeles Dodgers for the pennant. No one in the room will care.
“You’re such a cute couple!” the woman will later tell Michael and Julie. “I didn’t want you to think I was weird or anything by watching you, but I think you two are so cute together!”
“Thanks,” Michael will say. When it comes time to leave, Michael will forget his jacket in the booth.
“You forgot your jacket,” Julie will say once they’re outside. He’ll retrieve it while Julie hugs herself in the cool, autumn air.
Basketball Is Not a Drug