Being Bold

My neighbor kid’s been helping me tie up some dead branches. Finished, I’m drinking a beer, he a passion-orange juice I dig up from the depths of my fridge.

There’s a girl at school he wishes would notice him. Poor guy, I know the feeling.

I tell him he has to say something, do something to get her attention, make an impression. The number of times I wish I’d done that, I can’t count.

Too shy, he mumbles. It’s as if I’m looking in a mirror.

I tell him he has to get over that, learn to be bold. I should talk.

He wants to know if I’d been a shy kid.

“I was.”

How’d I get past that.

“Never did.”

He asks if that’s why I’m not married. He’s pretty bold in some things it seems.

“Could be.”

What am I doing to get over it, he wants to know.

“I’m too old to worry about it anymore.”

Funny, he encourages me not to give up, and when his mom starts calling for him to come home, he tells me she’s newly single, if I’m interested.

I thank him for the suggestion; I’m old enough to be his mother’s father. She’s a pretty woman; again I encourage him to be bold.

“Things’ll change for you,” I say, waving goodbye.

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