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How did I miss the hook?
1. Meet a man with a hook for an arm. Miss the hook entirely because you are looking into his eyes and listening intently to everything he has to say. He is talking about politics. He has a deep voice. Find out later: he had a hook. How did you miss the hook? Start to question your observational skills, which were always your pride and joy before. You were tired, maybe. You were thoughtful that night. But how could you miss a hook?
2. Meet a man with bony arms, bony elbows, he is all angles. Too thin for his own good. The way he is sitting, and the way his elbow juts, and because his arm is so thin, you wonder at first if he is missing his lower arm. Maybe he has a hook too. Maybe more people have hooks than you realize. It is dark, and he is not particularly physically expressive. You keep waiting for him to move his arm so you can see if there is a hook attached. You begin to compensate for his languid presence, and wave your hands and arms when you speak. Your are making a point. You are punctuating. Finally he lifts his arms, and imitates you. He laughs when he does it, but he's not funny. You liked him better when you thought he had a hook.
3. Stop meeting men. Spend time by yourself instead. One day you agree to meet a friend for coffee. You haven't seen her in a while. Let's catch up. You take the 6 train uptown. You wait for twenty minutes. No friend. Hop right back on the 6 train, this time heading downtown. At least you got out of the house. At least you saw midtown. Midtown. Shake your head. On the train a man stands next to you, one arm clinging to a pole, the other hanging loose. You look at his hand clasping the pole. It is clean and pale and he has nice nails. Tidy. He is wearing a knit cap and a black blazer and a white t-shirt. He is slender and short. His jaw is surprisingly firm for someone who is otherwise delicate. You find him attractive, although you usually like messy, messy men. You look down at the ground, afraid he can read your mind. Then you look at his other hand, the one next to you. The cuff of his sleeve is tucked into the pocket of his jeans, and a nub where his hand should be pokes out from the cuff. You look again, just to make sure you are right. Yes, it is a nub. You look away. You look back. Nub. Now you are staring at the nub and you feel badly but you cannot stop and then finally you force yourself to look up, you look into his eyes, and he is very cute, yes. You wink. You wait. And then, at last, he winks back.