Bale

Bale (n): a bundle of hayDictionary B

I think she liked me.

I know I liked her.

I don’t know how much I liked her. When you’re a teenager you’re so anxious to have romantic encounters that you’re willing to consider many obtuse options. It is amazing who looks good to you by Thursday afternoon at school when you really want to go out on a date for the weekend.

All summer long, I had been driving around town with this girl as we tried to conjure various adventures, while experimenting with conversation, learning how to communicate with someone of the opposite sex.

One day I told her I wanted to go out to a nearby farm and see my friend, Jack, who was working there baling hay. He chose this occupation in order to get in shape for the upcoming football season.

I knew she had a small crush on Jack, but I was not aware of the full extent of her hidden affections. When we arrived at the barn and Jack appeared in the doorway of the upper loft, shirtless, holding a pitchfork, with perspiration streaming down his pectorals, she lost it.

He looked like an image from a John Steinbeck novel, perfectly framed, with a sweaty, well-chiseled body. I peered down at my own well-nourished middle as she practically drooled, staring at the sight before her.

I thought to myself, this was not a good move, to come and see Jack.

We spent the rest of the day driving around, talking about how handsome Jack was and discussing how I should help her make connection with him.

I felt completely left out.

Rather than being the pursuer of budding romance, I was cast into the role of matchmaker.

I explained that I had planned to work on the farm this year, but discovered that I had hay fever.

She squinted, concern in her eyes, and said, “Hay fever?”

“Yes,” I replied. “Whenever I think about working in the hay fields, I break out into a sweat of great anxiety and fear.”

I thought it was particularly funny.

She didn’t even fathom my joke, but instead stared out the window … obviously conjuring images of a topless Jack. 

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