The Swedish Girl

Afterward, out in the heat, Davis rode back downtown to the strip, looking to watch a live band and have a couple more beers. It was only four. Most places would not have live music until around seven.
Walking a few blocks to the little river, stopping on the bridge looking over the pedestals across the water, Davis watched some girls leaping about the platforms, turning in the air like ribbons. One of them noticed him watching their activity, hailed him as cowboy and complimented his hat, gingerly placing herself in handstand on one platform and kicking her legs, flipping backwards, landing sure-footed on the next platform in triumphal splay of her arms. Davis smiled and headed back west towards downtown.
At the hostel a young woman sat on the front step. Davis found a bench and watched her from across the street. She glanced at him, then returned her gaze into the middle distance. A man stepped out from the hostel onto the stoop beside the sitting woman, glancing into her periphery, and without gaining her attention, started walking eastward. Davis watched him pass over the little river, heading to the big parking lot. Davis crossed the street and said to the young woman, "How do?" She asked him in a Swedish accent if he was staying in the hostel. He shook his head. Knowing her accent was Swedish, yet so as not to force her to accede the question, he asked whether she was German. "No," she said, "Swedish." He pointed eastward. "Your boyfriend?"
"No," she said, turning herself askance.
"What's your name?"
"Cumbaya," she said, half amused and half serious.
"Is that your road name?”
"Yes, and you?"
"I'm from here," he said. "My name is Davis. Nice to meet you, Cumbaya." He wondered if she would join him for drinks nearby. She declined, saying she had plans with her companions.

The End

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