To be fair about my paralyzed reaction to this sort of contact, I had no idea how to deal with boys, despite being about 13 and having almost only male friends. Up until that year (when Gareth noticed I was female), I was...um... I had a singular style, and never had to think about boys beyond how much I enjoyed hanging out with them and playing Ren and Stimpy on Sega Genesis.
In order to draw this comic, I did a little research into bottle-base sidewalks. They were made to illuminate the basements below the city buildings, because NYC is so crammed that it's mostly built up and down. Turns out, there are a TON in downtown Manhattan, where I was a kid. They exist in other cities too, but they aren't that common, anymore. What's really sad is that a lot of them are wearing away-- the prisms busting out and breaking. But look: aren't they fascinatingly beautiful?