The first time I saw her it was right after running across the avenue, on my way to _______, hurrying of course because I wanted to get a good seat. Right as I walked in front of that long-running show’s theater she was there, walking towards me in the other direction. She was with a group but I only saw her. She was looking forward, head tilted down. From the brief side view I got as I passed her face looked flat, like someone had taken a regular face and pushed it back so that all of the features had to line up to the same level. A squashed moonpie face. She seemed unhappy, serious, maybe a little afraid even? I was worried. I wanted to stop and ask her, What’s going on? Is it your friends? Is it your career? Is it just the day? Yeah it IS kind of cold today. I could be your best friend, I thought. The one, the only one who understands. Or at least the only one who understands right now. I can see right into the center of you. I understand.
I really have to give the credit to her. I mean, she’s the one who started it all.
I thought about her again later. I remembered seeing her on a talk show and she was talking about sports. She came off as a good-natured, smart, a wry kind of gal. Someone you’d want at your football-viewing party. All the neighborhood guys would joke with her and secretly lust after her, not because she was so hot or anything but because she was so cool, so easy-going and able to keep up with the boys and their beer-drinking.
Months later I was in the organic food store near my apartment. It’s so overpriced but aren’t they all. I like this one because it’s small so you feel like you’re supporting “the local economy” though for all I know it’s owned by some massive corporation. Anyway we all know shopping is an act of attitude forming identity. I was jet lagged and therefore a bit manic. It always happens that way. Whenever I come back from an overseas trip I wake up super early the next day and make a list of resolutions in my head. I’m always going to wake up this early and be this productive. I’ll always start the day with meditation, bodywork, writing and shopping for the week. I’ll always have a list with me and I’ll always have great new ideas of little dishes I can make for myself and bring with me wherever I go in recycled plastic containers. I’ll always take advantage of this exciting city and its boutique food stores. I’ll go to the cheese shop and get to know the cheese, lovingly smelling each one because I care so fucking much about cheese. I’m part of the neighborhood! I’m friendly and I say hi to everyone and everyone loves my casual but distinctive style. My ability to color-coordinate puts a smile on everyone’s face.
I’d just picked up almond milk and was walking through the narrow aisle when I saw her. She looked taller this time, more confident, if maybe still a little cautious. Again she was intent on her pathway though I guess they have to be like that or else they’ll inadvertently catch other people’s eyes and then what. It was spring already but it was still cool so she had on this dark jacket, black skirt, black stockings and these low-heeled black leather boots with an overturned lip and a kind of slit down the back. Really good boots. Kind of a surprisingly fierce outfit for a Sunday morning food shop. She wasn’t wearing any make up and her skin was taut and there was the hint of a rash on her cheeks, a sheen to her overall complexion which made me think that maybe she uses Retin-A. I guess you can cover that shininess with powder. Still that weird profile but at least now she seemed sexier, more alluring. I played it cool as she passed, even though I wanted to say Hey you inspired me to start a blog, which is crazy because I hate blogs! but that just would have been creepy any way you slice it. As she walked away I took a longer look at her. That was when I really took in the boots and her height and her stockings. Of course I quickly looked her up online and realized that her career is doing just fine. She’s got like five movies coming out soon. I shouldn’t have worried about her at all.