I can tell what makes her smile. I can tell what she is smiling at. I can tell her frown, her sorrow, her longings and her desires.

I can tell how much I love her and how much she loves me. I can tell what makes her cry. I can tell how I made her cry.

I can't tell when it will end. I can't tell how long we will have together. I can't tell what will happen tomorrow.

I care about what we have now. I care about her. I can tell just by looking at her.

I can tell she's been here before, walking to the table with a long, casual glance around the room. Girls who make eye contact have always been there before.

She's laughing at the maitre d's jokes, so I can tell she's thinking about what he'll be doing after his shift. That hair-flippy thing she just did tells me she's interested in doing it with him.

When she excuses herself to the powder room for the second time in an hour, I know she's got a habit. She might not be sniffing in the ladies' room, but she's at least checking her nose for blood. The ones that go sky-high always fly too close to paranoid.

That short, black dress flows over her body like silk, contouring her curves like liquid over eons of evolution. I can tell she works out--but not too much; her body is still supple, thighs rounded in a feminine way.

I can tell she's been a goddess since birth. Manicured nails, expensive pumps and perfume in all the right places tell me she's got money. Her posture and sashay tell me it's old money, not new. That explains the fascination with "the help;" new money never wants to be seen with family. For old money it's a thrill, like shopping Rodeo Drive without Daddy's permission.

I nurse my single malt and roll a match between my fingers. I've had enough of this place already, with the pompous white collars and the hopped-up bimbettes parading around in Vera Wang. It's a job, like any other--though I could've told her husband no, that I didn't see anything tonight, take my grand and leave. But I already know this dame's got years of dirty secrets, begging to be found. I can tell just by looking at her.

2000 movie written and directed by Rodrigo García, featuring quite an impressive cast:
Glenn Close proves that she just keeps getting better and better.
Kathy Baker makes you wonder why on earth she isn't getting Great Big Parts all over the place.
Holly Hunter is hard as nails and alltogether touching as the miserable mistress of a rather sleazy Gregory Hines.
Calista Flockhart is quite un-Ally-like as the lesbian lover of
a dying Valerie Golino
and Amy Brenneman is far from Judging Amy-land and managing quite well as the self-sacrificing sister of
Cameron Diaz, who features in the most un-goofy and intelligent role I've seen her in to date.

The movie consists of several, loosely connected stories or segments. I will avoid telling much of them, as that is too likely to end up as spoilers, but my favorite is undoubtedly the segment "Someone for Rose", the story of a children's book writer, played by Kathy Baker, who gets a new neighbour, played by Danny Woodburn. An unusual and touching love story.

What binds the movie together, besides the fact that some characters appears in several segments, is really in the title of the movie. Most of the performances in this movie are so strong, it is really about watching their faces and gestures, more than listening to their words. Close, Baker and Hunter are marvellous, and even Diaz does a more than decent job giving life to her blind character.

I talked my mother and a friend into watching this movie with me when I'd already seen it once, trying to argue that it wasn't too much of a chick flick. Turned out, my mother liked it, but made it clear that if this wasn't a chick flick, she had never seen one. So yes, ok, it is, but it's much less of a sob-job than Steel Magnolias, and it has some incredible performances and not a half bad script going for it. You have to be able to stand a movie that goes on for 109 minutes without too much stuff blowing up or racing around, though.

Couldn't get by without: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0210358


Her dress, cut down to there
shows she is
not to be trifled with

Her spike heels foreshadow
menace and decadence
in equal amounts.

Her lipstick, blood red,
says she has plenty to say
but will speak those words only
under her breath, and only
to a chosen few

Yes
She will do the choosing.


dedicated to karma debt and that dress

standing outside her trailer park home
etched on her skin
on a frame far too scrawny
are the traces of four wild kids
and three failed marriages

ravaged by inconstancy
plundered by Pall Mall and Smirnoff
sallow in tone, shadowed by fatigue
in clothing better suited to the young
her exposed belly screams

Tell me I'm still sexy
Tell me you could love me
...please...

Her dilated pupils hearkened back to an age of wonderment, agonizing in its unfamiliarity. Was she perhaps under the influence of a brilliant peruvian drug? Her azure eyes shivered in a terrified paroxysm of confusion, beckoning me to take another look, to really see...to see her slender ivory fingers clenched , grasping her Kabalistic words, words meant for me, words I am supposed to be conscious of. Messages that I would grab out of the smoke she blew, propositions in the form of sauntering hands, advancing to their partner in a coital tango. We danced.

Her hands were vibrant and warm as they caressed my side, with her fingers interlocking in my valley of ribs. Our hands clumsily cavorted to the arabesques of our voices, leaving us with nothing, no utterances of passions, just deep-rooted sighs resonating against the walls, reverberating the yells from minutes before.

I looked at her. Her hands were half-hidden underneath the bed sheets, and despite our avid embraces, in my exasperation I knew nothing.

There are so many things you could tell just by looking at her, but you won't. You won't look at her in the right way. You'll put your own words in her head. You'll let yourself imagine your thoughts are hers. You'll let yourself imagine that she is thinking exactly what you want her to think.

If not that, you'll imagine she couldn't possibly be thinking anything you wish she would be thinking.

All this because you do not believe. You do not believe in her. You do not believe in yourself.

This is why you cannot sleep at night. This is why you always have to have just one more drink before you go to bed. This is why you wake up restless and uncertain. This is why you always crawl back to her, trying to pretend you can tell all these things just by looking at her.

And you're not even looking at her.

You think you are, but you aren't.

You don't even know where to look. You might be looking at her, but you are looking past her. You are looking at something you imagine might be her, either driven by your desire and longing or your convictions that she could not possibly answer any of the questions you might ask her with the least bit of understanding and insight.

You will sacrifice to her. You will prostrate yourself at her feet and somehow imagine this will be what she wants of you. And you will disregard the tiny voice inside your head that tells you what she wants of you has nothing to do with what you want her to want of you.

It has to do with something you are unwilling to contemplate. Or, perhaps, you are incapable of contemplating it. You could know just by looking at her, but you won't. You will look past her again. You will look through her. For your purposes she doesn't even need to be there and you don't even know it.

For you, she knows everything and you know nothing.

For her, you know everything and she knows nothing.

You could tell this just by looking at her, but you won't. You will look past her again. You will look through her.

You don't even see her.

And you don't even know it.

The girl sits down. The scene doesn't matter, the place, unimportant.

You,like usual, are alone, or with a close friend, probably nursing a drink in reflective silence, thinking about your day, or your wife, or your job, or whatever. The point is, the girl sits down, somewhere in ear shot.

So, the girl turns to her friend, as undoubtedly, this girl is escorted by a similar lady.

"So, last night sucked. We were driving home, and Joey zipped through a red and got t-boned by a big red SUV."

At this point in this conversation, you're thinking this girl is bitching about her boyfriend. And you're right, here. But, that's not what suddenly strikes. Suddenly, a piece of you feels like it's rising up like a balloon.

"Anyhow, we got out, and the guy started going off on us. I mean, what the fuck? We fucked up, we admit it, we'll fucking pay off it, and this douchebag just starts going off."

Here, that piece of balloon gets your thoughts going. They start racing 'round your slightly tipsy head. Assuredly, the first thing that goes through your head is that she's naive. And, you'd be right. But the second thing you notice in that demeanor, is a quiet attitude, a spouting off that normally wouldn't show, a dam that is in need of repair.

"So, the cop shows up, and sits us down on the curb. And, at 9 at night, this guy tests us for BAC. One a Wednesday. I mean, give me a fucking break. You honestly think I'd be drinking on a Wednesday at 9 at night?Really?"

That piece of balloon that's rising suddenly manifests itself as a thought.

She's a hell of a hothead. You respect her.

And then disappears. You walk out of the bar. A week later, you come back, and see the same girl sitting with her friend.

And every week, that girl keeps coming back, and you always listening with a smile on your face and a knot in your throat, because you know that there's nothing for you to say, nothing for you to do, but smile.

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