In front of me, the asian man eats shrimp tacos. Every once in a while he will pick up his water and swirl it as though it were wine he was trying to aerate before he takes a sip. Down the aisle, two girls are talking. I don't pay attention to their conversation as I do not know them, and yet I feel slightly endeared toward the brunette. As I was walking down the aisle to my appointed booth I noticed her hair was floppy.
She, not the brunette down the aisle but my eternal she, was perhaps a complete personification of this casually floppy quality. I remember her clearly at certain times. Her image more than likely more of an accumulation of all that I came to know of her than an accurate representation of her at the time. We were in high school, and it seemed like all around me were plastic people who had such focus on their clothing and their image that they forgot to be people. These people who had somehow gotten together and defined this rigid society that I never quite felt a part of. I don't remember her as being dramatically apart from the crowd. Even though I don't remember her as being dramatically part of it, either. I remember her as somehow fitting without being one of them. I remember as being imperfect in the most perfect way possible.
She would wander in to class near or after the warning bell wearing her old grey coat. She wore red cloth shoes that were so oddly formless and puffy that people thought they were slippers. She smelled of fendi perfume. She later told me that her acting teacher had told her that she wore too much perfume. And, of course, her hair long and flopped off to one side as though combed primarily by her fingers.
With these memories always comes the image of her laughter. When she would laugh her whole body would tense and her head go backwards, spilling her hair toward the desk directly behind hers that I sat in.
Of course, these things have nothing to do with the poor brunette in the booth down the aisle from mine, and of course any feelings of endearment I might feel toward her are just a byproduct of their association with this girl that it feels like I have loved forever. Like the man in front of me who swirls his water and perhaps imagines a more perfect accompaniment for his tacos, I too wish that I had better accompaniment.