Sometimes I feel like women are all I think about, and I feel like some girl-crazy teenager. So I hide it. Try not to glance as much as I would like, or try not to speak my mind as often as I could. But I just read my first Bukowski book. And he was even more crazy than I am. And we all agree that Bukowski was cool, and I don't feel so bad anymore.
So let me tell you about this girl I saw the other day.
I was driving down West End, on my way to the book store when I passed her. She was pushing a bicycle down the sidewalk. I spotted her and could not take my eyes off of her.
She was tall and slender. With blonde hair, tied up onto the back of her head, no doubt to help with the heat. I don't normally go for blondes so much, but damn. She was wearing a yellow sundress, which I have always believed to be the single most maddening article of clothing a girl can have in her man-catching arsenal. Every woman should own one, a yellow one. They are so practical during southern summers, a girl can pretend she doesn't know what it looks like on her and go about her day pushing a bike down the street and stop traffic. Her hair wagged behind her as she walked. How cool is that?
She was smiling. Not a big goofy, toothy grin. But a small, private smile. I was dying to be a part of her joke. I was driving at about 5 miles an hour at the time, looking at her. So there is a good chance that I was the joke. Thats ok, I never pass an opportunity to make somone smile. Especially a someone in a yellow sundress.
She looked like the opening scene of a Zalman King movie. They always start out like this, a beautiful girl doing something ordinary, imagining a dark fantasy that plays itself out within the next few days, or remembering the time she betrayed her true love, and loved every minute of it.
Her bicycle looked like something made in France prior to World War II. Dark red, curvy with a thick sturdy frame. Old tires and thick spokes. No reflectors, no stickers or labels. Utilitarian. There was something roughly shoebox sized wrapped in butcher paper attached to the back of the seat. Zalman King to the hilt. I had to be part of this scene.
I scanned the street and found exactly what I expected. Not a parking spot to be found. I could drive down the street and park at the bookstore, or at that fancy chinese place. Then I could walk up the street in the opposite direction and bump in to her. It might work.
I would shake her hand, and she would smell vaguely of patchouli. We would stand in front of Wendys and have an awkward conversation. She would have a light, airy name with few syllables and no hard consonants, like Celine or Anna. I would invite her to cross the street with me and walk in the park. She would glance at her package, consider and agree. In the park we would talk about boring things and find that we have essentially nothing in common. She would read Jane Austen and watch Gone With The Wind at least once a month. I read Phillip K. Dick and watch Red Shoe Diaries (I would leave out the Red Shoe Diaries part though, I'm not a complete idiot).
Ignoring our lack of common ground and justifying my reasoning with a Paula Abdul song (it doesn't take much) I would get caught up in the moment and invite her to dinner. She would accept, for a reason I could not imagine. I would take her somewhere quiet and dim. We would again discuss our conflicting tastes, and get along marvelously. Intrigued by each other's differences we would start a cautious relationship.
Eventually her bike would be parked outside of my apartment. Inside, she wrinkles her nose at my dirty bathtub and can't believe how many cans of Chef Boyardee I have in my cabinet. She would be the type who doesn't need to jog in the mornings. I would be the type who needs to, but doesn't. She would come over after work and open the blinds in my bedroom. She would convince me to finally take the empty boxes from when I moved in two months ago out to the dumpster. She would make me throw away dead batteries and clean off my coffee table and start using coasters. She would suggest paintings for me to hang on my bare walls and frown at my Weezer flag. I would buy half of her recomendations and hang them, and not take down the Weezer flag. She would remind me to do laundry before I had to wear Dr. Suess socks. She would add a kind of balance and organization to my life that I've not had since I lived with mom.
Eventually our differences would catch up to us, but by that point its too late for me. I would feel rejuvenated and energetic. She would feel bored and restless. After a few months she would do the smart thing. Put my heart in a shoebox and wrap it in butcher paper, pin her hair up and then head off down West End Avenue.
I played the whole thing out in my mind in a few seconds. I glanced at her bundle of paper on the back of the bike seat. I drove off to the book store and bought a Bukowski book.
Another heartbreak avoided.
Thank God for my imagination.