Amy works in graphic design
. So do I, but not really. I'm allowed to put it on my business cards but that does not make it true. Amy is on the fourth floor, making decisions about photo spreads and gallery layouts and installation
s. I work in what everyone is slightly too polite to call the basement. She is higher up, swimming in all the best shades of blue
while I'm "downstairs
" putting the blinks in banner ads.
Once I surprised her in her office while she was deciding on swatches. The door was open and I watched her moving her fingertips over the squares on the table. To me they were all navy but she could tell the difference. She eliminated four, five, seven, finally she had three left. She shut her eyes and smelled them and chose one, rubbing it lightly on the tip of her nose. Smiling.
Amy and I still talk, despite the difficulty. We meet in the lounge for coffee. Mine is grainy and lukewarm and hers must be the same but she sips it slowly and without wincing. She lowers her eyes, closes them as she swallows. As if it were wonderful coffee, as if it were hot. I do not ask for her secret. I do not tell her that this morning I found, in an unlabeled directory, our prom photo. I do not tell her I have been Photoshopping her all morning, I have been giving her all the best blue wings.