Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Proust than Beckett (opposite of Lydia Davis)

Gorgeous day today, still windy, but sunny and mild. Had the car for the afternoon as D did work next door. My mood lifted considerably as I flew down country roads, moon roof open, listening to radio. Enjoying my new jeans. I am so much slimmer now, I'm psyched. I am going to smile at cute guys from now on. A cute guy in the supermarket one morning last week smiled at me. We were on the checkout line and the wait was interminably long, minutes upon minutes. I had just come from a walk and wasn't feeling 100 percent, physically tired and a little lightheaded. I grew impatient as the line refused to move and other stations weren't opening. Ten to nine when people are trying to get to work you'd think they'd open an express line. An impassive, heavyset health worker ahead of me was buying Entenmann's, her turn, I imagined, to supply the coffee station. (Interesting side vibe at the end, I think she was lesbian. She quite frankly checked me out. There she was, incredible uniformed hulk, checking out unemployed wild woman. Never the twain shall meet.)

The guy stepped behind me. I had noticed him a few minutes earlier at the packaged organic lettuces as I made my way to the discount produce rack with my cart. Here he was again. An artist, I decided, intelligent, European - not an "exquisite" aesthete - rather, possessed of a sophisticated lowkey sensibility. Hudson definitely (+ NYC) - not Greenport. Straight (hopefully). Italian I thought, perhaps Argentinian - or both. He was behind me on this stupid line. The back of my head occurred to me, the messy state of my hair and I resolved to schedule a trim. I idly thought about his provenance and fretted about my hair and grew annoyed with the line and I turned, I don't know, maybe to glance at the magazines, maybe to take another peek at him. And he looked me right in the eye, a nice direct, acknowledging look - he saw me - and he smiled. It crossed my mind that he knew who I was, which doesn't make sense, all I am at this point is a housewife with a blog. How would anyone recognize me? Although come to think of it, I may have seen him once or twice at the conservation area, but that was ages and ages ago, and I might be thinking of a different person altogether. But maybe he recognized me from there, especially with my telltale freshly muddy shoes. Anyway, he had such a nice smile, and friendly eye contact, and I looked at him too and met his eyes and smiled, but I felt a little flustered and shy especially because I wasn't feeling well, and of course (as these things inevitably are, unless you're, say, in a bar) it was unexpected - so all in all? I looked away. We exchanged remarks about the slowness of the line, and then it began to move. I paid for my chicken, capers and olives, and left. I glanced back but now he was up at bat, not looking anymore. A week later, I think of his smile. That was nice.

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