We all have our dreams and she was his. You wouldn’t know
it to look at her. Apart they didn’t look like people that would
be found in the same room, much less the same heart. Nor was it a
question of her as an object of fantasy. For though her beauty was
exquisite, it had no character of the unreal perfection that movies
and models had nurtured in every adolescent boy. No she had the looks
of a soft smile. The kind that taps you on the shoulder and reminds
you of your best friend when you were eight. The kind that is only
covered up, instead of enhanced by make-up and designer clothes. If
she tried too hard, as is the nature of the insecurity that comes
to us all at some point in our lives, it seemed like you were looking
at a Cezanne painting that had been put into too lavish a frame. Her
beauty still remained, but anything that distracted from what made
her truly her seemed somehow blasphemous.
They had met on an airplane. Well no not exactly, they had met on
the bus to the airplane. No, that’s not quite right either.
He had first seen her before even getting on the bus. She wore a simple
blue dress, the kind made for flight attendants. It was not particularly
complimentary, as it was as if someone was trying to make her fit
to their formula. He was on his way to California, another boring
business trip and with a stopover in Chicago he was fairly hyped up.
He did that on long trips, got out of bed and on the road with energy
to spare. Having just got off the subway and waiting for the bus he
felt slightly agitated as he looked over those also waiting. Perhaps
if there were some high fashioned dressed New York model standing
alone he never would have noticed her. It is probably true that life
is full of these kind of high tragedies where one misses the thing
one is most looking for. How many misses it takes to make the one
kind of meeting they had this day, it would be interesting to know.
When his friend’s spoke of him they described him as a nice
guy. Someone who wasn’t terribly exciting, kept to himself in
that kind of not sure of himself way that socially inept single people
did. He in fact went further then that, as he was the first to downplay
his importance. It did and didn’t make sense he was in middle
management, as that self-expressed put down put him where we had to
be, never a leader. But he pushed hard to be the best at everything
he fell into, and his work for this clothing retailer was no different.