once upon a timepublished: 2011-03-07
Once upon a time, a woman who is tired and weary and looking for broccoli in her local supermarket – not that the kids will ever eat it but she keeps trying – runs into a man. Worse even, she trips and falls against him. He isn’t astonishingly handsome or anything. But his greying hair does make him look somewhat distinguished. And he wears a long, tailored coat, collar up. It is a deeper grey than his hair. She laughs, “oh clumsy me, haha.” He doesn’t laugh back. Then, without thinking, she says the words that immediately sprung to mind: “my god, you smell so good! What after-shave is that?”
Somehow, she expects him to charm the two of them out of potential embarrassment. A joke maybe, or a playful punch on the shoulder. “You must be confusing me with the strawberries.”But no, he gives her a long and hard and steely look. It forces her to mutter something along the lines of “so sorry,” and “well then I must get going.” He walks away, his back upright, his shoulders rigid.Now, fate has it – of course – that this poor woman keeps running into this fine man. And she’s tired every time she sees him. She’s aware of the weight of her scruffy winter jacket on her shoulders. She wants to tell him that she isn’t a lonely person. She isn’t mad or weird. She has a husband and children and sometimes she and her husband go out to a concert. You know, classical music and all. She looks beautiful on such evenings, really she does. Actually, maybe they should go out so she can show him how good she can look?
She smiles really hard when she sees him, hoping his eyes will cast her that look of understanding. He doesn’t. In fact, probably he’s forgotten all about her.