A cool and sunny October afternoon, having salmon sashimi and a lemonade, enjoying an old Nina Simone? jazzy, yet sad, rendition of blue skies... 
Smiling at me... 
Nothing but blue skies

Across from me, sits a lovely, Middle Aged, maybe 45? I'm nearly 40, she's at least a decade older. She must be...  Is it the streaks of fine gray in her thick dark hair, hardened, dry, brittle, reminiscent of it's once voluptuous youth, an intricately laced coral shell replica of what was once alive and vibrant, rich and soft and flowing... She seems European, her light colored knee length a-line skirt, black ribbed turtleneck sweater, black Opaque stockings peaking out, only an inch or two, nearly met by a clean and pricey looking pair of knee high grey suede flat-soled boots. Smart, stylish, comfortable, unassuming yet elegant... Is it that? Her quirky, unkempt, yet perfectly effortless appearance, that reads to me as aloofly European? foreign somehow? 
Or is it the somewhat melancholy look in her eyes, the distant longing- nothing of bitterness, only experience, both good and bad... Pleasure and pain. Light and dark. All without a hint of judgement or denial, delusion or grandiosity. Only casual acceptance. A surrender to what is, what once was, and the inevitable what may be still. 
Her eyes are dark and round, and tell secret tales of many passionate moments long past, moments of loving, anger, fury, fueled by only something as fierce and foolish as youth, and the unbounded energy still unbridled, unbalanced by age and wisdom. 
She stares blankly, yet deeply through the window, for what seems an eternity. 
I am entranced. 

Perhaps sensing the depth of contemplation in the prying eyes of this stranger sitting across from her, she shifts her eyes intently, unflinchingly, directly to me. Embarrassed, I shift my gaze quickly over her shoulder. 

Directly behind her is a typical all American woman. Strikingly beautiful, tall and thin and statuesque, strong and somewhat intimidating in both dress and demeanor. I noticed her strut by me moments before with a confident, poised, purposeful gait, knowing, seemingly at all times, exactly where she is going, filling all the space of her own embodiment as well as the space around her with an air of untouchable, admirable, infallible competence. But now, sitting alone, eating her overpriced sandwich, eyes cast downward into whatever business plagues her via iphone... She is changed. Bitter, angry, hardened. Weak...?

She walks away, her too large sharply square bag hung tightly over her rolled-back shoulders,  Filled no doubt with files and a laptop and other varieties of very important things. She stomps through the cafe in her sleek, expensive black slacks, perfect creases front and back, long pointy black heels, sensibly high, without any suggestion of frivolity, only just high enough to stand just a bit more above the rest of the world, to gain  a slightly wider edge than provided by her already nearly six foot frame. Creamy white cardigan with scalloped edging suggests a desire to be feminine, but somehow, despite her still luxurious, perfectly coifed, clearly pampered mid-aged skin, hair, and nails, she misses that mark. She veers astray, wanting of the timeless, goddess-like femininity of the French woman, or at least she is French in my mind... 

Something so sublimely feminine in her complete and utter destruction and surrender. Her letting go of self in order to let self truly come through to surface. The exasperated wild and weary look of her, precisely countered by her peaceful self control and deeply rooted comfort in her own aging skin... The charm of her melancholy, the exquisite beauty of her sadness. She IS woman, and the other only posing as such. Building her facade, unconvincingly play acting in society's high heels and lipstick, over dressed and under equipped, like a child in her mothers things... 

Wanting to be, striving to be, is not the same thing, not even close, to being. Woman. 

No comments:

Post a Comment