I had a roommate who told me she met eyes with a wild eyed movie star. She stood by the sink reaching into a colander, picking the black grapes off the bony chandelier. I could hear the tug, tug, snap and tear of the skin and the wetness exposed, its clear membrane. It went like this:
She was in the West Village. It was her lunch break. She was on her laptop. I could imagine the blue phosphorescence infusing her skin, a lit Madonna. The story gained speed, accelerated. Someone saw her– a person who was always seen. Like the heavens looking back at you through the other end of the telescope.
Perhaps I should write to him, she said. I paused. Sure, why not, I said. He had a website. He was selling his bodily fluids to the highest bidder. She worked at Christie’s and was nursing a heartache. She tried hard to be an adult, if only to prove that she was no longer young, even though she was, a beautiful thing, but felt that that part was past her and so she sprinted forward to outlast it. I joined her enthusiasm like a fan club; it was easy, like signing up on someone’s list for the latest update, but forgetting the initial feeling – that became pocketed in the past.
She wrote to him in the office cubicle of a woman’s production company. I could imagine her excitement. You were sitting, having an espresso and you looked up at me, she wrote, I was the girl with the dark hair and blue eyes, the beige dress. It was around 2 pm. And then she sent it. She waited. Patiently. Checking her email every other hour.
Later that night she reported that he did not respond. She went to her bedroom and closed the door. I watched some tv in the dark of the living room, peeling an orange, sectioning its pieces off, each piece a thoughtful ear, letting off a small mist of scent that reminded me of Spanish dusk groves in the dead of summer. I think it was summer. Yes, it was most definitely summer.