Sunday, March 04, 2012


It is a lovely seventy degrees outside. The perfect day to wear a pretty skirt, apply a bit of brilliant red lipstick, and put on the pearl earrings, then go have dimsum with good friends rather than family members - that way you can eat what you want - and get giddy on pot after pot of tea.

Afterwards you head out beyond the old neighborhood, so that aunties can't see you and tattle, and light up. You have an old ivory cigarette holder which your grandma let you have when you were ten. She used to be a lively little number back in the day, and has promised you the long necklace she used to wear when she went out dancing.

The lipstick leaves a crimson smear on the ivory. You pretend these are Turkish cigarettes, even though such things haven't been available in California for years and you've never had them.

But what you read inspires the adventurous side of your soul.

You would have cocktails too, but it's far too early in the day - it's barely even early afternoon, for heavens' sakes, civilized people don't drink till nightfall - and you don't like booze anyway.
You had a gulp of beer once. Disgusting!
And that small glass of cognac two years ago left you flushed and dizzy.
The idea is delicious.
That's enough.

You don't realize it, but you are perfect.

At around tea-time, you will finally head home. You've had a WONDERFUL day. Chatted with your friends, gestured with your cigarette holder, scoped out a middle-aged Italian in an elegant suit strolling down Columbus with his pretty wife, and checked your lipstick and ear-rings in the mirror glass of the bank at the intersection.

Yep. Looks nice. You're smiling.

At around that hour, before it turns dark, I will head over to Washington Street for some tasty noodles and soup. Rather than a long ivory cigarette holder (of which I have several, by the way), I'll have a short pipe filled with rubbed out flake going.
No lipstick, no skirt, no earrings.
I'll look much my usual self. Slightly rumplety, clean, trimmed beard.
We might pass by on the street, but we probably won't notice each other.

I'll be happily looking forward to hot food at twilight, you'll be dreamily remembering the juicy dumplings and the illicit cigarettes. You hope that the melon bubble tea you had later has disguised the smell enough, and in any case, you'll wash your face as soon as you get home.
You too are looking forward to hot food at twilight.

All days should be like this.

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