I saw them right in front of one of those supersized hardware stores, a big chain thing I won’t name, and I make the assumption that’s where they were going, and I also assumed they had walked from the college that is only a mile or so away. She’s cute, and I realize that’s totally subjective, and I wonder if I would have noticed the two walking along side of the road if she hadn’t fallen within the parameters of who I consider cute. She’s also carrying a slightly oversized purse, with the strap running between her breasts, and because she has fallen within the parameters of who I consider cute, her breasts remind me of the comic strip I once saw where a man is blaming his rear ending another car on crime because young women are wearing their purses with the straps between their breasts instead of on their arms where a purse snatcher might grab it.
I’m at work though, and have to ride out to a project, and I almost forget about the young woman walking with the young man, oh, I forgot to mention him, didn’t I? He’s just part of the background because she has fallen within the parameters of who I consider cute. Anyway, I think they’re walking to the big chain store because it’s green to walk, and they’re looking for shelving or something for a new apartment. I do this because of the woman who, many years ago, fell dead the middle of the parameters of who I consider cute while I simply almost fell.. She and her young boyfriend moved in downstairs from me and late one night I nearly killed myself by missing the last step on the stairway because she was in her kitchen, nude, and carrying a candle. I almost pitched headlong into the darkness, and she didn’t see me or hear me, and when I recovered I fearfully looked again as she stood in front of the cabinet, just a few feet away, flawlessly young and flawlessly beautiful in the candle light, totally unaware of me, or her beauty, and as she disappeared back into the apartment I stood there and remembered to breathe.
It’s a couple of hours before I pull into the gas station a few miles away from the big chain store and that’s when I see them again, and I realize they’re walking, not shopping or being green. The young woman’s beauty is destroyed because she’s smoking, and her boyfriend is looking around the parking lot, searching for someone who might look like they would give them a ride. He had short blonde hair, cut in a buzz, with no hat, and he’s smoking too, and I remember being broke, and smoking, because smoking costs less than food and lasts much longer. Flawed her beauty is now, but I still wonder why she’s with him, if he doesn’t have a car, then I realize I expect him to have the ride for her, and that’s sexist. Why shouldn’t see be responsible for transportation as much as he? Then I realize just noticing her at all for the reasons I do is sexist too. If she fell well outside the parameters of who I thought was cute would I still be having this conversation with you?
I go back to the office and I wonder where they’re headed, and I decided, you know what? I’m going to go back and offer them a ride, even if it is on hours, and even if it is the work truck. I want to know where they’re going, and if she’s in love with him, and maybe he’s a writer or something, but they smoke, and that makes me not want to do it. What the hell, I say again, and I get back into the truck and go back to the gas station but they’re gone.