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May 13, 2024

If Only She Could See His Teeth

By Jeffrey Carl Jefferis

Love is made in a fury, but love is bonded in quiet. The quiet night. She knew as soon as she saw him that she had never seen him before. She knew as soon as she saw him that she would never see him for the first time.

There was nothing better for her than the shower after a productive work out, that and a million other things, even if he could not be in attendance behind the curtain. She imagined him talking as though he thought no one could hear him. She was hanging on every word she could not hear. Concocting her responses to his dazzling insights that she would never hear. She had patronized a Korean grocery earlier that day and envisioned a unique joy in browsing for quail eggs with him. How delightfully eccentric they would feel, though she had yet to see him for the first time and knew that she never would.

There was nothing better for her than a chilled glass of pinot blanc and a small dish of strawberries and cheeses after the shower after a productive work out, even if he could not be in attendance behind the curtain. That and a million other things.

The snack was delicious. It was light yet filling. It suited the taste and tingle of the wine like a British romantic comedy. Nevertheless, a few slices of choice meats from the refrigerator would not spoil the evening. After all, if he had ever seen her, he would supportively tease her about being too thin, and insist that she need not ever worry about how she looked because she always looked beautiful.

A bladder full of wine.

A belly full of swine.

Her eyes caught a glimpse of the decades-old photograph of her recently deceased grandmother on her end table. Her grandmother looked so interesting in the photo. Interesting was the only way to describe her, among a million others. If only her grandmother had lived long enough to meet him, he and her grandmother would have admired each other and they both would have loved her with equal and undeniable force.

Her eyes started to tear at the reverie. She realized, based on extensive experience, that every man reacted to a sobbing female the way a dog reacts to an operating vacuum cleaner, with petrified bewilderment. But not him. He would never. He would neither enjoy it nor welcome it. That would be too much to ask of any man. But he would grin and bear it, always, each and every time. He would bear it until she grinned, always, each and every time.

She approached her living room window. Physical well being was surely a concern, but a cigarette to accompany her second glass of wine fit neatly into the latter half of a cost-benefit analysis this evening. She swung open the glass window and then lifted the screen, an older fixture, with wires loose and singularly rooted like the mustache of a twelve-year-old Latino boy. If only he had been there to replace it. If only he had ever been there or would ever be there.

The raindrops were falling so thick and full that the drain transformed into an arena for constant creation and instantaneous destruction of quarter-sized and tragically doomed bubbles. Then, suddenly, in the flash of a lifetime spent waiting, he appeared. A mere shadow. A masculine, sexy silhouette. Was he? Yes, he was. He was wiping his seductive brow with a towel. He too must have engaged in a strenuous work out earlier. He too must have enjoyed a nothing-is-better shower after his strenuous work out. He too must have been thinking that there is nothing better than enjoying a cold slice of pizza and an ice-cold beer after the shower after the strenuous work out.

She leaned smoking gracefully at her window. Holding her inhales longer than necessary and exhaling with deliberate slyness. She had assumed the persona of a mysterious beauty from a film noir, or so she imagined. He stood smoking statuesquely at his window. Only one floor above, but a million miles away. Her mind considered how her profile, her shadow, her silhouette appeared to him. For a moment, she regretted the nothing-is-better shower after her productive work out that required her to remove her sports bra. "Poppycock," she reminded herself. Her body was fine. No, her body was lovely and desirable and magical. Her curves were her curves and she owned them proudly.

Then it happened. They locked eyes, in theory, in the window of the neighboring building reflecting the images of the windows on their building. Love is a compromise, as was their ninety-degree angle line of sight. No two people who did not know that the other existed had ever shared such a burning affinity, it was safe to say. They ashed in unison, symbolically flicking away their collective thirst to be with any other individuals, other than each other. There was neither enough room in the world nor enough moments in a lifetime for others other than each other.

Love is three minutes. His silhouette faded. She tilted her head and twisted her neck. She had to be certain. He was gone. He had departed. Would he ever smoke again? Why did they have to live one floor a part? An impossible distance in light of humanity. Isn't that always the way?

The marvel of what can materialize and dissipate in the flash of a lifetime spent patiently waiting and arduously wondering. Much like the constant creation and instantaneous destruction of quarter-sized and tragically doomed rain drop bubbles.

"If only I could have seen his teeth," she thought, "he would be absolute."

Article © Jeffrey Carl Jefferis. All rights reserved.
Published on 2010-08-16
1 Reader Comments
clearly r. voza
12:04:17 PM
it seems that if she were the type to really treasure those workouts, the wines, and the cheeses and quail eggs, i don't expect that she would smoke. she seems to take care of her body enough that smoking would be a no-no for her.
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