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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day: A Vignette

Broken Heart
Photobucket image by lollipops_n_icecream

(First published on Feb. 23, 2011.)

She was an attractive young woman, although you couldn't be completely sure. Her face was obscured by a medium-sized baroque lampshade she had perched on her head, complete with tassels, which shook and danced along with her movements.

I was running against an expiring "Walk/Don't Walk" sign in order to catch the approaching bus, and my eye then fell upon the copious baggage she was furiously organizing in anticipation of boarding.

"Nice hat!" A rather impertinent comment from a jovial passer-by. "It used to be a lampshade!" she retorted unnecessarily.

The doors closed as we all maneuvered on the crowded bus, and she calls, "Wait! I have more stuff..."

"Running away?" joked the bus driver as the petite girl muscled an impressive piece of luggage into the aisle.

"No, I was told to leave," she said quite loudly for all of us, with a strained felicitous note. She removed her lampshade and placed it on top of her bags.

Ah, I've seen this look before, I thought. She's just been dumped, quite clearly still in shock, and out to get the entire world on her side of the question.

And she had her props in place for this gambit. Clearly kicked out on a moment's notice, hauling all her worldly possessions onto a bus, for crissakes, no place to properly pack that lampshade, and requesting, again for all of us to savor, that she be dropped off as closely as possible to the Whole Foods Market. No real place to go to, see?

I certainly cannot say how this act was impressing the other passengers. It is worthy of note, however, that no one responded to her provocations, and I saw the same blank stare on those faces that I am certain that I myself was displaying.

I knew the real story. They had a fight, probably the last of many, and he had enough. So he "told" her to leave. Pride wounded, she petulantly packed all of her stuff and left right then and there, I'll show you.

This is the story that the actual fire in her eyes was telling me. I mean, who breaks up with such a lovely young woman - she must have been a peach to live with. I'll tell you something, the cut of that lampshade, her clear attachment to it, and her willingness to create a spectacle with it... oh, I'm betting that he was pretty sick of her all right.

These were not welcome thoughts. She was attractive, and clearly, er, unattached. A guy wanted to like her, give her the benefit of the doubt, concede that the other guy was clearly a fool.

Alas, I am too old and experienced to fake myself out anymore.

The bus driver pulled up right in front of Whole Foods Market for a "courtesy stop." "I have to make two trips," she announced, again unnecessarily. She came back on board for the other half of her bags. "This is a ballet in two acts," she chirped bizarrely.

"Got everything?" the driver asked.

"Everything but my heart!" she called. Oh, brother.

"Well, try to have a nice day," he said. I think the driver and I were on the same page.

"My... my broken heart!" she yelled as the doors closed and we moved on.

No one spoke.

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