Yesterday I was waiting for the bus to take me home. The sun was still hot and the fog hadn't ventured into the city yet, but it was planning to. You can tell by the wind. My hair was flying all over the place as I tried to read my book.
A few feet away from me, a couple walked and stopped. The older I get, the less I seem capable of knowing how old young people are. I don't think they were teenagers, but suppose they could have been 18 or 19. They could have been 25. Certainly no older than that.
The boy was wearing a white shirt and the very baggy, black-and-white checked pants that all culinary students seem required to wear. I see the student-chefs all over the city in the Academy shuttles, all wearing the telltale pants and stained white shirts that only some ever feel the need to cover with sweaters or coats.
The girl was tall and lanky and her face was youthful but her stature gave her age away. She was not yet comfortable in her body. But she was still pretty and her hair and makeup were well done. She was smiling so big I could see that her teeth needed work and that she was chewing gum.
They had stopped, I'm not sure why actually. But for some reason the boy ended up stooping over her feet. He started futzing with her jeans and shoes, making it so that her jeans would be tucked behind the mouth of her sneakers.
She was giggling and feeling self-conscious as he did this, saying things like "what are you doing." He mostly ignored her, making unintelligible claims I couldn't hear but that sounded from the rise and fall of his voice like he was suggesting she just trust him.
By the time he was done, the front of her sneakers were plainly visible. The leg of her jeans was pushed behind her shoes in the front, but still long in the back. When he stopped futzing, she said, "This looks stupid."
In a single, swift motion the boy stood and put his arm around her and got her walking forward with him and said, "It doesn't look stupid because your shoes match your shirt." As though this were the most plainly obvious thing in the world and he had just solved her one problem in life. And they waltzed off down the street together, she still giggling and he with an air of pride.
They seemed happy.
* * * * *
From: Roy [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2006 6:23 AM
To: YafeuCc: Rufe; Jeremieh; entony; Darrick; ebhithek; Turlouugh; Odo; Gustaf; Nihat; erkin
Subject: think i can help u with this
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