The director rubbed her temples, looked off into the distance. The middle distance? I don’t know. She stopped rubbing her temples and looked at her hands. “You’re only young for a moment, Lola,” she said quietly. “You should make the most of your life.”
I nodded. It isn’t anything anyone doesn’t tell me all the time.
Sometimes I stay up too late, writing. I tell myself at least it’s not Facebook and that gives me a righteous few minutes but it is late at night and my face will bear testimony to it tomorrow. And what can I tell my co-workers? “Yeah, stayed up real late. Writing and shit, you know. Real cool stuff.” No, I mean – no.
Ever stay up way too late and look like a panda the next day? I texted Elsa.
All the feelings I have about him are protective. From there you already know where I’m going: warm, tender, emotions that envelop like arms.
Sometimes, very late nights, I worry about him. I do not want him to disappear one day and come back, three days later, a changed man. So I put it out of my mind very quickly and think about something else.
I could live on vacation forever – I mean, if there were a way to extend this into a permanent way of life, I would excel at the occupation.
As far as I can tell all it entails is drinking far too much coffee and watching nouvelle vague films. There may be the occasional deep existential thought tornado involved, but nothing more coffee can’t fix.
When I affirmed that you could crash on my couch for a night or two, it was implicitly understood on my part that you were not to turn it into a Jamaican dance hall. Also the game of what-is-in-this-cupboard? Amusing to none but yourself.
“Sometimes I get so stressed I think I might take up drinking,” I told her, looking at the ice cubes packed into my water. Who even does that in the winter?
“Well I know I could never ever do that! I mean, I wish I could but I just can’t, you know?” Amy sighed, shook her head. “I’m just one of those people who can’t ever drink.”
“Really?” I tried sipping the edges of the glass. Very cold. “Like, glass of wine at the end of the day? Seems kind of nice.”
“Oh.” She sat up straight, eyed me. “Oh that. Well. I mean, that’s not really drinking, is it? I mean, everyone has some wine at the end of the day. Or when you’re starting a bad shift at work. That isn’t really considered drinking.”
“I don’t know why everyone talks about your hair,” Marina’s new assistant told me. “It isn’t really that thick.” I nodded, fascinated by the salon’s backlog of Japanese magazines. “Sure. Lots of hairs are thicker.” She pulled it taut. “Like, all my cousins have thicker hair than this,”
“Okay,” I said, because I didn’t know what else to say. “It isn’t really that shiny, is it?” She asked, frowning behind her glasses. I shrugged. “Maybe, um, not?”
“No it isn’t shiny. And it isn’t thick. Or long. Like everyone in this salon was all ‘Oh look at Lola’s hair,’ and I was all ‘You think that’s good? You haven’t seen much hair.’ ”
I wish I could say that I said something to her, that I didn’t just stare with widened eyes for a second, shocked, thinking I am not misinterpreting this, am I? I am pretty sure that I am not misinterpreting this and that there are a limited number of interpretations and I think I’m getting the point. But all I did was look down at the magazine, while my mind turned itself on its tail, and everyone I told the story to scolded me and told me what I should have said, should have done. Didn’t do.