Emily liked window shopping with the sunset. At this hour the reflections in the window are more alive than the people reflected. (Angle of the sun = angle of reflection).
So for the moment she was looking at watches. That would be the day – the last one she owned was left in a locker at a ski resort in Austria when George broke a side of ribs and she’d spent the rest of the evening in a hospital. Its staff surprised her with braised lamb from the cafeteria around 7:30 and it wasn’t half bad. She hadn’t purchased a replacement (thinking about the watch again) finding that she was relieved to have finally lost it.
So she wasn’t really looking at the watches, though this collection had a wonderful sea-captain air about it. The window reflected, to utter perfection, an assembly of tables on the sidewalk for happy hour.
MacDougal St. Happy hour. Le carrefour heureux où les gens pauvres n’existent pas.
A cigarette for idleness. Emily fixed her hair before she lit it.
It’s a newer place, Hundred Acres. What a lovely olive – a Parisian entrance – and why not – the dress and the lady with her martini.
Idle smoker: license to gaze. Another woman with a delightful nose looking at the menu. Nothing alcoholic: her dress was taunt with baby. She was smiling with her teeth, her hands and fingers dainty like a young archer’s. A passing taxi threw sun in her eyes.
Emily so enthralled with motherhood-on-its-cusp only just noticed l’homme de la femme and only because he was looking straight at her. Emily knew this one, this gaze, that style, that roving evaluation of a red-lasered security scanner: assessed: she-might-not-mind-that-I’m-married. Slightly shy. Mostly hungry.
The light was red, but Emily crossed Prince than Sullivan in one inhalation, a smooth tap to release the ash, a space between two complexes. Here she crushed the unfinished butt with particular violence. Exhaled shuddering. One one one two three his fucking eyes with such a wife one and two and three if not she fucking Christ one, no, four she so full of life five a brutal end to my envy, might my eyes be that bright when I’m grown up you bastard.
So she cried against some bricks until dinner time.