Archive for June 28th, 2013

The robin-egg blue dress was either vintage and in excellent condition or it was a reproduction.  It appeared to be tailored precisely to her body though she needed the bit of stretch that the synthetic crepe fabric offered.  Silver buttons sewn to false pockets in front, along the cuffs of the sleeves, and on to the epaulets on each shoulder.  They were metal and more like large rivets than buttons.

Cherry red lips against her very white skin were the only punctuation on an otherwise muted palette.  Her hair was platinum blonde and cut into a bob though sharply angled up from the nape of her neck which needed a trim because it exposed her hair’s chestnut origins and thus this was her only imperfection.  I imagined her eyes to be pale grey but they were hidden behind classic Buddy Holly styled sunglasses.

She carried a pristine cordovan leather attache.  Her baby-doll shoes were propped up on heel that had architectural significance.  The leather on each was scuff free.  By far, this was the best looking woman ever seen on an in-bound train during the morning rush.

It could have been easy to view her as a caricature of the female persona of this city;  the post-war arrival from the farm who’d come to Chicago a few years earlier to earn a living, enjoy the frivolity of being anonymous in a place for the first time in her life, and spending her money any way she wanted.  One could determine, however, that this woman was raised in the city.  If not this one, then certainly another of equal proportions.

The seat she choose was adjacent to mine and her decision gave me a choice of something to look at besides the usual brick buildings that had been adjacent to the L tracks for the past seven decades.

Once seated with her attache in her lap she continued with deliberate motions – the kind of motions that someone might perform while laying out a picnic.  She opened the attache and pulled out a stack of periodicals, of which the majority were graphic novels.   With the stack now placed atop her attache, she leafed through a couple of them before choosing the one that she would read.

This woman, the one I was watching today, would have been precisely the customer that yesterday’s woman in  the orange wedged-heeled shoes would have talked to for hours had she entered the fictional comic book store housed in a dark store front with wood floors.


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