2009-06-08 - 11:31 p.m.
I am amazed, consistently, at the people who can gather up a coordinated outfit on a Monday. As far as I’m concerned Monday is an unofficial laundry day; the domain of the khaki pants with the stain just inside the right knee that, hopefully, no one will notice; the land of the sea green button down with epaulets you bought in college for reasons that escape you now; the shoes with an almost imperceivable hold by the right heel. In the wake of the weekend, you can’t be expected to slap together one of your best. It’s a day for the JV team to step up and eat a few innings.
That’s why I mark it with such respect, bordering on wanton jealousy, when I happen upon someone who has not only called upon a high ranking general from their haberdashery, but fitted it with all the complimentary accoutrement, that I must stand and applaud their stunning abilities. That I am able to affix my boxers right side forward in the haze of Monday’s oppressive glare is stunning enough, but to actually gather one’s self into a visage of strength is simply stunning.
I won’t lie. The practice ellicits a negative reaction as well. Like someone with a monogrammed umbrella. (It says to the world, you may barely be able to maintain your umbrella for merely a month, but I have my life so well in order that I’ve managed to keep this umbrella at my side for years now.) Or the kid in class that keeps setting the curve.
But I’ll be damned, if I couldn’t even manage some indignation. That woman knew how to enter a room.
The bar had retro fittings on every wall. Blessed with the ground floor in a wedge building sitting on an acute angle of Brooklyn real estate, the place was kitched out at every corner. Red oil lamps hung with electric bulbs glowing from within them. Every but of art and and decoration hammered into the walls had been carefully browned, if it wasn’t already by decades.
So it was fitting that she had a forties dress, and the makeup to match. She even had a flower perched in her bleached hair. Maybe in another moment, I’d have said she slipped into the decor too well. A little too matchy-matchy. But damn, that woman knew how to enter a room.
Her boy was already at the bar, trying to flag a table for them. He barely registered. Another jeans and t-shirt clad twenty something, now quickly crowding the corner joint. I wouldn’t have even noticed had he not leaned past me to get into hearing distance of the bartender.
“We’ve got that one in the corner, but if you want one by the door, you can wait a bit and we’ll grab the first one.”
“I think I’ll wait for her.”
“Always a good move.”
She managed to walk into the bar just as the woman at the old fashioned microphone closed out a song. I turned to applaud, and the girl in the forties dress started down the center aisle up to her boy.
She swung her hips, and her face was all coiled up in one big smile. The heels clipped their way down the tile, and her lipstick nearly leapt off its pale canvas. Her shoulders rolled in time with her hips. One arm on her waist and one thrown forward. And all of it, all of it, was pointed like an arrow, at the smallest of spaces between her boy’s eyebrows. He stood and waited.
What else can you do?
The woman knew how to enter a room.
We all applauded. I’m sure some of it was for the woman on the guitar. She played a good set that night.
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