What, he asked
I want a brief love affair with him. (She did not say him, she said his name, the name of a musician.)
He said, He’s a weirdo.
Oh, I love the weirdos, she said and looked him in the eyes.
He raised his eyebrows and paused. He said, He’s coming to town.
They did not look at each other. She looked ahead and he looked down at a crossword puzzle.
I want this to happen. You think it can happen?
You have to be bold.
I can be bold. When I know what I want, she said, I can be bold.
He started writing letters in a crossword puzzle, in blue ink. She sipped an espresso over ice in a plastic cup and stared at two small dogs that belonged to a young gay couple.
* * *
We sat in the aisle between the bookshelves, between the fiction and history section in a used bookstore on Sunset Boulevard. You think books are disappearing and there are still bookstores, used bookstores, and there are still festivals, and parties after the festivals. Maybe not as elaborate as they used to be, not in LA, not since the recession hit. That’s what a writer told me. The parties sound silly, I said. He said, The parties were fun.
You don’t sound excited about it, she told me.
I’m not, I said.
The journalist likes your shorts, she said. That’s what the journalist was going to say. (Of course, she didn’t say journalist, she said the journalist’s name)
Although I can’t see them right now, the journalist said. I was going to say that I like your shorts.
The journalist looked at her.
Because you saw them before, she said, and, as she said that, the journalist said, Because I noticed them before.
Hey, the journalist said. How did you know that?
Because I’m a little bit psychic.
Apparently. A lot. Apparently a lot physic.
I’m going now.
I’m going to be late, aren’t I, she asked him.
You’re not going to be late, she said.
He said, I don’t do late.
You do. I mean you did.
No I don’t. No I didn’t.
Yes, you did.
Before I met you.
Yes, That’s true. Before you met me.
* * *
I’ve put my writing on the back burner.
But you’re writing a lot, on your blog.
Oh yeah, I said. But that doesn’t count.
I discount it. It’s just easy. There is no revision. Only beginnings.
* * *
The jacarandas are in bloom. I saw them on the campus of USC this weekend at the book festival. I walked with my friend who works at a bookstore. I was too poor to buy the books so I read them in between the aisle. We met in the art section.
The jacarandas! They’re in bloom! I said. Summer is beginning!
He told me the name of a street in Los Angeles. The street turns purple, he said. Someone who knows jacarandas, someone who grew up here, someone who loves that purple bloom.
* * *