Picture it with me.
It’s a New York City night. Spring is just around the corner. There’s a hint of green on the Japanese maples and, perhaps, some tight pink buds on the cherry blossoms nearing opening, but your breath still blooms like its winter in the air before you.
You’ve just flown from Tokyo to Los Angeles to New York. You sleep well on planes (you’ve been at this for a while), but you’re still a little jetlagged and, tomorrow, you have business to attend to. Tonight, though, you have a date. With me. Cara. You found my website last week and immediately clicked on the photos page. As you scrolled through the gallery, your eye lingering on my slender yet curvy figure, you wanted to know more; when you imagined my eyes—smoky jade with a hint of blue above full lips—you knew you had to meet me for yourself.
You wonder what I’m like in person.
You think you could like me: a mid-twenties graduate student who runs in the morning, studies in the afternoon, and heads to the museum before retiring home to luxuriate in a hot bath in my Chelsea apartment. I have a date tonight too, you know, and I like to take my time getting ready for a successful man like you: some bubbles in my bath, Dickinson propped in the bath caddy, a little Johnny Cash in the air, a silk robe draped over a chair, waiting.
You exit your hotel and turn toward your favorite restaurant in the city, following the steam of your breath as it unfolds before you like a wave pulling away from the sand.
You wonder, too, about my story.
How long did I spend hiking through Eastern Europe? How many years did I live abroad? How good is my French? Am I really that extroverted blonde with the cute smile who doesn't need a date to don a pair of heels and a black dress and head to The Metropolitan Opera for La Bohème or a showing of Hamilton on Broadway?
As you near your destination your heart quickens. You’re not looking for love, but I’m the kind of girl you could imagine loving, just for tonight.
You open the door. At first, you don’t see me. Then, you do: first, a bit of red lipstick on the rim of my wine glass, then the hand that sets it down, then the lips themselves, then my eyes, a little shine in them like I’m just emerging from a beautiful daydream as I rise to greet you.