She was hired to sell biker clothing, and she was good at it. Prior to that she was somewhere down the hill, at a discount mall on the way to L.A.
I don’t remember exactly when I started paying attention to her, but I first noticed her for her saucy walk. It wasn’t overtly sexual – nothing like that at all. It was just, well, saucy. Her long, dark, thick straight hair would swing with her every step. She had bangs that covered her forehead, cut to a perfect line. Her eyes were the darkest brown that I’ve ever seen, and believe me on that, because I’ve seen my share.
She was intelligent, and could talk knowledgeably about almost anything. She had a degree in something, but I’ve forgotten now. She spoke Spanish too. I thought that was pretty cool for a girl from Arizona who left home when she was 14, moved west, went to high school on her own and then university.
She had traveled a bit. North to Vancouver, where she got bored out of her tree and then headed back south. Imagine that — bored in Vancouver. We laughed about that.
I was afraid of her, mostly because I knew inside of me that it would be a long, hard fall and I wasn’t certain I wanted that again at that stage of my life. Then I got involved with someone else and put those thoughts away.
For a while she dated one of the sales guys, got to tweaking with him, and I mostly forgot about her. Well, let’s say that I forgot about her as much as one could while still laying my tired eyes on her every day at the shop. I remember one quiet lunchtime when she told me she had a splitting headache, and one look into her pinprick eyes told me it was from tweaking. I wanted to kick her ass, but of course I didn’t. I hoped she was smart enough to figure it out for herself. Eventually she did, and the salesman with the dyed hair left town.
I still wonder what I would have done had she not stopped on her own.
Much later, just prior to my leaving, we went down together to see the Bettie Page movie. We made plans to attend the film noir festival, but it wasn’t to be. A few days later, she was gone, and then I was gone, and I never saw her again.
I trust you are well, Delissa, and happy.
And one more thing: Thank you.