On finding and losing the man of my dreams in less than half an hour

Oh my piteous, sorry, broken, black heart. How wretched it is to reach one’s hand toward the warm glow of true love only to have that light extinguish just as you near to its source! Why must the world, so cruel, offer its most precious gifts only to have them turn to ash before the eyes of their receivers?

Yesterday I found and lost the man of my dreams in fewer than thirty minutes.

It seemed that it would be a normal day in this fine city. I awoke at an early 9 a.m. I made myself a café con leche. I wandered through a handful of articles on the L.A. Times Web site. I ate some toast.

Just as I was settling into my work for the day, a loud pounding came from the hallway. I attempted to ignore it (not realizing, alas, that this was not only the sound of hammer against nail, but of fate, letting fall its gentle fist against the thick armor guarding my soul). The noise persisted and finally, I was pulled from my desk. A walk, I thought, to clear my head and allow the construction to finish.

I grabbed my keys and headed out. I locked my door and flipped around to catch the elevator. I was frozen in my place, however, by the most beautiful Argentine man I have ever seen. Nay, his beauty is nationless. His face, incomparable. His glory, universal.

Stunned, I stood, staring. He asked if the noise had awoken me. I worked up the strength to utter a meager ‘no.’ ‘It won’t take much longer,’ he explained. The elevator arrived and I smiled and stepped in. I nearly ran out of the building when I reached the ground floor.

Dazed, I circled the block. I bought a bottle of water at the kiosko down the street. I must have looked a madwoman to the passersby, so intoxicated was I by this chance meeting. I stumbled forward. But one cannot flee from destiny and I knew, with the certainty that only such a meeting of two star-crossed lovers can offer an otherwise clouded mind, that I must return.

I did. When the elevator reached my floor once more and I stepped out he was surprised. ‘Back so soon?’ He said. ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘ I held up my bottle of water. ‘I was thirsty.’* As the words escaped my mouth I felt only terror. I could remember no other Spanish words. I rushed to my door, fumbled with my keys and entered. All was lost. I stood, inconsolable, for upwards of two minutes. But wait. The goddess Aphrodite saw fit, once more, to offer me a window through which to fly into the arms of love. I heard my buzzer ring. Could it be? Was my love pursuing me?

I opened the door and there he was. The glittering brown eyes, the perfect rat-tail haircut, the poorly-shaven jaw. The sun catching the silver of his earrings as if the elements themselves wanted to mesmerize me, a poor foreign wretch, as I stood on the precipice of a beautiful future.

“Hello,” I said. “Sorry to disturb you,” he said, “but perhaps I may borrow a broom.”

I ran to get it. “This?” I said, holding out for him a broom and dust pan. “Yes,” he replied, his voice the siren song that soon would lead to my destruction.

I left the door open as he swept up the refuse from the window repair. He returned the broom. Offered thanks. He wished me a lovely day. And I? Did I rush to him? Did I grab his rough hands in my own and confess my love? No. No I did not. “Also you,” I replied, stuttering. And in a moment, he was gone. My hopes, dashed. My heart, broken. My future, a vacuum of despair into which I must march, a prisoner to the passage of time which assures that with each passing moment I travel further and further from my happiness.


*”I was thirsty”? Yes, that’s right. The universe hands me perfection and I say “I was thirsty.” My god. I am doomed to wander this earth, alone, forever.

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