Thursday, January 14, 2016

There Are People Walking Around in My Neighborhood Who Look As Though They Don’t Belong Here

On my way to the freeway I was stopped opposite the last-built tract homes with ivy old enough to hang down their enclosure walls and just before the Safeway parking lot.  I saw a man so handsome, so beautifully dressed, I believed he’d been parachuted in from Hollywood. 
Part of an urban renewal program, surely.

I was surprised, because people around here are a bit lumpy, the men wearing their 2-day whiskers in a way that would never remind you of Jon Hamm or Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Also, they often have a quirky fashion sense, if by “quirky” you could substitute “not any.” But this man, glimpsed for only a wide-eyed moment on my part before the light on the corner changed, was a vision.  

He wore a long black coat, nipped-in at the waist, with a dark, slightly-patterned cashmere scarf loosely wrapped around his neck. How do I know it was cashmere? Because a man in a coat like that would not have it any other way.

His hair, too. It was combed. It was full and brown, swept back over his head like a Colin Firth do. His eyes were brown; his features were symmetrical, balanced, handsome.  

I wondered if he were lost.  

I wondered if I should pull over and drive right up onto the pavement and offer him a cup of tea or a martini, neither of which I had in the car, but figured I could pull together quickly enough, depending on his response. 

 I would soothe his fears about accosting him with my old Avalon, suddenly inches from his very nice shoes, shoes that were well polished, with decent heels. Not run down in any way.  I can say a very nice “there, there.”  He would see that, as far as meaning well, I was the Queen of Well Meant.

All of this zipped through my mind and then I remembered that I’d not cleared the countertop in my kitchen.  He might not understand that, coming from Somewhere Else as he must. I looked down at my sweater, the black one with its sprinkling of Mika Mo’s early winter fur, and worried that the Man might not be a dog lover.  He might be, but I just didn’t know for sure. 

And now there was that pesky guy behind me in his own Toyota, tooting his horn, reminding me that I was on my way to the bank and the light had changed so there was really no reason not to drive on. 

But really, what was this man doing in my neighborhood?  

We are a community of extras for a crowd scene here, with ordinary hairdos and clothes from Ross. We migrate to the Lunardi’s and the Safeway for our foodstuffs in Toyotas and Nissans and Hyundais, and we bring our own bags, often from Trader Joe’s.  A few months ago I saw a glamorous woman, kind of Cate Blanchett-y, in Lunardi’s, wearing a stunning tweed coat and elegant high heels and giving off a pleasant scent---or maybe that was the bakery.  

Once again, it was improbable that she was from the neighborhood. I had to watch her for a while as I folded and unfolded my shopping list, the one with the big jug of white vinegar on it, since a Facebook posting had noted that white vinegar was really great for cleaning your toilet and actually, for cleaning almost anything!  She, the beautiful woman, did not look as if that item would be on her list. 

These sightings are unnerving.  I hope they are not going to move here and take over. The stress would be unbearable.

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