A Fortune Teller’s Tales, Episode 3
Jennifer had a nice broad smile that pushed her cheeks upward like a cute squirrel packing a lunch. Tilting her head to one side, in that endearing way, made her large pupils appear that much more sincere. Her eyes appeared sunken, however, with dark circles around them that tunneled deeper into her unsettled soul, conflicting with the sparkle she was trying to project. That smile could not cover the darkness, it just put a brighter color curtain near it.
Our first meeting was on the outdoor patio of a downtown restaurant. The cold wind that early evening would make her shiver a bit, despite her heavy coat, or maybe it was nerves? I could feel her energy was scattered, lost, not connected, despite the smile. She would randomly look around as she spoke, as if someone was eavesdropping, looking over her left, then right shoulder. She was trying not to make too much eye contact, either, less it betray her smile, and I might see through it. Her eyes grew darker as the sun set. She was a glass half empty, trying to appear half full. After awhile, she admitted in a sad, child like voice, “I have no friends.”
Michelle, like Jennifer, had a big broad smile with perfect teeth that welcomed you with a gleam and conveyed instant warmth. She was perhaps 10 years older, had a sharper nose, same color hair, and a more casual style, often wearing white cotton lacy tops like a quaint village girl in native attire. She was from a different continent than Jennifer, or I. Although attractive, her eyes seemed to droop downward at the outer edges like a bloodhound. The dark circles around them made them appear sunken, too, with a pain filled hollowness that seemed to weigh her down, like a dark anchor in the pit of her stomach, trying to pull down her view of the world.
The first time we met, it was a sunny suburban day, in the patio area of a Euro vibe coffee shop, where you could drink Lillet as easily as a Latte, as you listened to “La Vie En Rose” or the theme to “Cinema Paradiso” piped in over the speakers. The musical sounds in those solemn minor chord melodies matched more closely Michelle’s energy, not her smile.
What reminded me of Michelle with Jennifer, was not their conflicting Yin/Yang face visuals, their eyes and smile…