The Note Behind the Picture

I stare at the words scrawled on the back of the picture, wondering who sent it. It was plainly my handwriting, clearly my sloppy, ovalish circle whose ends did not meet, encircling a man’s face. Well, it would have encircled it if I hadn’t managed to cut off his chin with a Sharpie much too big for a dainty task. That was most certainly me. I smile, all dressed up in my favorite dress, my hair done up the way I would usually do it–half-up and pinned away from my face, the bottom half barely curled. I forgot yet again to wear lipstick, not that I really needed it. But the man with his arm about my waist I did not recognize–he was not one of my two “types” (blonde hunks and tall, dark handsomes), but rather he was a squirrelly sort of man with a big smile, high eyebrows, and bright green eyes. The lighting was a little funky in the photo, but I’d guess his hair was of the brown-red variety. For the life of me, I could never recall meeting him, but then again I had this horrible habit of not being able to place names and faces.

On the back, my quick, almost illegible scrawl read, “Say hello.”

Scratching my head, I forgot about the picture and went about my day as usual: Meeting with clients; overseeing the carpet installed in a shell of a new house; ordering and arranging furniture in a show model; sorting out a “wrong painting” dilemma and talking to the company; getting groceries; heading home. The phone rang, it was Elinor.

“Hi, girl!” she exclaims.

I was going to say “hi” back, but her tone stopped me in my tracks. I say slowly, curiously, suspiciously, not meanly, “What do you waaant?”

“What makes you think I want anything?” she sounded miffed. It would pass.

“You’re excited.”

“Am I?…I suppose I am. Listtten…I’m mad at Evan and I need someone hawt to go to this event with me….”

“A woman in society cannot go without her plus one,” I teased.

She took me seriously, “I knew you’d understand! Dress up, I’ll be over in a half hour!”

Elinor hung up.

Half-hour did not give me much time to get ready. I wasn’t even certain how much to dress up. I went with my usual dress and hair, splashed on some make-up, then answered the door as my mascara was drying. Elinor nodded her approval and whisked me off to some cocktail party where men and women too important to be seen with an “affordable decorator” shuffled by me with greetings just enough to pass as polite. I was accustomed to such behavior, but I did not mind it. Often I was discreetly asked for a business card after everyone had a few drinks. One of the reasons I put up with Elinor’s spontaneous trouble making.

One man, a man strangely familiar, swept up to me and pretended to be part of my conversation about various carpet patterns and if they deserved a place in the modern home, or if they should all be burned. The newcomer did not seem to so interested in carpets as he did seeming occupied. I caught a woman searching for him. Tempted though I was to meander off in search of  canapes, I suddenly placed him and his wild green eyes.

“Have we met before?” he asked, a little jittery.

“Not yet,” I said and hooked my arm through the crook of his, “but I would like to say hello.”

And that is the end of today’s Monday Madness. Come on back here next Monday for the more craziness.

—I take an hour a day to write “free” to help get myself into the work mode. Each day has/will have a theme, and the length will vary. Please excuse any obvious grammatical or story errors, as I don’t take the time to edit these. They are “raw”. Thanks for your understanding!—–

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