My favorite quote from the movie I’m Not There:
“It’s wrong to say ‘I think.’ One should say, ‘I am thought.’
‘I’ is someone else. I am present at the birth of my thought.
I watch and I listen. I draw a stoke of the bow, the symphony stirs in the depths or comes with a leap to the stage. It began with waves of disgust and it ends as we can’t immediately seize this eternity. It ends with a riot of perfumes.”
And now, a short story:
By Erika Anderson
While working on Valentines Day, I decided to invigorate my afternoon by putting an anonymous valentine on the porch of the cute boy who lives directly across the street from the sandwich shop. Actually, handsome is a better adjective. But at the time I didn’t think of using the word ‘handsome’ because I was aiming for a charming, elementary school type of card.
I watched him open the door and get the note, which wished him a happy valentines day and told him that I think he’s very cute. He got the card, closed his door, and 3 minutes later he flung his front door open and started walking across the street and toward the shop with great conviction. In a flurry of bewilderment and nervousness, I switched off the shop lights and turned the sign (it was 6 o’clock, anyway.)
That was last Saturday, we’re closed on Sunday, but on Monday he came into the shop and asked my boss, “Does a girl with the initials E.A. work here?” She told him ‘yes!’ and that her name is Erika. He told her that I had left a really nice valentine for him… I wasn’t working but I heard about this straight from Sheri herself.
Then on Wednesday, he came in again (not out of character, he’s a regular customer). This time he spoke with Austen, a girl that I work with who also left a valentine (only it was for his roommate.) He said “thank you” for the card and commented that our cards said almost the same thing. When she told me this I blushed; I should have used the adjective ‘handsome’ instead. She told him that it was me who wrote his valentine, and she told me that he smiled a lot.
Today while I was finishing taking the order of a 30-person tour bus, there he was. I was talking to these other cute boys when he walked in and so it gave me a few seconds to compose myself, extinguish my blush and take a few inconspicuous deep breaths. I was cool and calm and collected when he approached, smiling down on me knowingly. I smiled back and took his order sweetly and succinctly. He complemented my nail polish.
The rest was just a few fleeting smiles and silly glances.
Walking home from downtown this afternoon, I found myself daydreaming and strolling at my leisure. The sun was shining, the birds chirping and I was swinging a paper bag with dinner inside of it. A block from his house, my eyes wandered in his direction. They have a mind of their own sometimes. My eyes have a mind of their own, and my own mind was somewhere else, dreaming of this tall, athletic boy who gets a turkey and salami sandwich with mayo and avocado on sourdough.
My mind was lost at this point; ‘wandering’ is a delicate understatement, although still an appropriate description of what it was doing. Just at that very moment, I turned my head forward and was substantially slapped! in the face by a strong palm frond. SMACK!!
I kept my pace as if nothing had happened, but that palm frond truly slapped the sense back into me. If it hadn’t done so, I think I woulda had to slap my own self.