The other day in the Café M_____ I watched a tall, balding man in his forties enter with a startlingly pretty young woman. How did he get to have her, and I’m sitting here alone? She was slim and brunette, her long hair feathered at the tips, a natural brown-eyed beauty wearing blue jeans and a black smock shirt, and meanwhile he was wearing a goofy red and white plaid.
But if you keep looking you notice more. She wasn’t looking at him. She followed like a needle following a magnet, but her eyes searched elsewhere as if looking for a friend, almost as if she didn’t want to be seen next to him.…
So the balding guy was her father. (Not her professor; they would have been talking.)
I relaxed. There was no threat to my self-esteem. Guys like that don’t get girls like her after all, I said to myself. I’m not behind him in the contest.
I took a sip of decaf French roast. The door opened again, and here came another odd couple, in fact they were the same kind, an unprepossessing older man and a very pretty younger woman…and this time they were holding hands and couldn’t take their eyes off each other.