Her hair was the kind that is bleached blonde but looks perfectly natural because of her pale skin. It fell slightly forward and just brushed the bottom of her neck. Her slender arms were holding a book out in front of her as she sat slightly hunched over in the chair at the airport; a hand casually pushing her hair out of her face, and her legs crossed. The bobby socks and pretty school girl flats were not out-of-place since she had on a school girl skirt and casual white button down shirt. The nose ring was understated and flattered her lovely round face and overall school girl look. It wasn’t until I looked more closely that I spotted the scars from the cuts. They were running in parallel lines down her forearm and slightly onto her hand right up to the base of her thumb. They were neither new nor recent, but they were consistent silvery blue scars. It sent a shiver down my spine, and I watched her very unobtrusively as I tried to ascertain just what might be going on with this young woman.
That is when he arrived….her boyfriend. He was a character right out of Harry Potter. His pink shoes were stylish penny loafers with one sole that was flopping as he walked. His pants were slender checkered, high-water slacks that sat right above his waist. The polo was a mismatched pattern to the pants, and his luggage was a single, tan-colored case with well-worn spots and no wheels or other modern conveniences. The one front tooth that stuck out as he talked made me think he was a fairly odd young man, and his hair looked unkempt and slightly curly as if he had forgotten to get a haircut, and it was time.
The effect of the pair was to make you think you had somehow gone back in time and also shifted to an alternate universe. This couple was in a world all their own. She was completely too beautiful to be the girlfriend of this odd, strangely dressed man, but her clothing and leaning in to talk to him so privately gave me the impression that she was completely in love with him. He seemed a traveling salesman for some extraordinary thing that perhaps he kept in his luggage….the carry on piece that hung from his hand as he walked, as if he had forgotten it was even there. He set it down as we approached the plane. Their heads bent together……I was suddenly wondering if they were in a movie….some leading characters in a movie that was being filmed without the rest of us having any knowledge of being in it with them.
There we were walking to our plane and watching this couple, the hipster couple, as my daughter termed them. They had been on the flight out to our destination and now here they were on our return flight….dressed in exactly the same manner as they had been four days earlier. To say it was an odd coincidence was a huge understatement. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I had to look again for the cuts….she wore a sweater….with sleeves pulled almost down to her wrists….just enough showed that you could discern the rows of slices. The feeling of wanting to stop her and make sure she was quite all right was overwhelming. But the opportunity never presented itself. This couple was in a world by themselves. They were engaged in leaning toward one another and talking only loudly enough that they could hear….laughing and smiling, and she occasionally sliding her hair behind her ear in that shy little gesture.
So I was left with a picture in my head of a glamorous girl dressed as if she were in grade school….or junior high school in the mid 1950’s…..and an odd nerdy man dressed as if he were an odd, nerdy man straight out of the 1950’s carrying a suitcase from a Harry Potter movie and ignoring that his pink penny loafer was flopping as he walked…….
This couple was completely unaware that life around them had moved quickly forward and they…..they were from a bygone era……only visiting our time briefly as they walked aboard a flight to somewhere else.
I was headed home from a weekend adventure……. meeting a friend and her daughter…..dancing the Texas Two Step….. an early morning swim that I wished could have lasted for many hours more….. many, many good meals and conversations about everything from extinct animals found in caverns to how to know truth…… sightseeing in two different cities, and a head full of stories about just how amazing My Girl……. my beautiful, thoughtful, discerning, seventeen year old poet can be!