I saw her before she saw me.
Her walk was clear. Deliberate. Like a college student after acing one final exam heading to the next. She was younger and shorter than I, and thinner. Petite. Her hair was pulled back into a long sleek pony. She was conservative. Her dress and shoes were not.
I wondered if she was a hooker.
Even in the shade of night punctuated by steel grey street lamps and Sunset Boulevard-inspired headlights, her cherry-bomb red dress signaled like a beacon. Its full skirt swung at her knees as she walked. The halter had a navel-plunging V-neck like those weird-o swimsuits that became popular a few years ago that certain girls wore with jeans. In a different time and place, the dress was demure and fashionable. Something Marilyn Monroe might have rocked. But
and bad knock-off designers had gotten to it and now, here it was. Serving some kind of purpose. Hollywood
We were within a few yards of each other. Our heels tick-tocking on the pavement in unrealized time. Her heels were stilettos and Gladiator in style while mine were Jessica Simpson 1940s faux-crocodile replicas. I too wore a full-skirted dress. Something Marilyn Monroe would have rocked. Mine was longer. Black.
To the naked eye, we could have been the same.
The gap separating us diminished. She wore black square rimmed glasses. And no make up. Maybe she was a college student. And a hooker. But what hooker doesn’t wear make up? As we passed each other, she discretely pulled the top of her dress closed a bit.
I thought I said hello. If I did, she didn’t return the greeting.
It was . The traffic around us continued to thrive as though we didn’t. As though we were just two ordinary women walking the street. Alone. At night. At . On Sunset Boulevard. Wearing dresses. As we passed each other, I turned back to see if she was thinking the same. If she was, I’ll never know.