Years back, I lived in a resort town by the sea, much like I do now. Whereas the town I live in now likes to sport a scruffiness and nonchalance due to its remoteness, and lonely, aching beauty in the off-season, the other town was toney, a bit more buttoned up. Instead of taffy and sex toy shops, it’s Main Street boasted a small Saks Fifth Avenue, an artisanal cheese store, and a smoothie bar inside a tiny natural foods store.
I sometimes stopped after work to buy flax oil and vitamins, and one day decided to try a smoothie. I had noticed a motorcycle parked outside, shiny and expensive, like the town. Its obvious owner was at the bar, dressed in leather, and he smiled when I joined him at the bar. I remember thinking how singles might meet at juice bars, and I thought this because this was not just a handsome man with shaggy black curls, eyes hidden by sunglasses ( in my memory, I am certain he wore mirrored sunglasses) but because he had about him an air of strength, of magnetism, something that seemed to invite you in.
His drink arrived quickly, frothy and green.
“How is it?” I asked.
Surprised at my question, he smiled again.
“It’s good for the liver,” he said, and downed the shot.
I ordered the same, as he left the store. It was my first wheat grass shot.
Outside, getting into my car, I felt a quickening of all my senses and blushed. All because of an encounter with a stranger that lasted seconds. It had been years since I felt that way.
I have tried to write about this before, in fiction, because I felt something important had happened to me.
I never saw this stranger again in my remaining years, though I often thought about him in idle moments, in daydream.
I finally read an obituary last week that revealed Lou Reed did not live far from that toney town. I never knew. So, what are the odds?