It is best to begin at the beginning. The beginning for me came first, that is, before it began for her. I remember it so clearly. When I look back it is through a funnel. The few seconds I first saw her walk down the street are crystal clear, and everything around her has faded into a murky blur. I’ve polished that memory many times in my mind, and in the polishing have rubbed off some of what was real. I have left behind, too, a veneer of my own invention. The details I added are based on the her I have known for 7 years. It is her, but maybe not her too, I see walking down the street with her face split in a wide shit-eating grin. Floppy died blond hair bouncing up and down because she walked on air, like a person who owned the world and knew it to be good.
She literally stopped me in my tracks. That I know to be true and not of my own creation. I had a witness. Kendra and I were setting up tables for dinner on the patio and I choked out “Who.” “Is.” “That?” We’d moved to Parker earlier that summer, and neither one of us knew many people. But Kendra had been sick, so she knew Ilana from the clinic. “She’s a PA I think, at the clinic,” said Kendra off-handedly. “Her name is Ilana.” Kendra was not impressed. Me, I was impressed. I was bedazzled in fact. Ilana knocked the wind out of me. It all began for me, that day. For her it took a lot longer. She still lived in her own world. If she saw me that day, I was just a gape mouthed waitress not worth remembering.
That day she owned the world and eventually I took it away from her.
What’s this all about?