I saw my dream girl digging through the garbage inside the Laurelhurst Theater while I waited for my buddy Mike to come out of the bathroom. A rust-colored skirt draped around her lower body like a flimsy towel. I stood there, enchanted by her angelic grace. She had to stand on her tiptoes like a ballerina just to lean over the garbage can.
“Did you drop something recyclable in the garbage?”
She stood up straight and turned half her body, doing that twist that only girls can do. Her skin was like peaches and porcelain. She adjusted her glasses with her wrists. “I dropped my cell phone in the garbage.”
“Allow me.” I imagined I was diving into quick sand for her. I felt heroic. Then I felt glass bottles and pieces of tin foil.
"For God's sake!" I yelled. “These signs clearly say ‘Compost,’ ‘Garbage,’ ‘Recycling,’ and people still throw everything in the garbage.”
“Oh. I’m not used to all the signs. That’s why I dropped my phone. I was trying to figure out what goes in what.”
Garbage spilled over the edges. “Found it!” I stood up and handed her the green phone, sort of doing a weird handshake.
Mike came out of the bathroom and interrupted our moment. “I hate urinals,” he said. “It’s impossible to take a piss without splashing pee on your legs.”
“Sorry. My friend is a bit crude.”
“Whoops,” Mike said. He scratched his stomach. “Hey, cool patch. Are you a vegetarian?” He pointed to the “Meat is Murder” patch on my dream girl's bag.
“Vegan,” she informed him. “I better get going. Thanks for rescuing my phone.”
She walked between me and Mike. “What’s your name?” I called after her. She didn’t answer.
“Bitch,” Mike belched.
I walked outside and saw her unlocking her bike chain. She climbed onto the banana seat and sped away.
I imagined her and me in a parallel universe, chaining up our bikes side by side, going into vegan restaurants. Drivers would envy our love, and want to be part of our beautiful world. They would have their cars impounded and join the bicycle revolution. No longer would bicyclists be imprisoned in narrow lanes. We would take over the roads. . . . and then the world.
I wanted to pass out for a couple of days. I thought back to the time I did shrooms in Forest Park and drank jars of my own urine to have the ultimate effect. When I came to, I could only speak Spanish and I was covered in mud. Maybe I could forget my dream girl, just like I forgot English that one time.
She never even told me her name.
Copyright 2011 by Meriwether Louise Falk