The lightbulb. That’s what is different. Maybe it is a higher wattage or has a short. For whatever reason, that pool of light is just a little bit brighter, a little bit more golden than the spaces around it.
I wonder if she knows what she represents, sitting in that pool of light? Did she choose that chair because of the preferential lighting or did the lighting choose her? Did I notice her because of the light or did I notice the light because of her? That’s a rather uncomfortable question to ask, sitting at a table, alone by the door. Yet ask it I have.
An answer is strangely and loudly absent.
I’m sure she’s been here before, though I have never noticed her. Maybe that is my fault. Can such fault really be assigned? And what is it that I feel fault for? For not noticing a beautiful woman? It would most definitely not be the first time, so I cannot think that it would make me any less of a man if she had escaped my notice this time. She’s beautiful, but not particularly so. Nor is her beauty of a singular nature. This isn’t about her beauty.
It’s about something far more powerful than physical blessings, the genetic flukes that came together to produce an only-ever-so-slightly above average height or sculpted cheek bones. It isn’t about the red shirt straining at the collar — from her perfectly proportioned shoulders, not her breasts, though those too draw my attention for a moment. It isn’t physicality.
It’s the apartness of her. That blasted light, separating her from the rest of us. She is better, she is higher, she is set apart. Would I not be enjoying the same existence apart from the groundlings in this coffee house if I had, like my first impulse, taken that table instead of one near a power outlet? (Batteries be damned!)
And yet I know that were I to have taken that seat, I would not have engendered the same emotions in my compatriots here on the ground.
And then it hits me, what it is that sets her apart in the minds of everyone here, for I am not the only one who noticed her entrance. (I’m simply the only one who is brash enough, crass enough, or brave enough to talk about it.) She deserves her pedestal…and no one here can quite put their finger on why, even though the answer is staring us in the face.
She deserves her pedestal because she is utterly and completely oblivious to the fact that we, the groundlings, placed her on it the minute she walked into the door. What a lonely existence she must lead, this girl on our pedestal with her cup of Green Tea.