From the series, Everybody Buddha (detail)
by Renée Melchert Thorpe, acrylic on canvas, 2000
Sometimes it's great, just great, to simply sit down.
This has been a hell of a week, but I was buoyed somewhat by the memory of my first date with the man who became my husband. That was August 5, 1977. We went out to lunch at a San Francisco restaurant which no longer exists.
One of the other regular patrons of that restaurant was a woman who, very incongruously, dressed straight out of 1965. She even had a kind of Tippi Hedren hairdo. She was utterly age-less. She could have been 45, she could have been 25. She looked slender while seated, but one time I noticed her standing up and I discovered that she was slightly plump.
She was conservative in that classic San Francisco way. Greige, fingertip-length, loose jacket. Simple black dress. Nylons. Little shoes. The only thing that I ever saw her eat there was a hamburger with cole slaw. She would take off the top bun, lump the slaw over the meat, and eat the whole thing with a knife and fork.
She did not seem lonely, eating by herself. She was pensive, not rushed. She was suspended between frumpy and classy, beautiful and plain. She didn't blend, but she didn't make any waves. I always suspected she was the private secretary of someone rich and low-profile, but I never saw her again, after the restaurant disappeared.
Now I have to go get some rest.