In her college days, she would size men up by what shoes they wore. These days, she tried not to let her mind wander to what other people were doing, but it always did. She wondered whether their minds wandered to what she might be doing, or just other people. Usually, when people are doing things they aren't thinking about other people, she thought.
She liked all movies where a girl is going to marry a great guy, but the problem is she doesn't love him. Another guy comes along via a coffee shop, post office, or bookstore and steals her. It's kind of like rescuing her from a tall tower. She likes movies like that because those things are like magic and there's something happening that you can't really see and you probably won't figure out the reality of it before you die.
Romantic films with endings like the girl-in-question leaving her fiancé for the new guy exist because in reality the girl would marry the sweet, but also boring, less sexy or inspiring man and live a life fantasizing about the kinky sex she could be having with the waiter who serves her and her newlywed tuna tartare, the mechanic who fixes their Chevrolet, the dentist who puts his hands in her mouth without gloves, the NBA player missing foul shots on television, the barely legal boy running laps around the neighborhood, or even the anonymous police officer who answers the distressed calls she makes when her soup explodes in the microwave.
It wasn't going to happen for her, she was married already and the time for interference had ended. She'd have an affair, she already decided, but she couldn't find any real prospects. She prided herself every day on not having children. Where was this one man, sleeping through life, unconscious to her requisite salvation? Somewhere out there was a man who would not mind alienating himself from her family or her husband's family, or even his own family. Somewhere out there was a man detached from preventative ethics, somewhere there was someone who would rise above convention and drag her out of her sexless hell. There was a man to which she would be the most meaningful thing in the whole fucking world.
I'm going to leave him, I'm going to lose all this. She flung her arms out like a priest at the climax of his sermon. Shit, she screamed as she clutched the silk paisley blouse hanging from her shoulders. She ripped it apart and when it fell to the floor, she kicked it into the back corner of the room. She grabbed a pair of Cutco scissors and carelessly began to cut herself free from her crimson jeans. She ran the blades down each leg and felt the cold kiss her thigh, knee, and ankle. She dropped the scissors on the bed and stood in her room naked. He won't be home for hours.
She went into the kitchen and started to write a note to leave on the fridge. After two attempts she gave up. No clothes, no words, no this, she said. She wrote that down and spat on it. In the liquor cabinet she found a bottle of Jim Beam half-full, and she polished it off in three gulps. She threw the empty bottle at the wall, while squinting through one eye, and brushed the broken glass over the tiled floor with her bare toes.
When she opened the front door and looked at the neat houses in perfect rows, she remembered something cardinal. Things that appear to be the same merely demand more extensive investigation. Up until this point she did not have it in her to commit herself. Now she knew there are, for certain, differences between two digital prints of the same picture.