In a flash I recalled how she had looked, moments before Natasha’s performance in Carnegie Hall. Taking a seat next to mine, Lana had been wearing full-length satin gloves that extended up above the elbows, a sparkly black evening dress with a slit on the side, and a necklace that dipped into her cleavage. Licking her red lips, she had given a little nod to me, making her hair sway all around her, shiny and bleached blond.
Here before me, was her account of that night.
When I met you, Lenny, during your recent visit to NY, you were gracious to me—super gracious, really!—letting me grab that large bouquet of roses right out of your hands, even though both of us knew it wasn’t meant for me, not really.
I mean, I’m not dumb! I know what’s what, even if at times I pretend to be silly. Men seem to like it, no idea why. Take my ex-boyfriend, Ryan, for example. He thinks I have a pea for a brain, which makes him feel superior, which in turn let me have my way with him, at least while it lasted.
Of course, you’re different. I do mean it.
I’ve been thinking about you fondly, in the last few months, and whispering your name and mine, because they go so well together.
For me, it’s this unusual grace in you—even more so than how tall and handsome you are—that I find irresistible.
By all means, I whispered, please, do resist me. Otherwise I would find myself in trouble, because what could I tell my sweetheart about you?
Now Lana turned her attention to our so-called past. With letters slanting this way and that, she wrote,
Perhaps, at the time, I read you all wrong. Perhaps your attention to me, as gallant as it may have been, was a bit more than mere courtesy, no? In your mind, as in mine, was this love? Was it meant to happen?
Anyways, even if the answer is no, a girl can wish, right? And I hope I’m not piling on too many questions all at once. Does this annoy you? Sorry. Am I being silly, or what?
Now, back to your letter. I can tell you put a lot in it. Four pages is nothing to sneeze at. But if I put the words together, I mean, the few words that the censor left untouched, there’s less than a sentence worth of stuff, so no wonder that on the whole, it makes little sense.
So, instead of trying to respond to something I can’t understand, let me do something else, something that’s a lot more satisfying, at least in my mind. At the risk of dispelling the sense of mystery I’ll tell you all about me, which may help you figure out why you find me so attractive.
At that I cried out, who, me? I find you attractive? Really?
Lenny in Dancing with Air
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