How close up to someone do you have to be to realize they are 25, single, and do not shave their legs on a regular basis?


Charm of my life

It must have been a book I read, around age 12 or 13, in which a necklace charm became a focal point for adoration, sparkling in the sun, when the story’s heartthrob glanced at the story’s sexy, confident protagonist. Throughout the book, a constant in an ever moving montage of the protagonist’s best moments, game-winning soccer goals, aced math tests, and movie outings with a giggling group of friends. That necklace was always there, always glistening around her neck. I think it was a thin, corny chapter book, designed to teach the reader SAT words in a fun context.

I adopted the bumble bee as my charm. I selected one smithed in rose gold to balance the yellow hues in my olive skin. I resolved to wear it every day until it became my signature, until the charm became a focal point for a charming admirer. Then I could move on to other necklaces.

I waited years and years, my neck locked in a tall castle tower of my own making, the clasp to unlock it gathering dust.

One day, he asked me about the necklace. He asked and received my practiced and prepared response; I’d told the story many times before about how “miel,” the Spanish for honey, shares a common etymology with Melissa, Greek for honey bee. It went swimmingly; his face was the picture of love: slowly settling into a warm expression, like rich, European butter spread over steaming toast, finding its place in the air bubbles and crevices to lie itself down and rest; the moment gloriously checking an item off my fate-list. All I ever wanted was a response like that.