Grace Kelly, Revisited

I don’t normally dress this way but I’m trying desperately to look older. I’m not sure exactly what he likes about me but I’ve gotten his attention somehow and I intend to keep it that way. He’s almost twice my age, he could be my father easily. He tells me about his grandchildren and I avoid doing the math in my head. He’s just so endlessly interesting and I find his salt and pepper hair to be a mark of maturity and wisdom instead of age. I don’t like to think of him as old; I like to think of him as an expensive bottle of matured wine. As if somehow the universe was saving him for me.

I wished with everything in my being that I were somehow able to see him at the peak of his youth. To see him when he felt invincible, limitless and floating towards nothing in particular like a balloon without a string. To see this man I was so fascinated with at the autumn of his years, back when the grim reaper’s kiss was never close enough to touch his cherub skin. He had once showed me pictures of him at twenty-three, curtained by the background of a forgotten beach somewhere. I couldn’t get the image out of my mind of his golden Greek-god glow. A badge clearly earned from summer days spent carelessly with the notion that there would always be plenty more of them.

But there’s always a catch isn’t there. He’s married, or rather, they’re married and they’ve been that way for thirty years. I wish I could say she was a hag or a woman who somehow deserved it because she had let herself go, let the sex run out of her marriage, but she wasn’t. She was beautiful in an absolutely effortless way, like a reincarnation of Grace Kelly: Princess of Monaco.

Tonight, I wait patiently. I’m wearing an expensive dress that fits me better than I expected. I spend these moments exploring her private suite, touching all of the elegant glass bottles of expensive perfumes on the vanity. I open each perfume as carefully and gracefully as I could, as I imagine she would, and rub a little behind each ear. I comb my dark frizzy hair with her silver hairbrush and see the threads of my hair intertwined with the coils of her pale strands. I see ornate picture frames encasing portraits of the couple on the walls. I place my thumb over her lovely face and imagine that when I take it away I will see only mine in her place.

Turning away, I walk inside her closet. Her fancy clothing, no doubt composed of only the best imported furs, leathers and silks, line both sides, hung neatly on racks. I drag my hands over the silky fabrics as I walk deeper and deeper inside. The wire hangers make a slow screech as I pass through, leaving my fingerprint on every garment. Just as I’m at the end, the designated shoe section of course, I hear the click-clacking of high heels on hardwood. She’s home.

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