n his life there have been hordes of women, faceless and similar, and then there has been Her. She came into his life through a stumbling accident on a street in the Upper Thirties some day in early September, and she never left. Not really.
In New York, gaits are long and meticulous, measured and precise, calculated to ensure no stopping, pausing, looking up, looking around or perceived confusion. Irregular walkers are the bane of a New York existence, and in a city in which everyone is eager to stand out, deviating from a prescribed walking pattern is a guaranteed disaster.
If you ask him now why he loved her, Alex will say with nostalgia that it’s because she always insisted he brag about his accomplishments, making him proud of what he’s done and never letting him be falsely humble. He’ll say it’s because she always looked up at the Chrysler arching over Grand Central whenever and if ever they took a late train into the suburbs to see her family. He’ll say it’s because her green eyes reminded him of canyons in the desert, wild and cavernous and impossible to plumb.
Jess wore blue on a green day in September when she turned a concrete corner and slammed right into a suited Alex, who had been heading for a thirteenth consecutive interview. He was shabby, she was bright with embarrassment. She took three nimble steps to her left and uttered a whispered “sorry” but it only took one look at Jess’s thick, dark eyelashes to make Alex stop and ask her to wait. She didn’t keep walking. He didn’t get the job.