On the way to Saks I thought about Sally Snow and wondered what she looked like and who she could be?
I was about to knock on Sally Snow’s door, which I knew was slightly crazy, when the door opened and a Siamese cat came slithering out. “Come here, Topaz,” I heard a woman say.
I went across town to get a key made. The only place that made keys for my lock was across town and I needed a spare to give to my doorman. I had the lock changed the day before, when I moved in.
I took the bus. On the way this woman, skinny and about 30 or so, was gabbing on her phone to just about as many people as she could. Soon as she finished one call she went right to the next.
I walked up to the hardware store on 89th Street and got the spare key made. I was freezing cold. The air was as crisp as if it would crunch if you bit into it. The afternoon was shaping up with a few clouds like overstuffed snow-bunnies. I quick-grabbed a cab back to my apartment.
I gave the doorman the spare key and went up to my floor. In front of my neighbor’s door was a bunch of roses, a stuffed bear, and some balloons. A card in bold letters for anyone to see, said: “Happy Valentine’s Day, Sally Snow! My heart belongs to you!”
It was Valentine’s Day. I hadn’t gotten anything. I hadn’t had a date in about a year. Now that I was 35, romantic possibilities seemed slim, if not impossible.
I worked as a copywriter for Saks Fifth Avenue. I was going in for the afternoon since I had spent the morning unpacking. There was a guy in the elevator, average height with curly brown hair, in a black duffel coat, a white T-shirt, and a pair of black jeans, with black suede Adidas sneakers.
I didn’t take much notice of him. He turned to me and said, “Wow, this is the fourth time I’ve bumped into you in the elevator!”
I had never seen this guy in my life before. Not ever. And it wasn’t even possible that I could have bumped into him that many times since I had just moved in.
“Don’t you remember me? I’m Carl.” He stuck out his hand and I shook it.
“Michelle,” I said.
Just then I got a call on my phone, “Excuse me,” I said to Carl. It was my boss telling me he was running late from his lunch. “No worries,” I said, “I’m on my way and I’ll take care of everything.”
So now I had to go to a meeting my boss was supposed to go to. It could have been worse. I could have had 20 emails to write. But since I had gotten ahead with the emails last week, since I knew I’d be working less with the move, the next due date was a week from now.