This whole situation started because the front pockets of my jacket zip down instead of up. This may seem like a small matter but it is not a good thing because it can make it easier to lose such things as Metro Cards, iPhones, keys, hotel key card, reading glasses, sunglasses, pens and notebooks.
Things I keep in the front pockets of my jacket.
So, I did what anyone in this neighborhood would do…I went to Macy’s to look for a jacket that had proper pockets. The escalator took me to the second floor and I stepped off in the middle of the Woman’s Shoe Salon. How could I know that the next few seconds would change my immediate future and put me on a quest for a woman with the most interesting buns I have ever seen.
I first saw her as I was standing next to a single display of a Cut-out Booty with Wedge Heel. I wasn’t here to shop for a Caged Heel With Open Mesh Fronts, Salvatore Ferragamo or a Low Heeled Mule by Manolo Blahnik (although the Leopard Print Cork Sandals did have some interesting features).
I was really looking for a jacket to solve my zipper problem. I needed to find Men’s Outerwear. I was thinking of a Barbour jacket…after all, my birthday was coming up.
Instead, she walked into my life and just as quickly, walked out. Does that make for a simply passing encounter or was there something more mystical going on here? I prefer the latter because she appeared and vanished leaving a deep and lasting impression with me. That puts it into the mystical category in the notebook that I keep in life.
Sometimes the most extraordinary experiences can happen in the most ordinary of places…even a Shoe Salon. Perhaps the stars were aligned in a correct way, or the waxing gibbous moon over the City carried a spell…or maybe it was the blankets of yellow tulips that covered the flower beds of Central Park and floral pots on every block.
Whatever it was, something fell into an order and set in motion a series of events that can cause a man to question his sanity, moral standards, and logic and simply leaving him questioning whether his heartbeats were visible to the public through his fleece vest and the jacket with the wrong zippers.
It happened to me on the last day of April, 2015.
This woman’s destiny is to haunt my nights, alter my daydreams and question if I was the only human to actually see her. Actually, I wasn’t the only one to see her because I saw her stop to answer a customer’s question. I noticed a lanyard around her neck with a plastic card attached.
She must work here!
She answered the question with a few finger gestures to direct the customer to what she wanted. Then she vanished behind a wall…you know, the place in a shoe store where the clerk will say:
“I think I can find that in another color, just give me a minute.” Then the clerk goes behind some wall and returns with the correct box. But, this lady was no clerk. She was a manager of some kind. You can always determine this fact by watching how fast managers walk.
The woman didn’t reappear. I stood against a column. I looked to the right and saw six marble stairs that led to the Men’s Outerwear Department.
I was torn. Wait or look for the jacket with the big pockets? I reached (with difficulty) in my pocket and gripped my iPhone. If she reappeared, I was going to do one of two things. Snap a candid from the hip without her knowing it, or politely approach her and ask permission if I could take her photo.
By now, you are wondering what it was about this woman who so fascinated me. Well, the answer is really quite simple. It was her buns.
Now, those of you who think they know me are expecting me to make this some kind of lame joke about tushes. Shame on you! That’s not where this is going at all.
It was, you see, her hair.
I admit to being attracted to some hair styles. Being Irish, red and curly is high on my list. But this woman had two buns over each ear that made one think of an Art Nouveau goddess. You simply do not see women in “real life” wearing their hair in such a fashion. Along with her ankle length dress, she looked like she had stepped out of a silent movie or a work of art.
I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that the closest comparison I can give you is the style worn by Princess Leia in “Star Wars”. But her’s were black and somehow unreal. The woman I had seen…her hair was not golden, not copper…but somewhere in the spectrum between. (I think each bun sparkled slightly, but I wouldn’t give my good word on it.)
Again, she was real (?) and not on her way to a costume party. I may never again see such a coif in my life.
I pulled out my iPhone and pushed the button for the Camera mode. Then I realized that a man holding a camera in a woman’s Shoe Salon (wearing a jacket with odd front zippers on the pockets) might alarm Security.
I gave it up and went up the six marble steps to Men’s Outerwear. There I found a Barbour with a price tag of $399.00 (plus tax). It had the best pockets I’ve ever seen, but quite out of my price range.
Another dream shattered. I’ll never own a Barbour. And, I’ll most likely never see the woman with the beautiful buns again. But, I don’t give up easily. I put the Barbour back on the rack and went back toward the escalator in the Woman’s Shoe Salon. I looked around again.
She wasn’t there.
But that didn’t stop me from going back for the next four days and having a look.