I wrote this when I was nineteen, or twenty. I forget. Anyway, I worked at The Galleria in Houston in retail sales at a now defunct clothing store. For those of you that have never been there, The Galleria has an ice rink on the bottom level, located amidst the stores and restaurants that line Floor One, it serves as not only a tourist attraction, but also a serious training facility. After the normal ice rink hours are over the rink is reserved for “personal” training. And, it’s not scrubs that skate there at that time… medaled Olympians have skated there.
So, I used to go down and wait on a friend, just a notebook in hand… and watch. And, out of that, came this. I almost forgot about this essay until about a year ago when I found an old file folder. I have barely touched it’s original form… since I already know I can’t edit for the life of me.
Something in The Middle of Nothing
by Senator Brett
She is beautiful. Shoulder-length dark hair. Olive skin with an untainted complexion. An exquisite face painted in the galleries of the highest heavens. A flawless figure sculpted in the image of the goddesses. And a captivating persona that holds you like a mother cradles a newborn.
I’m at the ice rink again. It is in the same mall in which I work so I find it a rather nice place to unwind after a long day. Also, it is located directly in front of the restaurant that I frequent. Myself, along with a good friend from work, like to stop in and have a few drinks after our routinely night shift. He is my manager so he has to stay an extra half-hour, or so, to close everything down. I usually spend that time at the ice rink watching the “after hours” sessions. I think they are for local competitive skaters because there is generally only one skater on the ice at a time.
I’ve seen her here before. Actually, this is the third time that she has been here during my nighttime unwinding. She skates all alone. No trainer. No partner. Nobody here to cheer her on. Just her and the ice.
She is training for something. Or, at least, I think she is because she keeps going over and over the same routine.
She starts out center ice. Head down. Eyes closed. Her body taunt against the calm white below. Slowly you begin to hear the soft whispering of a violin. And, as you watch, her lissome figure begins to stir as if it were waking from a deep sleep. The then soothing voice of a lone soprano begins to pour out what you recognize as The Lord’s Prayer. And, then she skates. Alone. All alone. And, for a few moments… music, voice and motion all become one as she glides over the frozen beneath.
Like I said before… she is beautiful. Amazingly so. And, in those few moments that she graces my world nothing else exists. In those fleeting seconds that she dances before me I forget how mundane and ordinary my life often is.
I can’t tell you her name. I don’t know it. To be honest, I’ve never even talked to her. But, I’ve heard her laugh once. And it was like listening to the wind as it rustles through the fallen leaves on a clear autumn day. Seriously, I think she might just be a goddess.
I’ve been thinking about going over to talk to her. Maybe even asking her what her name might be. But, I really don’t want to. And, contrary to what you might think, it is not because I am scared of possible rejection. And, it’s not because I’m afraid of appearing a fool. No, not at all. When you have lived the life that I have appearing the fool is a familiar role to play. So, I’m not trying to avoid embarrassment. The truth is… well, I don’t want to know her name. I really don’t.
You might not understand this, but if I knew her name then she would become a real person to me. And, I don’t want that. Right now she is this thing of sweet and mysterious beauty. A rare treasure found in an otherwise dim place. And, I don’t want to ruin that. If I went over there and talked to her I would probably learn her name. And, if I found out her name I would probably want to talk to her some more. And, if I talked to her for a little while longer then I would probably find out that she is pretty much just like everyone else I have ever known. And, if she became just like everyone I have ever known then she would cease to be that beautiful thing that sometimes makes me forget that one day I will die. And, I kinda like forgetting that… even if it’s only for a few moments.
No. I don’t think I want to go over there and talk to her. It’s better this way. Sometimes you have to take things just the way they are or you will lose your ability to truly appreciate them. (I know. I know. I should walk over there and talk to her. Who knows? She might not be like everyone else I have ever known. She might just be the person that I have been waiting to meet all my life. Who knows? She might be the one person that I have always needed. But, you know what? Truth is… I already know that she is the person I always needed. I have always needed someone who can both lift my eyes… and my spirit. And, she does just that… just the way she is right now.)
And, by the way, there is a bank teller girl out there that has the prettiest smile that I have ever seen. I used to look forward to depositing my checks. Payday was all that more special to me because it meant I had an excuse to visit the bank. And, I think that I should let you know that I DID talk to her. And, I DID find out her name. Her name is Mindy. It said so on the sign in her window. And, call me a hopeless romantic if you must, but I think my exact words to her were, “Uh… uh… do you think that… maybe… I … uh… could have… uh… a deposit slip… or something?”
(And you thought I was scared of talking to beautiful women! Come on!)