This Blog Entry Uses the Word Angel I don't remember which particular boy had put me in a funk, but it was palpable on my face when I sat on the metro that morning. I was probably in University. It was Fall. Or, maybe it was Spring. Anyway, I was wearing a light jacket. Why I remember what I was wearing, I don't know, but I would have remembered wearing something heavy. There was a group of people my age sitting across from me. I noticed the woman in the group immediately, as she had very long light brown hair and was wearing a yellow cotton dress--the old fashioned kind of cotton dress, with a semi-fitted bodice and a gathered skirt. It was an unusual choice for any decade. Her face was quintessential well-scrubbed. No makeup. Just lovely. I kept looking at her, but I don't remember if she noticed. She must have, though, because before she got off at her stop, she looked at me, smiled and said, "Everything's going to be all right." I remember being soothed by her parting gesture. In retrospect, it couldn't have been difficult to ascertain that I was depressed. But, what did it take for her to communicate with a total stranger? Courage? Self-assurance? Drugs? Religious zeal? To this day, I call myself an atheist and think of this woman as an angel. Life is more interesting when it's inconsistent. I thought of this incident yesterday when I noticed a woman smiling at me near the doors of the IGA in my neighbourhood. She wasn't lovely like my metro angel. Quite the opposite, actually. Too thin--possibly anorexic. Sun-damaged sallow skin. Bleached blonde hair. Very bad teeth. Wardrobe from the eighties. She was probably my age, but without my many privileges. I locked the car and walked towards her, deciding whether I should return her smile or not. She asked me if the Beetle was mine. It is, I answered. That's my favourite car; my boyfriend's going to buy me one, she said. Not believing for a second that her boyfriend had the means to buy her one, I simply replied that the the Beetle is fun to drive. "En tout cas, madame, vous etes chanceuse." Lucky me. Lucky me for being able to read the subtext of what she said. What she really said. Everything's going to be all right.

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