A lock of strawberry blonde hair peeking out from under a fuzzy winter hat freezes me in the grocery store parking lot. The hat is worn by an ex-girlfriend of mine, now married to someone else with kids of her own, and that curly lock, seen from 50 yards away, reminds me of the way I used to brush her hair out of her eyes before leaning in to kiss her shocking red lips. It reminds me of the way she used to tilt long-neck bottles of Miller Lite between those lips, of the way her breathy voice implied a dimly lit bar, of the way her freckled breasts turned golden in the moonlight. It reminds me of the way her mother used to look at me through narrowed eyes every time her daughter skipped Sunday mass at Most Holy Redeemer. A car door slams and I am jolted back to the present day parking lot. As I walk into the store to buy asparagus, Band-Aids, and Chardonnay, I can’t help but wonder if the woman in the parking lot was indeed my ex-girlfriend, or if she was a different person altogether.
Photo by Razvan Gitui on Unsplash