little ester and the big scary men that populate this city
Ester leaves the apartment, walks down the street to the A,C,E. The stairway down to the train creates a wind-tunnel and she holds her skirt futilely against her legs to try to avoid a Marilyn Monroe moment. (It's only sexy if it happens to Marilyn Monroe.)
Walking down a street at the other end of a subway trip. Her hands continue to flit toward her skirt to protect it against a sneaky wind-tunnel, the kind that would burst onto the scene and yell "boo!" and pull the fabric up. Especially as she passes the lumberyard that she must pass every morning before she arrives at the office. What sort of crazy block in Manhattan boasts of fashion studios / casting offices AND a lumberyard? She curses the schizophrenia of Chelsea and tries to ignore the various men wishing her a good morning. Although they are never obscene, their attention feels unpleasant and she wishes they would pay it to someone else.
At her desk, trapped. A barrel-chested 45 year old man with a gleaming smile is flirting to pass the time. He gestures toward the white lilies on her desk: "Men send those to you every week, don't they?" Playing along (what else can she do?) she jokes, "Yup. There's a sign-up list and everything." He leans in: "I'll bet I'd be number 250 on that list."
The number 250 is hi-larious enough. But the man does not leave. He ruminates on the gym. How he used to go, how he stopped, how sad that is. He glances at Ester. "You must work out, right? You're in great shape." When Ester laughs, "No," he says, "Oh, you're a natural!"
Swishing home in her army green platform boots, salmon pleather skirt, and fancy black tank top, feeling pretty good about having managed another day in the big city. A voice from the sidewalk calls out, "Ester!" She turns, stares. There sits a boy she barely recognizes, someone from the depths of the margins of the past: a high school classmate's younger brother she hadn't seen in at least 5 years. "Hey!" he says. "You look exactly the same!"