She was beautiful and aware of it and yet she didn’t seem to give a damn. It was easy for her to be beautiful, it was no burden, no maintenance chore, it was how she was, pretending it wasn’t who she was, almost apologetically dressed in no-nonsense stuff, doing her thing. She was always almost within reach, so much more the way you would like to be, loveable through emulation, effortlessly loveable. She was the one whose shoes it was always difficult to fill, which, somehow, made you work harder. Or be more pathetic, whichever applies. It is even difficult to remember if ever the interest or even approval of a guy was just as relevant as chasing her shadow, embodied in so many different women. It may have been, but hey, the best way to get that would have been to be as much her as you could. Like a sort of side-effect of the intrinsic quality of conscious womanhood, of owning the difference, of being not for the sake of the other, but of yourself.

To be her, to have that ease, to absorb the honest sophistication of each of your friends, to stop playing the game with somebody else’s rules. Do you ever grow into your own shoes, actually?



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