She had discovered the Secret Of Life and was anxious to share it with a friend. Her heart was racing as she closed her cell phone and was seated at The Café outside under the flapping green canopy at the only table where conversations could not be overheard. The L shaped moldy red brick wall behind an arbor with climbing green vines at her back shielded her from the World that she could now conquer without firing a shot.
Removing her beret and lightweight black jacket and setting them in the chair next to her shopping bags, she ran her fingers twice through her long dark hair, a few strands still flowing over her forehead in the gentle breeze sweeping in from Moon River. She loosened the top button on her brilliant white blouse and freed it from her tight blue jeans. Running her hand approvingly around her front waist, she thought a bun and coffee would do nicely. She ordered it from a pale corpse-looking waiter in a crookedly tied apron and a straight unimpressed mouth. He looked as though he'd just stepped out of a Tim Burton film and she felt like squeezing his hand to bring him back to life. A bun and coffee, he thought, would certainly get us out of the red and allow us to start a franchise, lady. He did not know the Secret yet.
She was in the habit lately of noticing mouths. They told a lot about a person, she thought. Like the check out lady at the old clothes shop with the puckered, suspicious gray lips.
“Be careful…I’m a dangerous felon,” Winona would say, lowering her voice trying to sound like James Bond. But the icebreaker sometimes just won’t work on an iceberg. Or her own mouth. She had noticed in the full length mirror that she was biting her lower lip holding up under her neck that ridiculous pink flannel shirt with white flowers. She would smile briefly and roll her eyes, imagining that it was once worn by a LSD companion of Timothy back in the 60’s.
As she was nibbling away at the bun waiting for her friend, a dozen doves, finishing a chorus of coos, settled on the brick wall. They were watching silently. I have an attentive audience, she thought, after a little bit. She felt a tingle over her scalp like the time she shyly spoke once at a microphone on a darkened bare stage under a spotlight.
“Do you know the Secret of Life?” she softly asked her feathered audience. “It’s that you have to….,” she started, as two doves on the end, apparently uninterested, flew off. There’s always some in every crowd, she thought.
She continued, unfazed, “it’s that whatever you do in Life you must be passionately devoted to your calling.”
The two had been startled by slight movement, then the invading flash scared the rest away into the blue like desolving sugar. There were following scenes of a dead waiter coming to life, swinging fists and breaking glass. Shards of glass scattered on the pavement, a broken lens scooting to a stop at her left foot, and angry yelling. The paparazzi was dragged to the 120 degree kitchen and decapitated with one swing of a dirty sharp knife by the impatient Head Chef, she hoped. Bring me the bloody head of the razzi on a silver platter, she thought.
A white boomerang of doves returned after the storm. It reminded her of the Cather novel, Death Comes For The Archbishop, where doves landed on the outstretched arms of the much-abused Magdalena, eating crumbs from her hands and lips. Winona rose slowly with a morsel in her lips. One trusting dove fluttered in front of her, and up close Winona noticed reflected light in her black eyes as though the shiny white dots were irises. The hovering dove cautiously approached her mouth. It thrilled the girl and she trembled as she held her breath.
They kissed and then they parted.