Friday, January 25, 2013

The immigrant falls in love with the lady. She is well educated, he is not. She is beautiful, he is not ugly, but of plain peasant stock. He buys her garish flowers. She reluctantly accepts if only not to hurt his feelings. They see each other in the street about twice a week. It is a random encounter for her, but an event for him. Each time they meet he is ready with another batch of flowers. Finally, she tells him they are too gaudy. He tells the florist this. The florist, an immigrant as well, is hurt, but gives him white lillies for her. The immigrant gives them to her. She says they are nice, though resemble a wedding, almost inappropriate, considering they hardly know each other. Also, his t-shirt makes him look like he is sophomore trying to look like a junior in high school. 

Our immigrant goes to a store that looks rather chic and tells the clerk this story. He cannot afford any of the clothes but the clerk, a gay man with a liberal political bent, is touched by his love for this random woman and accompanies him to the Salvation Army. There, they assemble a new, subdued yet stylish, adult wardrobe. 

He meets her on the street with a single purple and yellow orchid, clothes and a ready smile. Will you go to dinner with me? he asks. No, she says. Well, OK, she says, in appreciation of a man who does his best to please her. They face each other across the table in awkward silence. They've nothing in common. Suddenly, during the main course, she leaves.

A couple days later in the street, he sees her and expresses his horror. How he's done everything to try to please her and every effort seems to be met with greater and greater rejection. She says nothing. He gives her flowers, as usual. There is a homeless woman. She hands the flowers to the homeless woman and runs down the street to escape. Days later, in another neighborhood he spots her. Quickly, he finds a florist. He waits with flowers outside the building he saw her enter. A man comes out to tell him that the lady does not want the flowers, nor his attention. Oddly, the same homeless woman is standing near by. He gives her the flowers and leaves. 

The next day, he seeks the advice of the store clerk. He tells of their uncomfortable dinner. The clerk suggests that he listen to certain kinds of American music that he guesses the girl might enjoy. The immigrant buys a recording. In the street, in their usual location, he sees her, tells her about some wonderful music he has been listening to. She is touched that he appreciates at least a similar sort of music she appreciates and agrees to another date. 

They see a movie, and he tenderly holds her hand and kisses it at one point. She pulls away and runs from the theatre. He is devistated. He tells the florist this story. The florist gives him a tall, exotic bouquet. He waits in front of her office the whole day. Finally she appears. She is crying. Look, she tells him, you need to give up. You need to find an object of desire that desires you in return. I am simply the wrong person for you. He gives her the flowers, she gives them to the homeless lady and runs away, tears streaming down her face. For a moment he looks at the homeless lady. She is not alltogether ugly. Perhaps an immigrant herself. Yet, somehow, it would feel like defeat if he nurtured a relationship with this homeless lady. She would be grateful of his attention perhaps. Certainly she would appreciate a good meal and flowers. At once he is filled with rage (afterall, he has done everything correct, yet he remains frustrated). 

A couple days later, he watches her leave her office. She is frightened and wears a pair of large sunglasses. She looks around the street with trepidation. She does not see him and proceeds. He emerges from the shadows with flowers. She cries profusely, "leave me alone!" 
"Please take the flowers," he says. 
"Leave me alone," she says and hands them to the homeless woman. 

Now, he begins to simply stalk her, as the authorities might say. He knows where she lives. He knows her favorite bar. He knows she has 4 good friends, three women, one man. He watches through the window of the bar. She is describing the horror of her stalker, him. Nearing midnight, they appear to be smiling and laughing. In front of the bar they part ways. The immigrant, flowers in hand, approaches her, arms out bearing his gift of flowers. She screams. She hands the flowers to the same homeless lady who is randomly in front of this bar, and runs into the street trying to flag down a taxi. He is afraid she will be hit by a car and chases her down. She is completely hysterical. She falls in his arms. It is raining. He does not understand what she is saying. Though she is saying how much he hates him, he kisses her. She begins to kiss back, then with a sick feeling in her heart, she bites his lips and rips his pants open against the cab. They get in a cab and immediately fuck. At a stoplight, she slips the driver a 20 dollar bill. She slaps the immigrant, calls him a bastard, and runs away into the night. 

He waits all day in front of her office. He waits all night in front of her apartment. Alas, in the morning she emerges on crutches. He finds some cheap lillies from the Korean deli near by. He approaches her. She laughs hysterically. The same homeless woman is standing nearby. 

"Are you with him?" she asks the homeless woman.
"No," she says, "but I am as concerned about you as is he." 
"Your concern is killing me, you stupid slut." She fumbles with her crutches and from her purse she takes a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. She lights one. "See I'm smoking! " She's yelling this to the homeless woman without actually acknowledging the presence of the immigrant, whose breath she can nearly feel against her shoulder.

He presents flowers to her. She violently shoves them into the homeless woman's chest. She hobbles away over the uneven slate sidewalk, on her crutches, juggling a cigarette. She turns and looks at them. "Don't just stand there, you morons, hail me a cab!" The immigrant runs into the Avenue, flags down a cab and opens the door for her. At first he tries to get in with her, but she pushes him away. He watches her give the driver directions. The taxi disappears into traffic.