We met B in Georgetown, wondering what his new girlfriend Nicole looked like. Having seen his last girlfriend, I anticipated someone fashionable, with dirty blond hair and heavy lipstick. B, like the typical Iranian man, likes to show off his stature. Of course, we never pictured him with an American blond, for he is man of traditional taste. I always picture people I am supposed to meet. I don’t know what I base my creation on, but it is there, the presumed face of a stranger. So when I met Nicole, I was most definitely surprised by her simplicity. I had expected a more superficial look, a look that men like B love to be seen in public with. Looks that are too beautiful in the most unnatural way. But Nicole was exceptionally austere. Her blond locks fell just a little above her slender shoulders. She was tall with a very slender body. I searched her face for a sign of make up, but didn’t find even a touch of mascara. Perhaps it was this casual demeanor of hers that was most attracting, the fact that she was real, out in the open, hiding nothing.
We spoke Farsi, me, R, B, and his friend Ahoora. Nicole didn’t mind. B said it’s better for her to learn this way, listening to us converse in a foreign tongue. The streets were louder than usual, the crowd happier, drunk. The Potomac River looked the same, gorgeous under the moonlight and stars, unreachable and diffusing. The five us found a bench and looked over to the boats of rich, mostly white crowds. We were so far away from them, as if we were looking at a picture on a screen tv. I somehow felt that my companions were aware of the distance between us and them. B looked at us and said, “if we just had one of these boats, that would have been it.” I looked at the pretty white boat, the couple on the deck, kissing, drinks in hand, with the music blasting. I then realize that I didn’t want a boat, nor did I want the rest of what was happening inside the screen I was looking into. I didn’t want any of it. I wasn’t happy in my own state, but I knew whatever they had wouldn’t make me happy either.
Indifferent, I left Georgetown with the rest. I was tired, still jet lagged from Tuesday’s flight back home. On the way back, I told R that I liked Nicole. She said she did too. I think we both wondered how long their strange relationship would last.

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