Goodbye, great beauty. I wrote this years ago for a charity photo book called The Mona Lisa Project.
There was a young teller at the bank whom I would visit religiously every Saturday morning, whether I was in need of a bank statement or not. She would look at me through the double-, maybe even triple-layered glass window with her sultry and inviting Lauren Bacall eyes. Behind this great, heavy barricade, her voice would delicately travel through the three circles to my tingling eardrums. She would lean in, with her chin tucked into her neck and her eyes Bambi-like, to coyly ask me what I needed. She was, naturally, unaware that I just needed her. “A statement, please,” I’d sputter, usually with a dip and a peak as if I were struggling with puberty as much as I was with adulthood. I’d hold that slip of paper in my pocket the whole way home, hoping that if I squeezed hard enough, I would feel on it her essence. Each week, I would stop at the video store just between my studio apartment and the bank. I’d watch “To Have and Have Not” on replay, eager to get closer to my real-life Lauren Bacall. Yet, despite both of them being out of my physical reach, I kept going week after week, deriving enormous, simple pleasure from two ladies behind a screen.