Dear diary: Saw Aallysse today. I hardly recognized her. She was a foot taller, covered from stem to stern in temporary tattoos. Her hair was shaved except on the left side which she rolled up like a fringed window shade that she could adjust depending on the position of the sun. Its amazing how much a person can change in two months. Surprisingly, though, she still had a faint mustache.
She spells her name Alice now. It was on her "Hi may name is ____ tag. She's joined a congregation of snake handlers and was begging for change. She needed enough to get a venom vaccination. I can't remember her looking so happy or so winsome. She also squinted less with her hair that way.
I thought about the days I spent by her side while she practiced grating cheese. Her Mother was a championship cheese grater who held the world record for grating a 5 lb block of Parmesan. Alice had the right technique but her large knuckles proved to be her undoing. I found myself remembering all the hours I spent holding her cheese or bandaging her fingers.
I had a strong impulse to ask her to come back but her asp kept getting between us. It looked to me to be a very angry asp, not large but muscular. There was a time once when I was convinced she was the one. Now I realized it could never work out between us, a snake handler and a reformed Jew with a reptiles allergy.
She gave me a kiss goodbye. It was sweet. I gave her all my loose change. It was 97 cents. Not a lot but I had to skip the bus and hoof the 40 blocks home. As we wished each other well it started to drizzle. I pretended not to notice but some of Alice's tattoos were beginning to run. I was glad for the rain, though - I didn't want her to see the perspiration stains growing under my arm pits. She was born without sweat glands and didn't see the point. I really didn't want to have that conversation again.
Walking away towards home I kept telling myself 'Don't look back. Don't look back.' I just couldn't shake the feeling that her asp was following me.