“Your knees look like Jimmy Durante,” he said.

I couldn’t see it. Maybe because I was looking at them upside down.

“Here’s the eyes, and here (pointing at a knob in the center) is The Nose.”

I had never noticed that I had freakish knee bones. Now it was all I could think about. I wanted to tug my first-date skirt lower. I should not have put “loves classic movies” in my Match.com profile.

“Yours look like Orson Welles.” They were puffy, with a fold of skin like Welles’ smile in The Third Man.

“Rosebud,” he gasped, letting the cup fall out of his hand. Rosé dribbled on the plaid blanket. He plopped back, eyes dead shut. The oak leaf shadows fluttered black on his pale bald head, a film noir effect that gave a mirage of motion. His skin was freckled like a sweet banana’s.

Over his shoulder, the lake sweated in the cleft of the dry California hills. I ate an olive, dark and meaty, and spit the pit into the grass beside me. I was too old to waste time.

I tumbled onto him. His eyes opened, his lips pursing into my kiss. Below, Jimmy and Orson kissed too, not picky either.





© Ann Hillesland