Kathy Lee: Dénouement
“Wake up, you ol’ buffoon, you. Look at you. Just look at you.”
He had fallen asleep, sitting cross-legged, Indian-style, on the hood of his Datsun, right there where he had parked it a half-hour earlier next to her Alfa Romeo in the SMU parking lot.
As he began to focus on her face, she laughed that laugh that was once so familiar to him.
She stepped back a bit, looking him up and down.
“Well just look at you,” she repeated.
But he was looking at her.
He hadn’t seen her for more than two years apart from a brief glimpse of her the day before in the Alfa Romeo.
At twenty-five, Kathy Lee was prettier than he remembered.
Her near-blond hair was longer, parted in the middle à la Ali McGraw in Love Story.
Her brown eyes were accented, as always, with eyeliner.
Her lips were colored with pale pink lipstick.
They were too severe and not fleshy enough for his taste.
But he forgave Kathy Lee for her thin lips for the final time.
Looking at her, he felt a sweet pain.
A part of him still loved her.
But he no longer wanted her, no longer needed her.
Kathy Lee had on a lightweight brown wool sweater and a pleated rust-red skirt.
She wore knee-length off-white socks and brown Hush Puppies with tan laces.
He thought, “Yeah, she’s still color coordinated.”
He scanned back up to her smiling face.
“You like?” she teased.
“I like. I like! You look wonderful. Wonderful!”
“So do you. So do you!”
On the second “So do you!” Kathy Lee’s voice rose into a sort of squeal.
She took both his hands in hers, bit her lower lip and began to tremble and shake and gently rock and sway back and forth the way Orthodox Jews do when they pray.
She looked away and then back at him once again.
And then she wept quietly, softly.
“I never meant to hurt you,” she whispered. “Never.”
“Me neither, Kat,” he said. “Me neither.”