The Girl from Ipanema, Pt. I

The Girl from Ipanema, Pt. I

A prelude to a strange trip into another world
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I’m still not sure why the girl behind the counter at that dingy pizza place affected me so much.

It was one o’clock in the morning and the place was a raucous mess. Alcohol had raised the volume of conversation to a cacophonous degree. I ventured to imagine the patrons were debating salient topics like the global economy or healthcare or race relations, things of at least perceived substance. Of course, I knew better, I was surrounded by drunken bluster and emotion being poorly quieted by greasy food, a sober minority amongst the overwhelming mass of the oncoming weekend. I wasn’t even there to get food. I was waiting for my friend, bleary-eyed and freshly off work, to pick up his order. I was tacked on, an accessory. An object with no real necessity in its placement.

Some rock song was blaring from the speaker overhead, but the heavy instrumentation and poor sound quality meshed with the incessant conversations turned it into an indecipherable audio soup. The speaker looked like something you might find next to an old computer desktop from the late 1990s, a cheap off-white plastic shell that had yellowed with age. It likely never sounded all that great to begin with.

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, my hands dug deep into my pockets. Lint, two cigarettes, a quarter and a pair of keys in the left pocket. A dented and scratched flip lighter in the right. I usually bought men’s jeans just for the actual pocket space. If I hadn’t left my cell phone behind, maybe I could have played solitaire or skimmed through articles, promising myself to give them a proper read later only to never look at them again. I was standing off to the side as my friend had queued up behind three people. His impatience prevalent in his listless stance and tendency to run his fingers through his short, curly hair. I tried to count the number of times he raked his fingers over his head but quickly grew tired of the mental exercise.

With nothing much else to occupy me, I glanced towards the counter. It was a pure clutter of menus, receipts, phones and computers, but I found myself looking past all that. She was beautiful. Her hair was short and brown with the most subtle of curvature, the slightest suggestion of curls as if someone had tried to draw a straight line, but their pen had swayed gently back and forth. Her face was pale, almost ghostly white, with soft features. She reminded me of that song “The Girl from Ipanema” though I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. She wasn’t tall or tan, though she was young, and she was certainly lovely. There was something almost too gentle about her face, as if through physical presence alone she were enticing a lover to drift into comfortable sleep pressed close to her body, only to consume their soul in the night. Not like I even have a soul left to be eaten, I thought.


I was in Grade 10 when my soul was eaten. I was young and unbearably naïve. My hair was still long, just past my shoulders, and my face was forgettable enough to be drowned in that sea of dirty blonde bedhead. Junior High awkwardness gave way to High School awkwardness, and no amount of teenage vanity could save me from my seemingly eternal position as the loner. There were a few guys who would bum smokes off of me, and a few friends I had in various classes, but for the most part, I trudged along at the periphery of everyone else’s vision. I was comfortable enough with my routine, mundane existence. Well, that is, until he happened.

“Hey, you ready?” My friend’s voice cut through the haze.

I blinked, startled by the sudden interruption. “Oh, yeah. Sorry, must have zoned out a little.”

“A little?” He asked. He lifted his pizza box and nodded towards the door.

I followed him out, stealing one last glance at the girl behind the counter. The Girl from Ipanema. She was busy taking orders and flitting to and fro. It almost looked like a performance, like she was some sort of otherworldly pixie visiting the earth just to dance in the most absurd, unexpected places. Perhaps tomorrow night she would waltz through a McDonalds, the next day belly dance through a laundromat or maybe even salsa through a post office.

“You look like somebody just gave you ‘the talk’ for the first time,” my friend said as we walked down the sidewalk. He popped open the pizza box midstep to inspect his purchase. After a moment of scrutiny, he nodded, satisfied, and closed it back up. If I had done that while walking I probably would have ended up on the ground with my face buried in cheese and sauce. Only wayward drunks and the occasional police officer were out and about at this point. The reflections of streetlights glimmered over small puddles in the pavement, still wet from a brief morning rain.

“Oh god, really? You’re kidding, right? Was it that bad?” I asked each question in rapid succession, maybe a bit too rapidly in retrospect.

“Yep. Blushing the whole time. You looked the colour of The Communist Manifesto.”

“Jesus Christ, was that a Fifty Shades of Grey reference?”

“Maybe,” he grinned.

“I fucking hate you, dude.” I pulled a cigarette from my pocket and lit it. I savoured the hearty click of the lighter snapping shut before taking a long, warm drag. You could still smell the rain in the air, it hung heavy and low over the city.

“So you’re creeping on the pizza girl, huh?” My friend asked. He gave my arm a soft nudge with his elbow.

“She was just cute was all,” I said, trying to shut him down. Though she wasn’t just cute. There was something strangely alluring about her, something otherworldly. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to have spoken to her, as absurd as that may sound.


He was handsome. He was cool. He was the opposite of everything I was. Yet somehow he ended up choosing me. Of all the people in that godforsaken high school, it was me.

I suppose looking back at it now it just had to have been me. Lonely and quiet and feigning intellectualism. No dedicated group of friends to watch my back. I was too easy of a target for his affections.

I still remember the feeling of the breath catching in my throat, my body quivering as lust and childish romance overtook logic. I guess can only blame myself really.

He wanted a doll. I gave him a doll.


We waved goodbye. He scurried off into his dorm eagerly as I stomped out my cigarette on the sidewalk. I paused for a moment, taking a deep gulp of the cool, moist air into my lungs. My chest rose. I exhaled and relaxed my shoulders. My chest fell. I turned to head down the street back towards my apartment. By this point, it was almost two o’clock in the morning and the city was dead quiet. It had been eerie the first time I went for a walk this late, early my freshman year, but by this point, it felt entirely commonplace.

I took my time walking back. There was nothing for me in my room except a quiet, boxed in place for me to sit around and think too much as I tried to sleep. At least walking gave me something physical to focus on, something to do besides lazing about sleeplessly in bed. Why had that girl affected me so much? What was it about her that had demanded my attention? And why now of all times was I lamenting my lack of a soul? It hadn’t bothered me much before. In fact, I seemed to carry on decently enough without one.



End Pt. I

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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100 Of The Best Vines Of All Time

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Not to be dramatic, but the Vine app was the best thing to ever happen to me.

The Vine app truly understood me and my extremely odd sense of humor. When it was shut down, I felt like a part of me shut down with it. Luckily, I still have the ability to reflect on the good times that I had with Vine. Although there aren't any new Vine videos keeping my spirit alive, the Vine videos from the past are enough to keep me going.

This is way overdue, but here are the 100 best Vines to ever exist (in no particular order).

1. You better stop.

2. Come get y'all juice.

3. WTF is up Kyle.

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5. Mr. Postman.

6. Good evening.

7. This is your space, this is your area.

8. Honestly not sure what to title this one, but it's great so.

9. Someone help Elmo.

10. Pst...what?

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14. Lebron James.

15. #1 Dad.

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28. You want a french fry? Eat a french fry.

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41. Walking a duck.

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43. I don't even understand this one.

44. I dropped my hot pocket.

45. I thought you were American.

46. I can't swim.

47. I wanna be a cowboy.

48. I look like Mona Lisa.

49. Look at this graph.

50. Yungman.

51. Squidward dabbing

52. Living with Nicholas Cage.

53. If Tinder had video profiles.

54. Why you always lying.

55. Chicken wing ch-chi-chicken wing.

56. Uh my chicle.

57. Love the Nickleback version.

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59. I want to be famous.

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63. And they don't stop coming.

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77. Patricia honey can you be quiet.

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Honestly, I still can think of 100 more of the greatest vines of all time... but I guess I should stop now.

Cover Image Credit: NY Mag

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12 Not-So-Boujee Must Haves For Your First Home/Apartment, If You Want To Actually Survive

Broom > Swiffer. Trust me.

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Whether a college student or just moving into your first home or apartment, here is a list of things you probably didn't know you needed.

1. Shower Curtain Rod. 

In my furnished apartment, I was thinking the past tenant would have left this item. WRONG. Walmart is going to be your best bet for getting this, I went to at least three other stores first, and none of them had it so save yourself time and just go to Walmart.

2. Organizers. 

I was lucky enough to already have one. However, drawer organizers are so important. Not only do they save space for me in my apartment and on my desk, but it acts as my nightstand. Living on the fourth floor of my apartment, the last thing I wanted to do was haul a wooden nightstand up to my room. So get an organizer that has wheels, they usually have colored drawers so they can follow whatever color scheme you have going on.

3. Wall Decorations. 

I'm usually not one worried about decorating, but the walls will feel empty without even a cheap poster from Walmart or family photos. Something about decorating just really makes it feel more like home, than if you had just an empty room.

4. Oil Diffuser.

This was new to me. However, not only does my oil diffuser give a little extra light when it's on, but my room always smells amazing now, even if the rest of the house smells like food. Scentsy pots work too, but with the oil diffusers there's less mess and you can use oils similar to DoTerra for health and mood benefits.

5. Tinfoil. 

We all eat food. And let's be honest, college students are lazy and life is so much easier when you can just throw tinfoil on top of your dish and toss it in the fridge. Especially when you're in a hurry. Yes, that's also what Tupperware is for but you also can use it for cooking in the oven.

6. Rugs. 

Most kitchens are hardwood or tile of some sort, having a rug in front of the entrance and in front of the sink are essential to creating less mess to clean. We have a lot of guests in our apartment and since we don't have carpet anywhere but our rooms, it is tough to ask for shoes off so having a rug at the front door can cut down the amount of dirt tracked in.

7. Lamps. 

Lighting can be limited in rooms so it's nice to bring some sort of extra lighting. Either a stand up lamp or just a desk lamp can make a huge difference in the lighting of your room.

8. Dry Shampoo. 

This is less of a need for your home and more of a need for you. I have recently jumped on the dry shampoo trend and it's a life-saver. If you have a long night of studying or wake up late and don't have time to wash your hair, it's a great fix and easy way to keep from looking like you are losing your mind.

9. Extension Cords. 

If you didn't figure this out in a dorm, you are now. Outlets can be in inconvenient places, and as a college student, you have to have space to plug in a laptop, printer, phone, lamps, and anything else that you need to plug in. Extension cords and power strips will solve that problem.

10. Broom. 

Yes, a broom. Not a swiffer. Sadly, if you have more dirt than dust, a swiffer will do you no good. You can get a cheap broom at just about any store that carries any cleaning supplies.

11. Paper Towel Holder. 

I mean you could go without but it does make things more convenient. Also looks nicer than just having a roll of paper towels sitting on the counter.

12. Cooking Oil. 

Super easy to forget, but used more often than you think. Cooking oil is used for so many things, and if you have a kitchen, make sure you have it. Nothing is worse than having a meal planned and finding out you don't have cooking oil.

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