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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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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6 Ways To Decorate Your Dorm Or Apartment For The Holidays On A Budget

Baby, it's cold outside.

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As the holiday season approaches, it's easy to get sucked into the Pinterest vortex of holiday decorations, party favors, clothes and more. Unfortunately most of us college students don't have the money for all of this cute stuff so we have to watch for bargains or DIY it. Here are my six recommendations to get into the Christmas spirit:

1. String some festive lights in your room

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/199565827208188172/

I have Christmas lights hanging up in my room all year around because I love them so much, but you can find some cheap lights at Target or Walmart. You can get snowflake lights, lantern lights, normal Christmas lights or anything else that you want. Use command strips to hang them up, and soon it'll feel more relaxing and you'll be more in the Christmas spirit.

2. Use window clings

https://guide.alibaba.com/shop/merry-christmas-window-clings-north-pole-train-snowflakes-penguins-gingerbread-men-1-sheet-15-clings_1005699551.html

I love window clings! You stick them on from the inside (obviously) and then you can see them from the outside. I have different window clings for almost every season. If you have some old window clings that don't stick anymore, just put a little bit of water on the back of them and they'll stick like they're brand new.

3. Raid the Target dollar section

https://corporate.target.com/article/2015/11/bullseyes-playground

So, this depends on where you live and how often your local Target changes out their dollar section, but you would be surprised in what you could find there!

4. Hunt around for a mini tree (real or fake)

https://www.yourbestdigs.com/reviews/best-artificial-christmas-trees/?nabt=1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

I used to have a fake little green Christmas tree with cute little ornaments but sadly I don't have it anymore nor do I have room for it anywhere in my room. A little Christmas tree in your room or on your dresser just makes everything a little bit more festive. I used to have my little Christmas tree on my dresser until my cat found it. Yeah, you know where that is going.

5. Make easy DIY decorations

http://findinghomefarms.com/10-minute-christmas-decorating-idea-chalk-pen-galvanized-buckets/

Pinterest is the best website for this, well actually they're known for DIY projects. Why spend $50 on one Christmas decoration when you can do a DIY and spend only $20?

6. Use Winter themed candles

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/e/christmas-gift-guide.html

I love Bath and Body works because they always have the best sales and you can usually get something half priced or sometimes something for free! Plus everything smells so good in that store and it's so tempting to buy everything but if you come into the store with a goal, you'll leave with your goal.

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