How long is a moment? There might be some scientific way, and probably some pseudo-scientific way to measure it, but I can’t really see the point. After fifty posts (I was surprised that it had been that many) I can conclude that a perfect moment can last less than a second to more than an hour. The perfect moment can be long and indulgent (if self aware enough to know that it is the perfect moment) or as brief as a flash of light.
Couple this idea with the human brain and its ability to process information and make judgements at lightning speed and you’ve got something. You’ve got the ability to see the briefest and the longest perfect moments.
Today, I glanced over my shoulder, sensing perhaps something or someone new occupying a previously empty space. That it was raining, and this once empty space was under a protective awning is probably no coincidence. That brief glance revealed a woman, obviously seeking shelter from the rain while waiting for her bus.
What can I say for sure? There was just something about her. As a description, that seems so lame. It seems like such a copout. She was beautiful, but not in the Hollywood sense. Her lipstick was blood red, but maybe I am romanticizing it, or perhaps it only looked that way in contrast to her black clothes and pale complexion. Perhaps it was normal red, if such a thing exists in the lipstick world.
Maybe I have to go back to the “there was something about her” line. What makes this a perfect moment is not that the two of us hit it off. I managed a few words, but nothing that will even leave a faint impression on her memory. Instead, I need to explain, or express, how profound the simplest of actions can be. She smiled, unselfconsciously. She tried to keep her upper torso under the awning, despite already moving her feet, so as not to get her hair wet. She had a shawl for the bus air conditioning. Though none of these things should really tell me (or anyone else watching) anything about her, I feel like they do. I feel like they speak volumes when most people are just putting together sentences.
If I ever have to (or want to) write a female character, I will draw on her. I will explain the charisma and the smile. I will describe the behaviour that makes you look, even when trying not to. Sadly, I may not have the words to describe that intangible quality she had. I don’t have them now, and I cannot be sure they will be there when I need them in the future.
This is not a lost love post but rather an appreciation of beauty and its effects on all of us post. This perfect moment is the sight of an unedited person, being rather than acting, revealing rather than projecting. Their happiness, their behaviour, and their freedom are contagious.
When she got off the bus at her stop, I could feel the entire mood of the bus change.