Tell her that you caught her guest spot on Rizzoli & Isles. When she says you’re mistaken, admit that you thought she looked too upmarket for television and should really be focusing on film. After sighing that these rum launch parties can be awfully tedious, suggest the two of you go somewhere quiet where she can vent about her manager.
Commend her on her aluminum water tote and tell her that you haven’t used plastic since 2006. Mention taking action, being proactive, raising awareness, or any combination thereof. Say this Whole Foods is OK, but the pluots are nothing like the ones in your community garden. Then ask her if she’d like to come over and check out your compost pile.
Compliment her on her straw fedora and ask if she’d like another Diet Coke and vodka. Tell her you think CityWalk has become too commercial but that you know some “ultrahip” spots on the Eastside and the mixologists who work at them. Remind her that she can never have too much material for her vlog.
Tell her you’re impressed that someone as petite as she can put away so much deep-fried bone marrow. Remark that, although this gastropub has 5,000 craft beers, the platings are a bit too Top Chef for your taste. Offer to take her to a pho-and-Belgian-waffle truck that no one knows about yet.
Confess that you find the Twilight books to be a taut blend of fantasy and myth. Would she like to hear some verse you’ve been working on? Recite Poe’s “To Helen,” changing “The glory that was Greece” to “The glory that was Forks, Washington.” Squinting pensively, tell her this bus stop is altogether too bright and suggest you both go back to your place to talk about the undead.
Pick up her dog and give it a big kiss on the mouth. Wonder why so many people are put off by Chinese cresteds—they’re the cutest things you’ve ever seen. Tell her you’ve heard that a lot of unneutered pit bulls come to this dog park and that you know of a better one with hand sanitizer stations and free biodegradable bags.
Compliment her on her crocheted minidress. Say it reminds you of the one your mother used to wear back in the Haight. Tell her she’s by far the most stylish person in this entire Urban Outfitters and offer to drive her through Topanga Canyon and show her where Devendra Banhart lives.
Congratulate her on her 30-day chip. Tell her that sobriety gets easier once you start coming from a place of yes as opposed to a place of no. Whatever she says, relate it back to serenity. Notice that this senior center is a little dismal and suggest you two let go and let God get you some better coffee somewhere else.
Tell her you don’t mean to be rude, but you couldn’t help glancing at her computer screen. Did she really design all that jewelry herself? Say that someone with her talent shouldn’t be sitting at Urth Caffé all day and that you’d love it if she’d let you set up her Etsy store.
Lock your purple fixed-gear bike to a parking meter and ask her where she got that beautiful tattoo of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s signature because you’ve been thinking of getting one just like it. Is it the same artist who did Ashlee Simpson’s work? Inquire if she wants to grab a community-supported grain bowl at Café Gratitude.
Illustrations by Ross McDonald