Cecilia was named after the famous Simon & Garfunkel song by the same name.
She hated the song. Nah, like, she HATED it. With a Capital H.
She'd say her name was Jess at bars and Starbucks spots so no one would get the oh-so-original idea to play that song in her honor. Cecilia actually didn't have a problem with Simon & Garfunkel at all - she thought they were dope and she was fond of many of their songs. But if you ask Cecilia - this was their worst song and they should never have ever recorded it if she had her say on the matter.
Strangely enough, Cecilia didn't hate her name. Sure, it had the 'gradma' dated feel of a name that was popular perhaps in the late eighteen century, but she didn't totally hate it. She Just hated the moronic people that always started awfully hum or sing out-of-tune the Cecilia song whenever she introduced herself.
It was the worst first impression anyone could have ever done when meeting Cecilia.
Nonetheless, Jimmy was a sixties-folk kind of dude and he had to, just HAD TO, go into a complete off-beat version of the song when he met Cecilia in a shoe store in Queens, New York. Cecilia rolled her eyes and mumbled 'So original' but he was way too into his terrible singing to even notice. His version turned into a mild hip hop beat for a moment there so Cecilia found herself somewhat amused as she tried on a pairs of brown leather boots. Jimmy finished his performance and actually dared to bow to Cecilia.
Needless to say, he did not get a standing ovation. Nor even a clap from Cecilia. Instead, she half smiled the closed mouth smile she did anytime she met her aunts and uncles every few years, and said "Yeah, thank you. Nice to meet you too."
Jimmy was the fearless type. He was a New Yorker, you see. He grew up with loads of people and have seen all the kinds of guards that people use to protect themselves and to push people away. So he wasn't at all fazed by Cecilia's unenthusiastic response to his Tony deserving showdown. 'She'll warm up to me' He thought to himself and boldly asked Cecilia out:
"I know this awesome steakhouse, on seventh. I know the owner so we can get two for the price of one. You hungry? I mean, you gotta eat, you look to me like you're barely a hundred pounds!"
Cecilia wasn't sure what to response to first:
'This handsome guy may know his way around shoes, but his singing skills are sub-par. He works at a shoe store so a wealthy man he's likely not, and his excitement over two-for-one steak makes that assumption even more likely. And he may have just criticized the way I look with that non-compliment about my weight.'
But while she was figuring all that out in her head, Jimmy has already taken his jacket and was headed to the door. "Don't worry, you can buy the shoes after." He was a New Yorker all right - Always on the GO.
Cecilia felt a punch of hesitation in her guts - After all, she may have been new to New York and all its eccentric types, but she had her share of men that wouldn't take NO as an answer and she knew red flags when she saw them.
Nonetheless, for some odd reason that day, Cecilia found herself walking out the door with a stranger.
To be continued...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman