Madrid, Spain, August 1994
I'd been in Madrid for all of five minutes when I glanced up the sidewalk and saw her. She was some indeterminate Older Than Me, perhaps in her late twenties. Her dark hair was cut in a chin-length bob, and she wore a short white dress with black polka dots. She was tall; it was a long way from the ground to the hem of her dress and her legs demanded a certain attention.
She walked arm in arm with a much older gentleman. Their conversation was amiable and animated. I wondered what their relationship was--their physical closeness struck me as reflecting an intimacy not particularly familial, but I also recognized I was seeing a Spanish scene with American eyes.
They walked past and were gone.
She was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen.
I said to myself, I think I'm gonna like it here.