Suze Orman is ruining my life. Suze Orman has taken my trips to Urban Outfitters and tossed them in the garbage can to rot. Suze Orman would never approve of what I’m about to do. I hear her glottal-fry yet very direct voice swimming through my brain as I browse the laptop aisle. I start talking to Suze (myself) at the Apple store in Burbank, listing out several loud, vital reasons I need to buy a pricey, brand new Mac- book 13-inch laptop — knowing all along she’ll win and I’ll go home empty handed. I know I can’t afford it, Suze. I know I have credit card debt and loans. I know I could get a much cheaper laptop, but —
“Excuse me, are you a model?”
A smiling Indian man holding a plastic brown bag approaches me. His eyebrows are bushy and they raise up high when he speaks — like a cartoon character from the ‘80s.
“No. I’m here to buy a lap-top.” I respond almost defensively, bothered that this man with the plastic bag has interrupted my discussion with Suze.
“I’m sorry to bother you, but you’re very beautiful and I’m a photographer and I’d like to take pictures of you for my portfolio.” His eyes become bug eyed and an excitement overcomes his stare.
“See? Look at all these photos I’ve taken.”
The man clicks to his Facebook page. I’m shown scantily clothed women posing provocatively.
I roll my eyes and begin to gather my things to walk away.
“Wait! I can take you to coffee; let me walk you out.”
“I’m not interested. I’ll walk my self out, thank you. Have a nice day.”
Suze won this one.
I leave the mall after eying a leather jacket fitted on a mannequin in the perfectly cool window display at Urban Outfitters. Suze’s head has replaced the mannequin’s; it’s shaking “No” of course.
The red lights to my favorite book store twinkle across town and I’m instantly calmed as I pull into the lot. I love this place. I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of the Nobel Prize winning Love in the Time of Cholera and The Ruins since a director I know with impeccable taste suggested it.
I’m strolling around, admiring glossy covers and contemplating picking up some Kafka as well when —
I spot the Indian man from the Apple Store lurking behind a bookshelf in the Science Fiction section and staring at me.
My knees feel weak and the pit of my stomach drops. I find myself frozen — not sure what to do but run out the door and into my car and quick.
I make the light. The Indian man does not and I lose him.
Tonight I believe I had a guardian angel.
Alice can be reached at AliceActress@yahoo.com