Jan 23, 2011

A girl came in the café and sat by herself at a table near the window. She was very pretty with a face as fresh as a newly minted coin if they minted coins in smooth flesh with rain-freshened skin, and her hair was black as a crow’s wing and cut sharply and diagonally across her cheek.

I looked at her and she disturbed me and made me very excited. I wished I could put her in the story, or anywhere but she had placed herself so she could watch the street and the entry and I knew she was waiting for someone. So I went on writing.

The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I ordered another Rum St James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil-sharpener with the shavings curling into a saucer under my drink.

I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.

—Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)

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