The first time I met the woman with the little white hat, she wasn’t wearing it.
When my eyes open I find myself standing on the sidewalk. The sidewalk goes on forever, just as the corresponding buildings connecting to them. It looks like New York or San Francisco at nighttime, just with fewer lights illuminating in the foreground.
I begin to focus again. Next to me a tiny woman, only about five feet tall and the skinniest thing I’ve ever seen, approaches and wraps her arms around me like she knows me. It feels like I know her, too, though I’m certain I haven’t seen her before. Her hair is so blonde that it looks almost white, and her voice is soft but dangerously sweet. She doesn’t say much, and I don’t remember anything she said.
When she turns to leave I make my way to enter through the door of the building I’m standing outside of. But, suddenly, I feel a jolt, followed by laughter. She pushed me.
She then tries to reach for the same door, and I playfully push her back. And I start laughing. Then I reach for the door again, head inside.
* * * * *
The second time I met the woman with the little white hat, she wore the damn thing.
It’s a pillbox hat, something Jackie Kennedy would have worn. Along with it, a matching white peacoat, and her lips were painted a fiery red. A more thorough investigation would have revealed a pearl necklace, and other such elegancies. I presume it’s cold outside, but I can’t feel it. I just see how everyone else is dressed.
Like the last time, when I reach for the front door, she pushes me. Then she reaches for the front door, and I push her back. And again we laugh.
When I reach for the door a second time, I brace to get pushed again. So instead, I just grab hold of her, and there’s a light struggle, followed by laughter. She puts her hands in my hair and dishevels it. Then I open the door and the two of us crash in like some unruly teenagers who just lost track of the world.
Inside the door was a restaurant. The restaurant looked like this:
Upon entering was a podium-type front desk, likely where one stands or checks in before being seated. Behind the podium-type front desk was a mirror, and there I saw myself, wearing a black suit with a white shirt and red tie. I don’t own any red ties, I thought to myself. Next to me was the woman in the little hat, with the white peacoat and red lipstick. We were still laughing and play-fighting for some reason. I watched in the mirror.
Then I felt another jolt, started moving again. Past the front desk with the mirror was a wide open space, filled to capacity with people. The tables were large and circular, and a white tablecloth draped over them. All the men wore black suits and the women wore all types of colors.
The woman in the little hat and I were still laughing, then stopped just as our progress through the restaurant had stopped. Everyone sitting at the tables went silent, began directing their attention to us. It felt like they were expecting us, or me.