As we crossed the street I focused my camera on the two coppers patrolling the event in a glorified golf cart. "Two cops" I said, hoping Linda wouldn't walk into the frame before I'd pulled the trigger. "Two chicks" she said in response, and I lowered the cam to see what she meant. It was two early twenties, monied girls, both in stylish outfits and both riding the new style of motorscooter. I thanked her and took the shot, getting the cops and chicks in the same frame, just so I could name it cops and chicks cuz I like the names almost as much as the pictures.
We'd finished crossing before the light changed and started down the next avenue of makeshift sidewalk sales booths when she slid in close behind me and said in her 'I'm sad cuz I wanna be' voice, "I've never been a chick, I went straight from girl to woman. How sad is that?"
I knew it only seemed to be a statement when in fact it was actually a test.
"You've been a chick" I said hesitantly, hoping I'd picked the right direction; "In fact you're a chick right now!"
"Nice try pal; look at me, I'm no chick!"
I'd forgotten to factor in the too long in the sun dizziness accompanied by slightly sweaty underarm uncomfortableness.
"Well ok sure then" I said feigning a mild case of ego crushing. "I think you're a chick today but I can understand why you might not see yourself as a chick at this very moment."
I was confusing myself and risking everything in the process; I too was hot and sweaty, hardly a match for womanly anti-logic. Any moment I could flub the final and spend the rest of the day squirming under the "look", that relentless glare women use to bore into a man's soul and remove his ethereal testicles. I had to think fast, her eyebrows were raising, a sure sign that no good was just around the bend.
"Wait a minute here!" That was clever, I'd needed more time and she has the decency to wait when I say wait because if she doesn't I lose my train of thought and then I start yelling and kicking stuff and she hates it when I do that so she figures 'what's a minute or two to save some short person a foot in the groin and then save me from having to lie about the fact that I'm married to this idiot.' I quickly flipped through every mental photograph I'd stored of my lovely wife, sorting through every season, every outfit, every haircut.
"Ya know when you always used to wear that denim shirt with the pearl buttons and the light denim twirly skirt?"
"And then you'd wear the lace up granny boots and your fringe jacket with a bandana tied around your neck and your salt and pepper hair in that kinda pixie cut (so help me God they all look like pixie cuts to me)?"
"Yea? And those dream catcher earrings you got me?"
"Yea, and the turquoise bracelet and your blue shades?"
"Yea ok, I remember."
"Then... you're a chick."
I waited, scanning for a nearby corn dog vendor in case I was wrong and I'd need to medicate myself while she cranked up the pout. My ears were ringing, my head was pounding time; I was holding my breath and could barely hear her next word.
"Really?" She said it in that 'you're so sweet I want to eat you' way rather than that 'liar, worm your way out of this one' way. "You think so?"
"I do" I said confidently. As I'd noted originally, she's always a chick to me so I could have honestly answered yes had I described her outfit as a trash bag full of fish scales atop fireman's boots.
"I'm a chick!" she said to no one, a face splitting grin working its way from one ear to the other.
I've still got it baby!