My Girl From Ipanema

My Girl From Ipanema

Lobby Cafe, Manila Peninsula
1979 -80?
A few days after the beach. . .

I was quietly nursing my beer while waiting for her to come out of the ladies room.
A few moments after, I see her approaching from the far end of the lobby.
Everything appeared to be moving in slow motion.
It was as if I was looking in from a photographer’s lens – hazy at the edges and focused only on her movements . . . a vignette.

I stare.

The tan from that weekend pronounced her cheekbones giving that natural blush to her cheeks.
Little or no make-up – probably just a tad around the eyes and a natural earth color for the lips.
Hair down resting on her shoulders . . . and as if on cue, she sways her head leaving wisps of hair on her face as she looks forward again.
Casually, she hand-combs her hair with one fluid upward motion.

I grin.


As she approaches, heads turn her way.
“. . . young and lovely,
the girl from Ipanema goes walking,
and when she passes,
each one she passes goes ahhhh . . “

I sing.


Oblivious of the magic she has transfixed on me,
she draws nearer as she walks . . .
. . . or rather, sways like the gentle waves of that Ipanema beach.
Is she the girl Jobim was thinking of when he wrote the song?

I wonder.


She catches me watching her.
I take another sip from my beer.
She replies with an impish pout . . . or was it a smile?
Who cares?

I melt.


I’m still lost in the magic as she takes her seat.
Pleasantly puzzled, she asks “what?”
I stare.
I grin.
I sing.
I wonder.
I melt.

I love.
. . . my girl from Ipanema


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