This Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

Sarah Sarai

Once a coworker disappeared, on
vacation, I imagined, imagining

his folks, San Francisco, Chinatown,
the Mission District, hills. We’d

compared San Franciscos with mine
being the Haight and fuchsias in

Golden Gate Park where they bloom
like it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,

this plunging into life to be loved.
Later I wondered about moons

rocking his eyes and who’d dusted his
face with chalk, cut out a silhouette of

him, breathed half-life in it so he was
a shaky doily, a minor dimension of some-

one I once knew, inhaling and suffering.
One morning he pulled me aside to

advise I never check myself into Bellevue.
I was Assistant Web Producer, learning

HTML, how to code so if you wanted
a word bolded only the word was bolded,

not paragraph or page. We linked to
a webcam on Times Square. I was asked

to seed the forum. I created a flash-of-
a-girl in blue, and parents who hoped

they spotted “our Felicity” on
43rd Street. When my boss asked if 

I was Felicity or her folks I lied.
I wondered about the pajamaed at Bellevue.

“The world doesn’t make sense. Stay away.”
As for advice, generally I say, “Shut up,

already,” though a make-up artist friend
advised me on lip-liner, took me to Duane

Reade to buy a pencil matching a shade of
lipstick a graphic designer at Estee Lauder

gave me, a fuchsia, as from my west of
aching beauty. What a nice thing to do.