"I'd be a Brit," you said. "But I was born a Valley girl. The next best is to marry a Brit."
The corkboard behind your desk was covered with postcards and photos: Big Ben, the guards at Buckingham Palace, Mick Jagger, the Union Jack.
In the office kitchen, instead of coffee, you poured tea.
Your skin was very pale, your eyes very blue. You wore your long black hair pulled up in the manner of an E.M. Forster heroine. To keep from being overly girly, though, you wore tattered jeans, black leather jackets and square toed motorcycle boots.
Every day for lunch, you ate a boiled chicken breast and a tiny portion of steamed spinach.
"Got to save some calories for alcohol," you claimed. "Don't want my face to blow up."
You seemed impossibly tiny to me. Like a doll with your big hair and big eyes. Enchanting, but fragile.
The license plate on your black BMW read "MS PHIT." I always assumed that it was meant to be read as "Miss Fit," because you seemed always to be having little fits. You were an excellent pouter. You could get really, really angry about almost nothing at all. But your anger blew over quickly and you were never angry with me.
Not even when you corrected me about the license plate.
"It's MISFIT," you said.
You were the assistant to a producer. And I was working for a lawyer. Your job was much more glamorous, but my boss was nicer and I had less to do.
Once, we went out to a pub in Hollywood called The Cat and the Fiddle on a search for Englishmen. We sat on barstools for about an hour while I drank a pint and you nursed a cosmopolitan. At some point, you waved your hands over your glass and asked the universe to send you a Brit.
Not five minute later, two English guys sat next to us and bought our next round of drinks. This wasn't so unusual given the fact that we were in a bar filled with English ex-pats, but I was still impressed by your powers.
We spent the rest of the night with these guys and though I can't remember their names, I remember that we paired up according to size with me taking the taller of the two. He claimed to have played drums with some band and the shorter one had a deal going with a production company.
They were housesitting for a friend in the hills and at some point, we followed them in your car up a winding road to a huge house. The place was nearly empty of furniture and our footsteps echoed inside, but outdoors, on the patio we could see the lights of Hollywood and we sat in deck chairs, sharing the last of your cigarettes.
It must have been nearly dawn when we left. My guy walked me out and as he leaned in to kiss me goodnight, I looked over his shoulder and saw a child's seat in the back of his shabby little car. I kissed him anyway because we'd had some good laughs.
"He was a drummer, your guy," you said on the drive down the hill. "A musician."
"I guess," I said.
"Are you going to see him again?"
"Doubtful," I said. "You gonna see yours?"
"Doubtful," you said. "Not the one."
We laughed then. You could always conjure up another.
Hope you found the one.