The cute little olive-skinned alt-girl sending me that "I'm lost, help me" stare from behind eyeliner winged all the way out to her hairline must've been a MENA baddie, such a perfume explosion all over the sections of the thrift store where she was browsing. No clue what it was, but loaded with amber, other intoxicating wonders, and a distinct base note of ovulation pheromones (yes, you can tell).
Why are they always so skinny, too? Such a heady, overpowering aroma exuding from the hardly-there-at-all body of a waif. It makes the experience all the more disorienting because she's not a vampy voluptuous sex bomb who you'd expect from the strength of the scent.
I guess it's one of the few ways they have to overwhelm your senses, when you otherwise might not even notice their presence. Like they're wearing a dynamite vest for self-defense, being too weak to throw punches, wield a knife, or pull a trigger. Just push a tiny little button, and BOOM.
Just a few delicate spritzie-spritzies from their perfume bottle, and BOOM.
* * *
The only other alt / goth girl I've known who always wore a comet of perfume trailing behind her was also an eastern Meddie -- my Turkish co-worker at the checkout desk of the library in college.
When we had to re-shelve books, I could always tell she had been on that floor before me, by the dizzying cloud of amber that wobbled my knees without warning.
Aside from being a cool chick who was easy to get along with, her overwhelming scent eventually made me lose self-control, and I broke down and wrote her a poem in a style I knew she'd like, that was apropos (the Oyster Boy book by Tim Burton). Something like "The Girl With Whirlpools For Eyes," about an alluring but eternally lovelorn girl whose hapless suitors never quite make it out of the infatuation and courtship stage alive -- I know! But I couldn't come to my senses after they'd been so thoroughly overloaded by her perfume.
Carefully hand-wrote it in a streamlined Medieval font, drew a Burtonesque illustration to accompany it, and even learned how say "for you" in her language -- "senin için" -- from another Turkish friend, for when I presented it to her. I'd never seen that demure little gothette smile so wide and bright before, bubbling over into carefree ecstasy as all her insecurities evaporated in an instant. "Desirability status: official. Awesome." She was a different person after that.
I asked out and hit on a lot of girls in college, but never her. She was just as cute, and definitely cooler than, the typical one I'd asked out -- but she was meant to play the role of mind-possessing muse. And I don't know how others are, but I never fall in love with any muse whose presence I wander into. Falling for someone is meant to further along processes that are sublunary -- dating, mating, pair-bonding, family-raising, and so on. Being possessed is meant to serve some higher purpose and not include yourself in the reward.
I recently got curious and googled what she's up to these days, and of all the metro areas in the world, she's found her way into mine, over 15 years after we graduated. And she's already raising at least one child, who she absolutely adores. She must have shed the goth get-up just after college, since the only "old" picture of her shows a smiling free spirit.
You never know when those bold moves that feel so cringe to outside parties are actually going to end up saving someone from themselves, from their miserablism. It will help them break out of their doom-and-gloom shell, and before long they're confident and comfortable out in the real world.
"I can save her," but only to ultimately set her free. I think that also means not getting in contact again -- we've already played the roles in each other's lives that we needed to. Trying to force a reunion, even just to "touch base," would be superfluous and threaten to ruin the completeness of our relationship.