“I’ve never been a girl’s girl,” she said one day, as if to explain something about herself. He had no idea what would have prompted her to say this. “High school… even college…just never been one to take crap you know? And girls feed you a lot of crap. My mother always said to be existential,” he looked at her blankly. “She was a child of the 60’s,” Aviva explained. He wondered what the hell she was talking about. “I looked it up once, ‘cause who actually knows what existential means, you know? It means your own idiosyncrasies determine who you actually are, that we’re responsible for the authenticity of our own choices.” Jarod wondered for a week whether or not that was what existentialism really meant, but he never looked it up in his collector’s edition Webster’s English Dictionary.
He followed her movies, museum openings, and art auctions, but she never seemed to buy anything. When Jarod asked her what she did, she told him she was a highly-intelligent underachiever with debt. He didn’t press the matter. He found himself completely intoxicated by her, but searched his brain for what exactly it was about her that made him like her. If he was honest with himself, he would have admitted to himself that most of the things about her drove him nuts. She would leave dishes by the door in his bedroom because she didn’t want to get up and walk to the kitchen. She would lean up against his floor to ceiling windows and stare down at 34th street 19 floors below leaving smudges and fingerprints all over the glass. He would find half empty water bottles all across the apartment. He had fallen in love with her the day she proclaimed she was going green, and it never occurred to him that wasting all that plastic was probably not on Al Gore’s top 10 things you can do to help the environment, but then again, going green wasn’t conducive to Jarod’s lifestyle either.
Despite his frustration with her, small moments between the two of them kept him hanging on. They were in a cab one night leaving a show and her head, lazy with too many martinis, fell upon his shoulder. When he put his hand on her thigh and she actually moved into his body, Jarod felt like shouting from the rooftops. He didn’t know it then, but she had fallen asleep against his arm.