HANDLE WITH CARE
dealing with miss november is a moving experience
Picture this. You've survived the Everyman ordeal of moving -- that is to say, you've survived but one of your most precious heirlooms, alas, has not. Let's say the movers have inadvertently damaged the framed photograph of you with your arms around Winona Ryder and Mickey Rourke to such an extent that it's just you with your arm around Mickey. At the moving and storage company's complaint department, expecting to go toe-to-toe with someone named Boom Boom who wears a kidney belt, you are instead staggered by the apparition of Miss November: a French-Irish siren named Julianna Young. She has in her voice the vulnerable rasp of Superman's movie girlfriend and the eye-opening figure of Wonder Woman on her very best day. There must be a mistake. Is this a temp dispatched by Botticelli?
"I've worked the same job in customer complaints for seven years," Julianna peacefully explains, "and I constantly deal with people who are unhappy. My job goal is to ensure that they leave happy. I enjoy that. And usually, they're quite satisfied."
You soon realize that you are no longer the injured party of goods and services run amok but someone who will never quite view the inalienable right to gripe in the same light again. You want to thank her for using joy to communicate the way most people use a telephone, for helping you forget, for the moment, your petty recriminations over material objects. Do you write her a sonnet?
"You won't find the key to my heart with a pad and a pencil," Julianna admonishes with a smile. All right, then, do you offer her a dance, since by now your feet are a few inches off the ground, anyway?
"You have to have some very, very long arms to get them around me," she teases, her eyes drifting down her body.
"When I was in Catholic school, the girls had to wear a one-piece jumpsuit. My breasts were so large, I couldn't wear it. In physical-education class, I had to wear a boy's uniform, which was a T-shirt and little shorts. When we had to do jumping jacks, the whole gym would come to a standstill because everyone was watching my breasts go up and down. But my large breasts are actually a blessing. They'll get me through the door, and my brains can keep me there."
As a last resort, you do what all men are genetically encoded to do: You purchase a box of chocolates for Julianna. Jackpot.
"People have told us for the past ten years that women eat sweets because it makes them feel loved. Well, when I feel like I want to make love, or I want to have someone make love to me and I can't, or the opportunity can't happen, I'll eat sweets. I'm afraid if that gets out, though, the first time someone sees me eating ice cream he'll walk up to me and say, 'I'll give you what you want.'"
Sometimes that's the price you have to pay for a moving experience.
-- Michael Angeli
Photography by Stephen Wayda, Arny Freytag