My desk is amongst a corner full of copy-editors. She sits with her back to me. Me, a writer on a MAC, and her, a copy-editor with a PC. She also owns a mighty purple pen she uses for all of her edits, signing "PN" neatly on her finished projects.
That's how we met, I suppose, although I don't exactly remember our first conversation. I'm going to assume it's because at some point I likely spun around in my chair and asked her something about hyphenation or lack thereof, such as in "webcast" and "Web site."
The woman has red hair. Not red hair as in "Oh dear, the Clarion box did not work out well for you," but red hair that shows the world this is what red hair is.
"I wear cashmere because it's a way I've decided to treat myself," she tells me one day, quietly, humbly, sweetly, wearing an impeccably soft pink sweater.
She tells me this as not to brag, but as to give me wisdom: every woman should learn how to treat herself with kindness, honor, grace, and passion. She instructs yoga and makes chocolate chip cookies six cookies at a time (so they're warm after dinner) and drinks decaffeinated lattes and blushes like a schoolgirl when she talks about the love of her life. She's one of the most remarkably feminine women I know.
I sit here for numerous hours a day, repairing passive sentence structures and staring at documents until my eyes fuzz up, waiting to hear her voice behind me to see if I want to walk down and get coffee or have lunch. Sometimes we pass sticky notes that say "You're fabulous" or "You remind me of a princess (in a good way)". And when someone brings a putrid smelling microwavable lunch into the area, we look over our shoulders and roll our eyes, then fall apart to giggles.
She sits behind me again today, just like any other day, headphones in her ears; steadily working to edit a catalog; purple pen in hand; and delicate, long earrings dangling against her neck. And I think it's wonderful to be able to think secret little thoughts behind her back about how much I adore her as a friend.