From the very start, everything was different with her. Not a figment this time,not some projection of your inner fancy, but a real person, and she imposed her reality on you the moment the two of you began to talk, which was one moment after the single acquaintance you had in common introduced you to each other in the lobby of the 92nd Street Y following a poetry reading, and because she was neither coy nor elusive, because she looked you in the eye and asserted herself as a wholly grounded presence, there was no way for you to turn her into something she was not–no way to invent her, as you had done with other women in the past, since she had already invented herself. Beautiful, yes, without question sublimely beautiful, a lean six-foot blonde with long, magnificent legs and the tiny wrists of a four-year-old, the biggest little person you had ever seen, or perhaps the littlest big person, and yet you were not looking at some remote object of female splendor,you were engaged in talking to a living, breathing human subject. Subject, not object, and therefore no delusions permitted. No deceptions possible. Intelligence is the human quality that cannot be faked, and once your eyes had adjusted to the dazzle of her beauty, you understood that this was a brilliant woman, one of the best minds you had ever met.
Winter Journal, Paul Auster