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Mind tricks

During the “Art Walk” in Laguna Beach. Walking along a dark, crowded, noisy sidewalk.

“Do you have a cigarette?” Heard distinctly from an approaching blonde girl, when still twenty-odd feet away.

“No.” I answered, as the couple passed.

“What??” She turned after we passed. “What did you say??” She had a very odd expression, as she approached.

“I do not smoke.” She continued to stare. “You look surprised. Do I look like someone who smokes?”

“Yes.”

I smiled, turned and walked away.

Later, I could not quite place her expression. First, I thought she was surprised, but that did not fit. Puzzled is closer.

Perhaps she was asking the question of her companion, though she was looking directly at me, and she spoke clearly enough to be heard quite a distance away. That might account for the puzzlement.

On reflection, I heard her very clearly from a distance – I usually have trouble in noisy environments, even up close – and I do not recall seeing her lips move. Mind tricks. Dark sidewalk, many distractions … but why the expression?