Monday, August 27, 2012

Seeing Things


Once upon a time there was a me that was fairly popular and outgoing (so essentially I am letting you know that this is a fiction piece) and I had a bunch of friends. Two of these friends were a couple that were older than me maybe by about five and seven years, and at the time of our friendship I was friends equally with both the husband and wife. Let's call them Saul and Jane.

Jane was incredibly thin and well made, dark blue eyes, long straight blonde hair, not too thin, not too thick and long bony fingers that with all honesty freaked me out more than a little bit. She was always tired and although quick and fairly intelligent she whined a bit too much about aforementioned fatigue and was a tad bit more bossy than circumstances required, i.e. she sometimes was a bitch.

Saul was just as thin and the kind of thin that warrants he must always be wearing skinny jeans instead of baggy and again warrants that his face is always in a mask of thoughtful contemplation and usually boredom despite whatever the situation around him entailed. As a contrast to Jane's lightness he had very dark hair and very dark eyes and brought his fingers to his mouth when deep in thought like he was smoking even when he was not.

Better than acquaintances, but not quite friendly, I spent time with them on and off and we either in a group discussed common literary themes or television themes etc, with Saul being much better read than Jane but not entirely as well read as I was. I like to think we had a good friendship, the three of us for as thin and serious as the two of them were I was round and flighty and it was an interesting mix.

I grew up walking around our small town because my dad believed it was much, much better to walk when we could instead of drive and because of this I knew the back alleys and shortcuts from here to there and there and back. It was on one of these days that I was cutting behind a retail shop's loading area and into a small alley that couldn't equip cars any longer because the stones of the old curbs were falling apart and suddenly I came upon a couple in a very involved, very passionate embrace. I recognized Saul immediately even from behind and stopped dead in my tracks, silently stepping backwards to the doors of the dock, hiding in the shadows. I crouched down and through the cracks of the metal I could see that he was holding his partner's hair roughly in his fists and kissing her passionately and it was with this that I noticed the woman was not Jane and her hair was dark, the same color as Saul's, and thick, curly. The softness and the yet aggressive force Saul was grasping this small woman with almost made me run away in sheer embarrassment, I was ashamed at espying this moment but also incredibly intrigued and aroused. He had her practically pinned up against the ancient brick wall of a condemned apartment building and although they were fully clothed they were writing against each other in forceful passion.

I got up from my crouch half way and moved further into the shadows so I could sneak away without being noticed when a man burst from the retailer's back door, opening it with a loud crack, bam. He was carrying a large piece of furniture and didn't see me where I was hiding. I backtracked from where I had come from in the first place and although it took everything I could not to look back to see if the couple was happened upon by the man or if they had abandoned their embrace in time.

Oddly I felt hurt and ashamed as I went to my destination by another route. I realized with an extreme reddening of my face that I was jealous.  

I never fully realized and still don't to this day whether I was jealous of the woman, Saul's partner in desire or Saul himself, wrapped up in an intensity, the rush of excitement and danger spinning in the pit of his gut. Being unfaithful is sad and unfortunate but the intensity with which he and this woman embraced each other was not a one time thing, not a passing fancy. Or was it? Maybe I was just too naive to know the difference, maybe I still am.

When I reached the library, my intended destination, I sat with wondering for a while, caressing my lips without care and silently wishing to myself that I smoked, like Saul. What an impactful happening! My skull was buzzing and my dark hair was blowing into my face, thick, dark curls lying on my forehead, falling into my eyes.

I finally gathered myself out of this daze long enough to enter the library, search out the books I wanted and turn around just absentmindedly enough to run straight into Saul's thin chest with a clumsy oof. He looked down at me with a smirk forming over his generous mouth and eyebrows burrowed at me.

"Hi, you getting anything interesting today? I didn't know you would be here." He seemed perplexed by her and alone with him in the stacks she felt warm, lazy. Like she could very well lay her head on his chest and rest for a while.

"No, no, of course you wouldn't. I haven't seen you since the party at Jim and Amy's. Duh." Oh, I was such a dork. Duh? Really? I stammered, stepped back, curious at why he would want to keep such a closeness between us, why his hands were lingering on the soft space above my elbows, his fingers gently pulling him towards him in an odd magnetic way.

"Well, see you later!" And with that abrupt exclamation I turned and ran to the front desk to check out. Saul didn't follow me and I couldn't help but think, turning the feel of his fingers on me, the closeness of him to me in the stacks, why would he be so close to me? Why the smirk? Did I have something weird on my face? Was he a sex addict or on some kind of drugs?

Leaving the library, walking home, messing around in the kitchen, going into the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror, tracing the lines of my face with one finger, feeling lips on mine at first gentle and then roughly parting mine like-

And then I was brought about to reality by a buzzing in my pocket.

My message icon was lit up with 15 new messages, the most recent one being: "why were you following me? i love u it hurts to see u like that. what is wrong?". The first one being: "i have a few minutes today. i love u, meet me. i love u"

All from Saul.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

For Mindi

I've never been all that great at having friends. I'm insecure, clingy, aloof, selfish and all together obviously confused and confusing.

There is one shining anomaly of this inability of mine and her name is Mindi Lynn.

I should remember how I met her but I do not. It was a very, very long time ago and she had crimped and kind of long dirty blond hair and was often swathed in tie-dyed Grateful Dead t-shirts and jean shorts that were frayed above her knobby knees and thin calves.

I do know we became friends easily and over time through many over fraught teenage trials and tribulations and later over my many pregnancies and her many moves far away from me, back again and then far away again we have remained close despite our few and far between text messages and missed encounters during home visits.

Sometimes I find myself pining for the days when we were bored and had nothing to do but think of ways to get into some kind of mischief, of telling the same stories to each other and gossiping, of me lying my round dark head on her bony shoulder and whining about some boy I was oh so very much in love with.

I find myself missing the time before we had our own cars and our parents bussed us to each others' houses and around various parts of our home city, miss the innocence of cuddling when it was good enough for us two girls to be alone and comfy without the want of a male counterpart.

I enjoyed the wildness of her, how much she loved animals and how careful and kind she was to them. Although I always shrugged her interest off because I did not share her love of animals whatsoever, I was always jealous of her easy way with them, the way her eyes lit up and glowed when she was dealing with them. She was so much more comfortable in the woods than I was and I would follow her on long walks with slight trepidation, spurned on by her obvious wilderness knowledge.

I also was jealous that she was essentially an only child being that her brother was grown and out of the house before we became friends. I wished with every bit of me I could have my parents all to myself like she did and was silently angry at her when she complained about them.

Last week when I was on vacation something hugely tragic happened to her and she being the awesome and unselfish person I have never been able to be didn't want to bother me while I was away and thus I found out about her tribulations today. When I spoke to her and heard the pain and misery in her voice it took all of my adult-ness and all the reminders of my children, my home and my work not to pick up and drive to where she is, many hours away from me.

I have a real friend out there and she is in pain and there she was consoling me, of course she was.

I wanted to take a little sliver out of the internets to thank her for being the amazing and wonderful person I have loved most of my life on this earth and will continue to love until my dying breath. To thank her for being strong for her mother during the tragedy that has befallen their family and to further thank her for being the wonderful and excellent daughter she will be into the future. I want to thank her for impacting me in many ways, for sharing part of my childhood with me and for being my shining star in the distance through my many ups and downs as an adult.

I also want to thank her for the memories that we shared and the memories we will make as time goes on.

I love you Mindi, I always will.

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
-A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh