There was this one time—we laid back the front seats of your battered Volvo, named after some obscure character from those books you loved before being part of the in-crowd became important. I loved that you kept its name, because I thought it meant you’d kept a little part of yourself. That part that had kicked the back of my chair in freshman English while our teacher expounded on colors and death, the part that had made me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in your silent kitchen, the part that had brushed its hand against mine as we walked in the hall.
Rain drops were forming on the windshield, domed and distorting, like pearls. I knew if I stayed I’d have to walk back home in the rain. I stayed anyway.
Your legs were so long they barely fit under the steering wheel; you folded them up like accordions, a knee leaning over the stick and encroaching into the passenger seat. I could feel the warmth of your leg against mine through the double layer of denim, but your knee, when I touched it through the hole in your jeans, was cool to the touch.
“So… tomorrow,” you said.
“I’m going to miss you.” Your hand fell next to mine, half-turned and inquisitive, and I ran my fingers obediently over your knuckles. Your hands were so much larger than mine. We would press them palm to palm and you’d fold yours at the second joint over the tops of mine, as if protecting them. The rain picked up, pounding on the metal overhead.
“I’ll miss you too.” Because I love you. Because I want you. Because when someone says him my mind flashes to your dark eyes seeking out mine.
I should have kissed you when you asked. I should have kissed you in the rain.
To illustrate how great both my band geek-ness and innocence were in high school, I offer you this tidbit:
For years, as the solo clarinetist, I was complimented on both my tonguing and fingering. I never got a single dirty thing out of it. Sometimes when someone says something about fingering, I wonder if they’re talking about a good crossfingering for the killer B.
you fell perfectly between the cracks of my milkweed dreams
and landed in a corner of my consciousness,
the corner where my smile goes to wile away the hours
between September and November. there you found
a treasure map littered with x-marks-the-spots.
the star charm that fell off my bracelet when I was five.
and my soul, which had gotten lost and decided,
like the good child it is, to sit in one place until someone came
and found it.
do you remember the way the stars fell
from my eyes and into your hands?
your fingers raked my skin like
the shadows from venetian blinds
in my childhood bathroom, where a friend’s brother
once told me he’d peeked through the keyhole
when I took off my swimsuit in the afternoon.
chlorine tasted sour for years after that day,
and I swam only when we went
to the secluded falls behind the campgrounds.
you said you’d take me camping and that
it would be just us and the stars, but
you stole them from my eyes.
Song #448: William Fitzsimmons - Heartless (Kanye West)
In the night I hear ´em talk
The coldest story ever told
Somewhere far along this road
He lost his soul
To a woman so heartless…
How could you be so heartless… oh
How could you be so heartless?
Sweet jeezus. Can I marry his voice? Is that possible?