this livejournal is for all intensive purposes, dead.
but i kind of want to post this to see if anyone will read it.
i've kind worked on it a bit,
and it's not nearly done, but here it is any way, the first couple of pages.
i’m asking nicely as we sit by the curb.
we toss the rounded, flat, bumpy rocks into our little river next to the tracks no train would dare touch in nearly thirty years. we collected the spikes and made up stories of the men who welded them. they were strong men with generous women and bold children. they were criminals who longed to forget the past. they weren’t men at all, but young boys trying to grow up too fast with those stinging blue gray green eyes. we made each man our own. each story was real. each lover and son, brother and father. we were sure they existed somewhere. and we wanted them to exist with us. in our own railroad river dimension. where we were, we didn’t believe in volcanoes and mountains. we didn’t see any water lasting forever, and the dull roar of tracks and metal was our lullaby. we liked our separation from older, smarter and more dangerous people. we had one another. even as you grew taller and lankier, as my hips grew wider and my body fuller, we didn’t need anything else. people who weren’t like us called us dull, without passion or comprehension. ignorant. we pretended to not know what they were saying, we pretended to be all the things they claimed we were. but we knew better. we saw it all. we kept growing and i figured we’d be like this forever. you and me. me and you. never just you and never just me. i didn’t think i needed you. but i’d never had to stand on my own. it was after graduation, i started writing down every story we’d made up. on napkins in the diner, in notebooks from math class two years ago. you painted on your walls once covered with the blue sailboats and posters from beautiful musicians. you painted the lovers and i finally imagined they were us. the way the woman’s eyes were green, her breasts expressive and beautiful. the way the man held her, i finally imagined we were that way. i was always pretending you weren’t beautiful, that i didn’t see you that way, we were best friends. nonsexual love affair. we were nonsexual. but i wasn’t. i was slowly becoming a woman and writing. i wrote until i thought i would stop breathing. and i was becoming this way ages too late and we were growing awkwardly and i knew i had to leave. i was inside a tank and i had to leave. so on those crooked railroads tracks that was once a lullaby, i let it take me away.
i knew she was gone the moment we were out of high school. i didn’t know if she was ever even here. she was more beautiful than any girl i’d ever seen and she wasn’t going to be here forever. and i knew she was still a girl; i didn’t want to hurt her. our nonsexual relationships were feigned and i loved her with all of my heart the moment we met. & i knew she wasn’t going to love me that way for a long, long time. if ever, so when she left it hurt but it didn’t sting for long. every photograph i had taken of her was posted around my room with the portrait of the lovers i hoped we’d someday be. her eyes were this beautiful greenblue and someday i wanted to paint her and i wanted her to know it was her, for her, about her. it was always about her. it will always be for her.
i didn’t want love. it was never about love. it was about being okay. every false word i wrote was about finally being okay, finding the line of best fit. but i finally realized i could never become complacent- i had to find what i was looking for. and if it ended up being you, so be it. but i had to find it for myself. it couldn’t be the words i don’t think but come screaming of the boy becoming a man with the sandy brown blonde hair and blue gray eyes and the smile that finally melted every bone in my body. it had to be me, all of me, consciously telling myself. it’s him. it’s him. one more night; i put in that cd, the mixed one made for my graduation as i left. i drove away in my other graduation present- the beautiful convertible. i told my parents i had to go, i didn’t know where i was going, i wasn’t sure why. the city of angels? beautiful bliss in every step, false but beautiful. or east. in the place that reeked with the hidden artists and their art. the only lights were the twinkling street lamps and windows in too tall buildings. where was i going? in between being a woman, a child. was i going to look for myself? or escape from her, whoever she was.
she took off at sixty five miles per hour, losing herself in every breeze touching her, going through her hair. she didn’t say goodbye to anyone. she surely didn’t say goodbye to me. i photographed everything in sight, trying to see beauty left in the town i’d grown up in. i ended up seeing everything i’d only known with her. the tracks. the lake. the beauty was there, but what had always just been handed to me i now had to look for. the young man i had always seen in the mirror was no longer there. he was replaced by someone i’d never seen before. this man was weak and still a boy. i thought i was grown and now i saw i was much younger than the children swinging with their make believe friends. i only grew when she was there. she was gone and i was stagnant. i knew this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be, but i didn’t know how to change. losing someone you’re in love with isn’t the same as losing someone you loved. i loved my grandfather, but when he died a part of my heart wasn’t lost with him. now the only woman i’d ever loved was gone. i was gone. it was as though i was a shell and the real me, the passion i’d always known was with her, living the way a man of eighteen is supposed to live. instead, i was choosing to sink not swim and all the beauty i’d seen before was with her. wherever she was. i was determined to live. but i didn’t remember how.
i opted for something i knew. no cities, no bohemia. it was a kind of small midwestern town. it was a lot like where i’d come from, but different enough to the point i was satisfied. i drove down the street in a cherry yellow convertible that looked as though it would taste as sweet as sugared lemonade. the street was nice, in a small midwestern way where the general population obviously prefers being able to receive cable cleanly than having full grown trees. if you were to squint a bit and only half look at the green trees they were actually almost beautiful. i went inside a big white house with a ‘for rent’ sign stuck in the front yard to find the landlady, a character by any means, with fiery red hair that looked as though it came from a box. somehow, along with turquoise eye liner and cherry blossom rose lips, the hair looked strangely fitting. along with the, in any other situation annoying, wad of pink bubblicious, the forty something woman exuded a confidence i envied. her smile was genuine and her voice was kind. i gave her money and she gave me the tour. As we walked up the stairs that sounded less stable than they were she introduced herself.
“i’m charlotte. my husband died of lung cancer three years ago and i’ve been renting this apartment ever since.
the first night away was the hardest. i kept the window open, but nothing really felt familiar. i missed my room with my pink petal walls; i missed my mom with her lilac perfume resting on her neck. i missed him. and i couldn’t do that. i had to sever this pattern. i woke up and felt rested. and i didn’t feel anxious, i felt comfortable. i realized that my refrigerator was completely bare, strangely resembling my stomach. i sauntered down the stairs, and saw charlotte sitting over a typewriter. i smiled at her and said good morning. she must have noticed the way i was looking at the typewriter, because after her morning salutations she said,
she must have realized that wasn’t my only question though, because she went on. “i’ve been writing for years now. mostly just for fun, but in the last five years, i’ve actually gotten published! all of what i write are love stories tangled up in murder mysteries. quite the mind fluff, i say, but so much fun to write. and apparently to read!” she added that last bit with slight, albeit understandable, pride.
charlotte told me that there was a nice little bakery down the street, and i made it my first intention to visit it. it was quaint and smelled scrumptious. the cinnamon rolls topped with pecans, the cookies drizzled with chocolate, and the strange, yet entirely too appealing, breadsticks with garlic, pepper and cheese baked into them, were all on my plate. to top off this unconventional breakfast i had smoothie of fruits. nothing about it reminded me of home, and i loved that. i was at the counter to order a cup of coffee when i was bumped by someone. on a normal occasion i would hardly notice something like that, but i was bumped with such force i realized the person must not even seen that i was there. i looked around to see who it was to find a young man with dark hair and eyes. he smiled apologetically, and said,
“oh, geez, i’m sorry, i’m really clumsy, i just dropped my stuff and, i mean, i’m really sorry, i didn’t see you.” he was rambling. i was trying not to laugh, and forced my giggles into what i believed to be a half normal smile.
“really, it’s okay; you just startled me. that’s all. i’m
“of course, i’d be more than delighted to have company.”
i bought my coffee,
“you’re not from around here, are you?” i was honestly unsure of how exactly he knew that. remembering i had immediately thought he was from here, i stopped my wondering and answered.
“no, i’m just here for a break.” that sounded lame and i knew it, i had to make myself sound less amateur, “i’m here to write.” it wasn’t entirely untrue, i had intended on writing, and it sounded better. why did i care what sounded better?
“a writer? ah, come to the town of a famous little writer from the state to gain inspiration.” he seemed far more comfortable after the comment about writing. i actually hadn’t realized i was in the town of a famous poet, and felt incredibly silly. “it’s great that you’re a writer, you know. this town needs more people who are creative and open to the changes of society. not to say that there aren’t conservative writers, but you get the idea. it’s ironic that a town named after a poet could have such narrow minded views on so many issues.” he smiled in grimly, shook his head and took a mouthful of coffee. i could tell he had very definite views. i liked that. i liked people with strong political and social opinions. that was something home was lacking. the only opinions my home town had were those of good Christian value. meaning abortions, premarital sex, and homosexuality were strictly forbidden. although i was raised in a home like this, i’d formed my own personal opinions. being too frightened to voice them, i’d written them down. my opinions on different lifestyle choices, political and religious issues became elaborate stories i shared with only him. we told no one of our clandestine values. but we had one another.
and now i was sitting across from a perfect, lovely, and entirely too beautiful stranger. i didn’t know it then, but i knew exactly what i had to do.
“i’d like that very much,
he couldn’t stop himself from wondering where she was. but he’d stopped hurting. he packed away the photographs of her smile and eyes. he couldn’t look at them without the aching deep inside starting up again. he wanted her to be happy. he wasn’t angry for her leaving; he was just so incredibly lost. it was a feeling he’d never known before. but to grow, you’ve got to live, he told himself. so he packed away the photos hoping someday he’d see the girl in them again, knowing it may not happen. he was sitting in his aqua room where so many memories had occurred. the night before she was gone. the way she looked at the painting of the bodies. the way her lips curved and held so many secrets in a half smile. it was as though those lips were the doors to a world unexplored. he wanted to be the first to know all of her. to unlock the secrets of the way she was, why she was. he wanted to know how something so beautiful and pure and peaceful could exist. he wanted her to be the one to whisper these secrets in his ears.
he smiled thinking of the time they first met. the first word that had come into his head when she smiled was lilacs. she was as beautiful as a lilac. he called her his little lilac. their first meeting. she walked past him swishing the white skirt she was wearing. her lips looked like little cherry blossoms. god, he thought, we were so young. he had been determined to talk to her, and he did. he smiled and said hello. they’d not been separate for more than a day after that. he never told her how beautiful she was to him. when he complimented her, it was only in the general sense. but she knew he loved her, eventually, she knew.
he knew what he had to do. he knew she left because she needed to. now, he did too. he wasn’t going to try finding her. she didn’t want to be found. he didn’t know where he was going, but it had to be better than here. he knew that. he packed one bag, and took his car. he left a note for his parents, knowing they’d be worried, but not too worried. he decided to drive west. he loved summer, and he wanted warm wet air to melt around him. he wanted salt water to wash him inside and out. he wanted out of here, with the silhouette of her smile lingering around every corner. he took his old car turned up the music and belted out the lyrics that finally did not remind him of her. she loved most music, but not all. she didn’t like the upbeat “pop-punk-i don’t even know!” music. it was his. finally, something belonging to him.