Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lunch Date

Those bubbly white tree blossoms that stink "like ass" (as Desiree once remarked) have all blown away with the Amarillo wind. Once in a while as we sit on the patio for lunch, a gust will kick up some remaining petals and swirl them around until they land in our food or our hair. We'll swat them away, unconcerned until we realize we've bitten into one. They taste like ass, too. It is a quick way to lose your appetite.

The crossword is first business at this time of day. I have my copy, and Green Eyes has his. I start from the bottom of the list. He diligently works from the top. We meet somewhere in the middle and that's where we always start to peek at the other's answers. 

I nibble on my fries, and he hides a cigarette under the table. It's a non-smoking patio, but I don't mind. Somehow, I feel like his partner in crime just knowing about it. Rebels, we.

Usually we are accompanied by a couple of meat-heads and a milkman, but not today. This day it is only he and I and the breeze. 

I wonder what has he got for 24 across? He always knows the sports clues. I'm better with literature. Glancing across the table, I realize he's not really doing the crossword at all. He's concentrating on dividing polynomials with binomials. What's really shocking is he's getting the answers right.

It doesn't escape my notice that he's chosen variables that happen to be our first initials. I don't know why I reach for his hand, but as soon as I feel the warmth of his skin against mine, he turns my hand over and scribbles in my palm, "s+n=♥". It's  such a silly gesture, something that high school kids do, but it makes me smile. His eyes twinkle and the lines around his eyes crease in that way that makes him look so distinguished and handsome. I like his smile as much as his beautiful olive green eyes.

The wind kicks up. Flower petals and smoke eddy around us, and I wake with the undeniable feeling that this was the sexiest dream I've ever had.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Come See Me

My mother's call left me worried. "Come see me," she'd pleaded. "I miss you." I scribbled down the new address and checked the map. She was fourteen hours away.

Funny, how we do that- measure trips in hours instead of distance, as if we plan to drive straight through, dismissing the sights. 

That's how my father always did it. The shortest distance between two points, and all that nonsense. He was pissed with me when I was twelve years old. I'd pointed out to him that, factoring in the curvature of the earth and the fact that road builders rarely construct straight paths between cities, the shortest distance between two points might actually be an arc. 

He told me to shutthehellup and let him do the driving. 

Maybe that's why my mother divorced him. 

Or maybe not. She told me once that she was tired of playing Caroline to his Charles. I was astonished that she could ever say such a thing, but it rang true. My father had always pictured himself building a cabin, praising God and living off the land. 

My mom, on the other hand, was more of a Hot Lips Houlihand. I never saw her any other way.

She's been calling out to  me for several nights in a row. Sometimes she's still with my father. Sometimes it's my Poppy or James. Sometimes it's a new man altogether. Never mind that she passed away four and a half years ago. That issue never seems to come up when I see her in my dreams. 

I wonder what she's up to that she should need to call out to me so often. It doesn't matter. I can never reach her. There's always a flood or a fire or maybe the roads wear away into impassable rivers of mud and sludge. I get bogged down in the muck. No matter what vehicle I take, car, boat, bicycle, Radio Flyer, I can't seem to remember until I wake up that I know how to fly...