By Sandra, Xanii@aol.com
"I want my ex and my son back. " And she said it, just like nothing ever made more sense than that combination to set the world straight, so to speak.
"But what about the new person you're with? " Like I was asking to really know, like it really made a difference at this point in time.
"I had to be honest with her... I'm still hung up about my ex."
And she turned her honey colored arm so that her pale palm faced skyward, to emphasize her matter of fact attitude.
"I'm sorry to hear that... how long has it been since you guys broke up?"
"Since December. " It was May.
"Yeah...and she won't even speak to me or let me see my son. I shouldn't be getting involved with that other woman; she wants a real date. I can't, you know. She says she wants to be friends; friends don't sleep together." That northern Nica accent closed out the last word, making it sound like togetha.
"They sure don't." I ached at the sound of her voice.
And she hit the steering wheel trying to break the situation in order for it to make sense. I understood. Like when I need to find the pieces, I break apart the whole and put it back together, finding the missing sections, easing my growing agony, or fueling my latent rage. But this isn't about me.
"There is this guy that has been like stalking me or something and he wants me to like call him but I won't and it's really scary that I can't even step out of my own house and be safe." And why I went to say that I'm not entirely sure. It made no sense- it's not what I wanted to say or illustrate. I wanted to tell her that I thought she was a cool person and I was really getting into her and if she remembered that night when it was raining and she came to pick me up and her jet black curly hair was wet and we were both cold and there was something about how her round rim glasses fit and how her wet clothes smelled and it all made me a little heady all at the same time and how if I never did anything else in my little chicken shit life I would tell her how I feel and that I really didn't want anything out of this just to let her know that I liked her a whole lot. And I couldn't make those words come out!!
So she looked at me through the rear view mirror and her latina eyebrow arched a bit and she looked away and asked, "So how was your vacation?"
"It was fine, I had such a good time."
And the silence was so thick I would have had to slice it with a hacksaw. Which I probably should have used to hurt myself with. I glanced out the open window at the cars we left behind.
"You know, this place isn't good for anyone. I'd like to move to Arizona maybe."
"This place isn't good for anyone. Everything is just so messed up."
"I think you need a hair cut." And I wanted to finger her curly loose afro of hair and feel the warmth of her scalp but I was in the back seat, claiming my distance instead. She ran her fingers through her hair and grinned an, " I know " at me.
"We used to be a family. And I'd play with my son and she would make us breakfast and I'd dress him and we'd make a day of it."
"Little kids have that effect."
She looked at me, this time with avid concern, I think... more longing than not. I couldn't do anything but look down. Sometimes I am sorry that I ever moved here. The same-ness, the familiarity breeds dependence and I'm dying from it. And into every eye that I look I find the same passion fire longing- for someone else. Which only makes me wonder when I will be looking into the eyes of someone directing that same passion towards me.
I think the worst part is, I can't save the world. I can't even save myself from all of this. And all I want to do is cringe and die whenever I see that look on someone else's face, remembering what was or what could have been and there I am, plain as day and it doesn't make a difference who I am or what I want, they are still back there with whom ever it was they left.
Which just makes me that much more determined to find this "right" person I'm supposed to be with and leave these games that people play behind. A warm gust of heat rose from the highway hazing the air in front of us. She slowed down.
"Must be rain."
I looked out the window, " I gotta get out of here."
"Don't worry, I'll get you home."
"Yeah, I know."
"Are you all right?"
"Fine, I'm just fine. " Her eyebrow arched again. I know she was thinking: Liar. But it didn't make any more difference or any more sense.
I guess I wasn't 'fine' but I didn't want to say any more so I just watched as the quick rain slathered down the windshield and down the window as I rolled it up.
I wanted to be out in the rain, letting it wash me down, so I could smell like the nature outside this car, outside myself. I sighed a deep sigh and closed my eyes.
Somehow, this ride felt like it would last forever.