Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why won't you stay? , why won't you come?

one summer, just before school starts back up. i meet her while working at the Publix grocery store. she was this cute hippie girl with dreads, braids and plastic objects twisted and tied up into her hair.

I was running the front-end of the store. Ordering around bag-boys and calling on cashiers who'd rather block the shelving (moving things from back to front) then to actually be checking at the register.

A 16 year old voice cracking over the store loud-speaker. Mine. I called the girls only by their last names. like in the military. I figured to leave them with the good memories of who they once were. before the rush to lose their daddy's name, the inevitable marriages, babies and bills.
like a drill Sargent I call out the name- TRIPPER check please! or maybe it's BEAN to the front-code blue!. I wondered why the management let kids run the store? I don't know. But i was happy to do it.
The hippie girl with the gum-machine toys hanging from her hair. she drove a CUSTOM VAN. I thought it was more than rad. When I was little I wanted to grow up and drive one. In a way the Honda Element I drive around these days is probably my version of that dream come true.
Her van was a beast with a side cuteness. little heart-shaped bubble windows. Garfield the cat was air brushed on both sides and an angel tire cover on the back. The shaggy carpet and giant captain chair seats. double cassette deck, 5 speakers, and a disco ball. we could park it anywhere, anytime and fool around. She let me drive her too.

we talked about taking trips and camping and leaving our town, school, the job, this life-behind.
But I didn't often jump into things like that. I wait. I keep her waiting. I'm not as free. I'm about the job and money and things should be a certain way. they are supposed to be. dreaming is fun. but....
on the shagged cookie-monster colored carpeting we stared out of the moon roof. The south-florida night sky filled with stars and hope. In the back of the van on our backs, skin touching skin, she would say the strangest things. Out of nowhere- trippy and inspiring. The things we could do, the places we could see. She wanted it together.Me. I couldn't grasp the concept of it. together she kept saying.
I didn't see past the stars, past the moment. I just liked hearing her talk. Touching her skin. Her letting me. her saying it was okay for me to want it anyway I wanted it.
She was a cool girl. She had a Custom van for christ sake. the dreams in her head , they were so much like mine. But I waited to long. made her wait to long. the story of my life she met a guy who was willing to do more than talk about leaving, more than talk about camping around the United States. More about doing. Less about dreaming. They got married.
She sent me post-cards for several years. beautiful sunny, dusty, sandy, mountainy, post-cards from all over. her scrawling handwriting and trippy words. If you can't come, I'll show you. And she wasn't shoving it in my face, she just knew. Knew me. Knew I'd be happy for her. It could have been me. maybe. She told me once that I'd rather pretend to be somewhere then actually be there. I told her - I am here.
She pointed to my head and said.
No, you're here.

photos:4 _selfhaircuts 5-I still love you by _tefa_zozokovich

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