Archive for memories

Those Were the Days

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by 1writegirl

Those were the days, though I didn’t know it then of course, the happiest days of my life; the kind that fall in our memories between hard and harder like a single mismatched white lace curtain hanging in a row of heavy black drapes; the kind that signal endings and beginnings, that serve as a reprieve from the shit and fortify us for more. They began that summer when her son was out of town, visiting his father in Atlanta, and for the first time we were completely alone together for an extended period of time. We talked about taking a road trip but we were broke, we were so fucking broke we were on food stamps and I took every extra shift I could get driving cab so that for days on end my biological clock was frozen in a.m. when it should have been in p.m., and vice versa. So broke that we continued to live in the tiny one-bedroom cottage she’d rented before we got together, not daring to move into something bigger for fear we wouldn’t be able to come up with the rent each month. So we hung out in our cramped pad when I wasn’t working and watched movies on the cramped little loveseat and took walks and engaged in philosophical debates. We made up crazy, funny stories about strangers we saw on the streets and smoked weed out in the open, rather than in the bathroom like we had to do when her son was there. I pranced around the place naked after my shower, reveling in our aloneness, in the familiar freedoms that come from so many years of aloneness where you can do what you want when you want and how you want because you have no one else to think about – sacrificed to be with her and now fleetingly re-acquired with her and even more blissful in the intimacy of her company.

One night I couldn’t sleep for thinking how it would soon be over, how her son would return and we’d all be on top of each other again and how, even though he was a good kid overall, he was a kid nonetheless, and I had for my entire adult life avoided kids. I had nothing against them, I just had nothing for them either. Yet all of a sudden I had one, by proxy anyway, and it was hard, Jesus it was hard, to adjust.

I remember that night because it was so hot and we were awake later than usual, tossing and turning. Then quietly, almost stealthily, she sat up next to me, then straddled me with her legs and laced her fingers into mine. She leaned down and kissed me, tenderly and slowly, and I could hear her breath even before I felt it as if she were taking in as much of me as her senses would allow. She glided down my chest, barely grazing my bare skin with her lips, then sat up and tossed back her head. Her hair was long in those days, almost to her waist, and in the pale moonlight it glowed like scattered cornsilk as her head fell forward onto my belly. I closed my eyes and felt it, just felt it, that soft, sensuous pile of tresses traveling from side to side with the movement of her dance. She wrapped it around and around me, then as it slipped away I felt her mouth in its place and my pulse quickened in anticipation. I knew what was coming next and yet I remember feeling as if I were about to experience something brand new, something exotic and unforeseen. I remember thinking, right after I exploded and we were both completely still, that even though I didn’t believe in love, that I knew it to be a lie, I was living it, for the first and only time in my life.

She lay beside me on the pillow and I kissed her, then she wrapped her arms around me and pulled my head into the hollow of her neck. “Sometimes you feel exceedingly precious to me,” she whispered. “That’s bad, isn’t it?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you should be exceedingly precious to me all the time,” she said. “Not just sometimes.” She sounded so sincere and contrite, and so very, very young.

I laughed softly. “That’s the way life is,” I said. “We get busy, and distracted. Other things compete for our energy.”

“There are so many things I want to do with you,” she whispered. As I tipped my head back, a drop of warm liquid slid down my forehead into my eyes. I put my hand to her face and her cheeks were wet with tears. “Why are you crying?” I asked, unfurling myself from her embrace and propping up on one elbow to look at her.

Her gaze, glowing and intense, dropped. “I’m afraid we won’t get to do them.”

I wished then, as I do now, that I had met her when I was in my thirties, my twenties even, that we’d have had that many more years together. Then I wonder if we really would have had more joy in that extra time, or if it would simply have been more time. I would have died for her then and I would die for her now, but it’s the difference between desperation and resignation, and I’m not altogether sure I could have borne it if the transition had come any earlier than it did. The former lasted a long time as it were, far longer than I would have predicted, in and out of houses and jobs and the comings and goings of her son. Out of fears and into memories. Would more time, hence more memories, have made the accumulation of Age’s vestments easier to bear? When she looks at me now she doesn’t know me, except for the rare “good days,” and her doctors don’t expect that to change for the better. In her mind she’s young again, she’s a carefree girl with nothing more serious on her plate than what to wear to school today and who she’ll sit with at lunchtime. Some days I’m her brother, some days I’m a neighbor or a boy in her class. I play along for the most part. Last week I was the king of a small principality in the Middle East. But I cherish the “good days” when they come along, knowing the end of them will mean the end of me as I know myself to be, so inextricably am I tied into her, and not being quite ready for that. I treasure the moments when she remembers as I do; when the white lace curtain flutters behind her eyes; when those days are these days too, and we are lucky enough to know it.

Shedding

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by 1writegirl

Walking
For hours
Shedding
Along the way

Old memories
Old pains
Old lies

Like diamonds
Once valued
Now
Meaningless

In the context
Of today

Left behind
On the ground

Faded sentiment
Useless trappings

Withered leaves
To scatter
In the wind

Leaving room
For
Truth

Leaving room
For
Redemption

The opening
The changing

Of a soul

He Forgets Her

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2009 by 1writegirl

One more drink
He thinks

Then he’ll forget her

One more smoke
One more hit
Off the bong

One more tune
On his guitar
One more dinner
At Lucia’s

One more date
From the party
Next door

One more
Honest day’s work
One more check
In the bank
One more
Whispered prayer

One more night
Without her touch

Then one day
He’s so tired

Too tired

To do anything
But admit

That nothing he can
Do
Nothing in this world

Will allow him
To forget her

That night he has
One more drink
One more smoke
One more hit
Off the bong

Then he puts
A Ruger
To his temple
And at last

He forgets her

My ’59 Ford Pickup

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by 1writegirl

I’ve had cars that are
Fast and shiny
Spotless and flashy
With hi-tech devices

Cars that are sporty
With removeable tops
Leather interiors and
Turbo engines

0 to 60 in 3.9

Cars that are trusty
Dependable
Plain inside and out
That start up every time
No matter how hot or cold

But I gave them away
One by one
None of them had what it took
To fill my particular heart
With what it wanted to hold

Then I found it one day
When I wasn’t shopping
It caught my eye
And I never looked back

A 59 Ford pickup

It had a few dents
Rust in places
It had seen a lot of miles
It was black, my favorite color
With a rip in the driver’s seat

It only started
Every tenth time
I got in and turned the key

So I parked it in the shade
Of a weeping willow
And talked to it more
Than I drove it

I gave it baths
Kept it gassed up
Waxed it now and then
So that it would be ready
When it got ready
To take me for a ride

And on those days
When it started up
I’d roll the windows down
Crank up the music
Throw my head back
And drive till the tank was empty

I’d come home late
And go to bed
Tired but happy from my joyride
Remembering the sound
Of its purring engine
The feel of my hands on the wheel

I was crazy for that pickup
I never wanted another

I kept that truck as long as I could
As long as time allowed
Until one day it started no more
Its way of saying goodbye

It thought I should get a Ferrari

But I’d had enough driving
So I turned in my license
There’s too much risk involved
Too much potential for head-on collision
I figured I’d rather walk

But sometimes late at night
When my heart aches
And I just can’t sleep

I walk out into the yard
Over to the weeping willow

And lay my head upon the windshield
Trail my hand over the hood
Drape my body across the tailgate
And listen to the sound of a song

That I only ever heard

While driving with the radio off
In my 59 Ford pickup

Fainting Memories

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2009 by 1writegirl

El Toro Memorial Park
Bears no resemblance whatsoever
To a bull

Even in aeriel view

It isn’t a park
Though it has lots of grass
You can’t
Jog
Picnic
Walk your dog
Or even throw a Frisbee

Nor does it provide any memories
Merely remains
Which you can visit from
Time to time
If you choose

Bring your own memories

I went there to say goodbye
To my friend
Though I’d said it already
Since August first
Again and yet again

This time in the presence
Of others
In a court with
God presiding

I whispered and laid a rose
Into the vault of her ashes
Blinking hard to keep the tears
Behind my Jackie-O shades

Wobbling on my heels
Sure I would topple over
Faint from summer heat
Empty stomach, aching heart
And the ritual rhetoric
Entrenched in these affairs

And if I did, I told myself
I’d just lay there
Beside my friend
Flat on my back
No need to get up
No reason to rush away

Let everyone else
Trickle off
And leave us together
Alone

One final
Moment between us

But I didn’t faint
Nor say goodbye
It seemed a
Superfluous gesture

For she’s been to see me
More than once
Since she quietly slipped away
And I know she’ll visit again

Roaming the skies of my slumber

Feeding fainting memories
Of a life too soon withdrawn

To tell me
One more story
To ask me for a joke

To give me her leftover hope
Of no use to her
Anymore

To say
Now chin, chin,
Then grin

Letting me know
It’s okay

The Spin Cycle

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2009 by 1writegirl

She sits at the only table
In the laundromat

Bright orange lipstick
In crooked smears
Blurring the lines
Between

Then and now

Dressed in feathery cotton skirt
And starched linen blouse
She crosses veined gnarled hands
And waits for him to greet her

Thirty years her junior
He sits down opposite
Tilts his head to one side
And says, every time

Lois, is it?

Which is all the
Invitation she needs

It is always the same
Life story revealed
The streets of Detroit
In the 1930’s

Where self-respecting
WASP young of
High brow America
Played games in the streets

At dusk

And joked about the
Dirty irish

Or

The nasty spics
The stupid pollacks
The lying niggers
The thieving jews

Pick one or choose
Your own
The only variable in her
Otherwise

Word-for-word memoir

Recited each time
With the passion of conviction

Sticking like honey
On the silver tongue
Of a golden girl

And the message
If ever there was one

Lost in the whir of
The spin cycle

After one too many rinses

After I Am Gone

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by 1writegirl

In the space between our lips
In the time it takes to kiss me
Will you miss me
After I am gone

In the faint indentation
Left behind on your pillow
Will you bury your face
Will you breathe ever deep

The lingering essence of me

Will you trace the shape of my body
In the hollow crook of your arm
Will you remember how it felt to hold me there

In the rustling reedy wind
Will you hear my voice calling
My laugh an old tune that echoes in your head

Long after you have laughed it away

And on balmy summer breezes
Will you sense my caress
Will my warmth stay with you
Long past the chill of midnight

Will you miss my faith
Will you miss my hope
Will you miss my loathing
Of life with out you

Will you miss the way I look at you
and sigh the sigh of the gifted
To realize the bounty your breath bestows
To a heart so jaded yet daring by bewilder
Convicted of crimes it would not commit

In the end
When I’m gone
When all that remains
Is whatever you choose to remember

Will you miss me long enough
To wish I’d come back
Will you try and find me
Will you love me enough

Will you cry
When you realize

I am gone