Are you ever going to talk to me or are you just going to keep coming over here thinking I don't notice you checking me out?
I remember bit and pieces. Her smell. Her annoying habit of always being right, even when she wasn't. Fragments of sentences and the way she fit perfectly in the cab of my truck when she laid her head in my lap, feet dangling out the passenger door.
We drove back from Santa Barbara after visiting her best friend, Eve, up in UCSB for the day.I don't remember much from that day except for the big, beautiful, Pacific Ocean and Billy Joel on the stereo.
... heart attack-ACK-ACK-ACK-ACK!!! at the top of her lungs, off key. I laughed 'til it hurt. It was one of those moments that seemed to slow down and speed up simultaneously; I savored every fragment of every second as they flew by at warp speed.
Even though we were adults now, her parents puritanical sensibilities prevented me from spending the night. She ran into the house and got a blanket and the bear her grandmother made. She crawled back into the truck, head in my lap, bare feet dangling out the window and wrapped herself in her blanket.
I'm your girl, she said, then she dozed off.
Are you ever going to talk to me... four years later she's finally my girl.
The blanket and the bear were actually for me for when she woke and headed back into the house. The bear was a comfy pillow and the blanket was barely more than a sheet. But this was California so it was more than enough. Best of all - it smelled like her. I didn't really need to sleep in my truck. I lived half an hour away in Pasadena. But I stayed awhile, watched her bathroom light come on, her silhouette as she got ready for bed. When I was sure she was asleep, I headed home.
Some years later I gave the bear to Eve's baby girl. Teddy bears need the right home, ya know. That daughter is almost grown up now and will be going to college soon.
It's not something that's just popping into my head lately like something unresolved. It's more that it's a story about a large part of who I became and how I got there that I've never felt comfortable putting down on paper. The story of my life is a bit of a John Hughes/Jon Green lovechild told in fragments that sometimes only make sense to me.