Friday, April 8, 2011
She waited for a very long and humiliating time, but the almost boyfriend never showed up. A creepy and annoying man did and made the girl uncomfortable first with innuendo then with crude remarks.
The girl spotted a barefoot boy with floppy hair and guitar sitting near the fountain and walked right up to him, hugged him and said
"there you are! Let's go."
The boy picked up the guitar and walked away from the busy plaza with the girl.
They walked around the city for a while, the girl bought the boy a big red apple, and herself a coffee, at the place across from Coffee Ritz, in the Galleria, next to the hair salon, since the barefoot thing made some cafes a challenge. They walked some more and later in the evening the very, short girl stood up on her tippy toes and kissed the very, tall boy with the floppy hair in a doorway, next to the Brasserie Montmarte and the boy said
"I knew you were going to do that."
They kept right on spending time together all through the summer of 1984, even though he lived in NE and she lived in Dunthorpe and neither one drove.
Despite the long bus rides they had some lovely times.
There were some not very lovely times as well, like the night the boy showed up very drunk and spent the night outside under the girl's window, although the next morning, after the girl's parents left, she made him breakfast, gave him an aspirin and they spent a lovely day in the city with the girl's best friend, who took a photo that the girl would keep in a box of keepsakes for twenty-seven years.
There was also the evening they got arrested ( complete with handcuffs) by a rent-a-cop for trespassing, by swimming in the Lewis and Clark swimming pool after hours. The boy bravely told the girl to run, that he would take the blame, like a fool she stayed and was roughed up a bit, in the end they both were let go when the real police arrived.
The boy wished for a girl that was more edgy and less sentimental and the girl wished to be loved and loved and loved.
At the end of the summer the boy reunited with his edgier old girlfriend and the girl went back to her conservative high school, where she was considered edgy or at least weird.
She met a new boy that had moved to the conservative town from LA and he loved her and loved her and loved her and made her mostly forget about the boy with floppy hair, but not completely.
There was the odd phone call and the odd meetings, after the boy and girl both wound up at the same crappy state university, that happened to be right in the middle of the city. She has a memory of playing scrabble at her mother's house in Lake Oswego, of eating dinner with his mother at his place.
The girl has photo of the boy, bearded, without his floppy hair, standing in the living-room of her shabby apartment on Broadway Drive, taken sometime around 1990 and every time she hears the Lucinda Williams song "Drunken Angel" with the lines
Some kind of savior singing the blues
A derelict in your duct tape shoes
Your orphan clothes and your long dark hair
Looking like you didn't care
She thinks of the boy and that photo.
The girl moves out of that cruddy downtown flat, but keeps on plugging away at that degree and bumps into the boy again sometime in the early 90's and this time he has a child, and a divorce. The girl loves children and likes to care give and spends a little time with the boy, who is moving on to bigger and better things.
She agrees to care for his cat, temporarily while he gets his feet on the ground in a new city. The cat is a pain in the ass, it mews and rips it's hair out, making the girl sneeze and sweep and seethe and after many years, laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
Every now and again the girl thinks of the boy and googles him, but never finds him, she would be happy if she could.