Monday, April 9, 2012

Reckless naked sprints

She loved him. She missed him, longed for him, ached for his warm velvety voice that brought her so much comfort when she was sick or just down. Hearing his voice on the phone... it was always on the phone... was like closing your eyes and taking the first sip of a truly amazing wine, or biting into the sweetest slice of watermelon on a warm summer day, or sinking into a comfy armchair next to a crackling fire at a cabin in the woods; with matching sweaters thrown in for good measure. You just want it to happen again and again. And it did. She heard his voice a lot. On the phone. There were no boundaries between them. No reservations, no fears, no brakes, no speed bumps. They were naked, exposed, desperately in love, sprinting towards each other recklessly. She could call him eleven times in a row without hesitation, and he drove sixteen hours nonstop to wish her Happy Birthday. She plotted with his mother how to break his legs so he wouldn’t have to go back to the front, and he stood at a pay phone calling her for thirty minutes straight, while she screened, thinking it was a prank caller. She cried all night when it became clear that her train to Savannah, to spend Thanksgiving with him, would not leave the station that day; he sent her purple tulips from the front. She named their children and daydreamed about coming back from work and running into him, Kristopher and Viktoria on their way back from a museum, where he had an assignment for his graduate art class; he crossed an expansive ballroom to ask her to dance. He was her boyfriend. She was going to marry him. It was conventional, understood by everyone, no stipulations, nothing to qualify or explain; a boyfriend. Except that they spent most of their time on the phone, talking about what they would do to and with each other once they were together; writing each other letters every day, sending each other pictures of the most mundane, but given the circumstances, most precious moments of their separate lives. They taught each other their respective languages, and fed each other. They cooked together and made the bed together. They watched The Sound of Music together...on the phone. It was a long f*****g movie. And, given the size and density of the cheese ball that she was, she loved telling everyone that he was the first and only guy with whom she experienced the proverbial “love at first site”. The mythical story went like this. A girl was having a post thanksgiving party at her house. Everyone was supposed to bring their leftovers, but brought dessert instead. So there there were, no food, 5 pies, and all guests present but one. The last guest brought curry and his best friend. She opened the door, he smiled, she took one look at him, he made sure she ate that night in addition to hosting. For two and a half years he owned her heart. And then she couldn’t take it any more. She wasn’t unhappy with him, she was unhappy without him. And she was without him a lot. Then she destroyed his heart. Then he came back from the front. And then he was asleep on her lap, in the back seat of their friend’s car. And then they were on the roof and she was once again so close to the warmth of his broad chest, where she once wanted to be so badly. But could they go back or move forward? The answer turned out to be no.

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