And She Was

    Another night, some other time. Endgame enigma exasperating all of it. Beacon being, strange attractor. Bars in cars. Am doing the moment, the persistence of fallen ashes. To dust a foaming fear. Tomorrow night gone. Last night I know not. This knight.
    Empty. Distress a maiden. Fire dragons a call. Reigns luna.
    The queen. In read. These played graphix. A musical time boxed by mother hen. A chicken running around with its head cut off. Begged by behaviour. Askin'.... The list too long to thank the bill. Steward of the provence. The birthplace, the birth right. All is good. Who would have ever thought. Little christ, all of them pussy shit. Fomented cheese. Fate a thing.
    A thing we live. We breathe. We eat and drink. Welcome, to the oyster shell. The pleasure illusion. Elluding. Bitter taste of time. A sun. Rising in the west? Check your north, with a twist o' liver. Bright star at night, the first swift, duh! Your head, an apple of knowledge, with the snake biting into. A core of horse. Sense the real. It emotes. It is a mote. In god's eye.
    That's right, small gee. Wizardly whine.
    "Hey Dan, watcha doin' there?"
    "Just writhing." I grin, eyes wide open, and look up. It's Earl. He walks over.
    "Yeh, saw you brooding over here, thought I'd check you out. Looks like you're thinking too much." He perses his lips, with a smile, no mean feat. I laugh and look around. Pretty good crowd for Wednesday night. "mind if I look it over?" He gestures to the written page.
    "No, go ahead." Earl slips into the booth across from me. Smoothly. He takes the book while I get a beer.
    " 'Another night, some other time....'"
    Earl is grinning as I sit, and begins to scan. He slides the book back as I become infected with his effluvience. I let out a laugh and move against the wall the bench is perched on, turning to open the field of play. Earl relaxes away from the table and his grin widens.
    "I have no idea what you're talkin' about, but" he nods towards the crowd around the bar, "I'm in love!" In a sugary drawl.
    I follow his directional as a couple of laughs respond. There are groups of girls within the range of his implied objective. Most are oblivious to the call, but a few are smiling or indignant and briefing the rest they're with. Obvious because furtive glances collect in our direction. I smile back and drink it in, just a sip. Dan is already scoping other targets.
    "It's a target rich environment," I say, reading him.
    "No, really... I'm in l-u-v!" He is transfixed on a couple of chicks by the jukebox. They are looking over the selections. "It's not bad," he says, easing up. A gentle smile returns to his face. He takes a swig.
    Music of the spheres. Balls banging in holes so wide, a string pulls them in. I go to the bar. Such a strange way, now just an iota.
    An obvious group is sitting around the corner, what use to be the regular's spot. Their jackets, coats piled on a bar stool. So I turn to her, the closest one in their throng.
    "Some people are on their feet all day..." as I stand ordering.
    She says: "There isn't a place to hang them...."
    "I'm on the rack...." Walk to my skin on the iron, extract a pack. She looks at her friends and with minor motions, begins to place their stack on what was wrought.
    "Now you can sit," her equivocal statement. I gauge.
    "I sit all day punching buttons, thank you, I'll stand." She's almost taken aback, suppressed smile, glance at her group. Gorgeous giggle.
    The third time we saw each other, eventually we went to dinner. On the way out, she asked me, "what's on the end of the chain?"
    I said, "wait 'til we're outside." Glancing around, before and after. "Okay, it's the ... a key." She stops. "I just got a chill, can I see that?" I take the chain over my head and hand it to her. She looks at it.
    "You... know... I...."
    "It's okay," I say, sensing some other-worldly discomfort. "I'll tell you about my key, if you'll tell about your key."
    "I... have... when I was sixteen, I woke up in the middle of the night, and... the only reason was, I found a key in my bed." I look obliquely, sad smile, concerned concentration.
    Earlier, we went to the Mason Estate for the Spring Day Kite Festival. Suprisingly, there were no kite vendors, so we settled for exploring the grounds, like good cats, and frisbeed in the field. On our tour, the trees talked to us. Walking by some long-needled pines, holding hands, we could hear the pine cone leaves separating. Rhythmic clicking choas. Glorious.
    "Yes, it's a beautiful day." We smile at each other. Her a suppressed giggle, I'm blushing, biting my lip. We walk. To the cemetery, to see the buried words. Firmly grasping hands, we read the graves. It's real, we can barely look at each other. Or is she just playing me.... Shame the thought, this is so beautiful, I... I'm biting my lip. For the pain I know is there. It's here. I know it. You've read it. Sorry, this is life. It happens. It happens to you. It happens to me. The meaning of life? The meaning of life is to live it and find out.
    The next weekeend, we went to the zoo, with her best friend Karen and her sister Pat, Patricia. They were a riot, start to finish. We ended up at the Zoo bar, the Oxford Tavern. At the table, she pulls out a short chain, with her key.
    "Is that it," Patricia says. She nods, I remove mine, it is on my father's dog tag chain. They're identical. And Pat says, "Of course it needs to be on a better chain...." I just shrug. Of course she doesn't know.
    I wrote her everyday since the first time we went out. The first time. I think that everyone has the chance for a really great romance... you know, and we search through time, our lives, trying to find that one thing that really matters in this life: love. A real love. That thing that makes you want to wake up in the morning. To end the mourning. The passing of the day.
    And then she told me, well, I had to expand the words for her: "don't write, don't call, I'll call you when I'm ready...." So I wait. I understand, I don't fit into her life, it's full. I'm a fool.
    The first time we went out, we went to Bad Habits to meet. Eddie From Ohio was playing. We never heard them, we were grooving on each other. She said.
    "I'd invite you in, except for the mess." I said.
    "That's okay, you don't have to be shy...." I ache. Just to hear hear her voice. I saved her last message on the machine. I...tell me to go away, and I did.
    And she was.