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"You never did notice
But you still hide away
The anger of angels who won't return"

Vertical Horizon

She chafed at conformity. She disliked the notion of blending in. She wanted to be noticed, yet she feared being "seen". Constantly at war with her wants and fears, always pushing, always testing. Just at the boundaries. Just a toe over the edge but with her feet firmly planted in safety.

This night she wore her "screaming blue" jeans, a sleeveless silk tank in similar hues of blues and black, an ocean scene. She had on her cream color high heels, she called them her sandy bottom. She was the sea, full of contradictions, and unexpected change. Her hair was bound high on her head in pig tails because someone had told her that women shouldn't wear their hair like that. Don't tell her what she can't do. She'll go ahead and do it anyway.

She put her right foot up on the dashboard of the car like she wanted to be ready to kick whatever was coming at her. She always had her guard up, never really trusting that things would turn out good. She never really said why, but it was there, this feeling hanging thick in the air. She turned the music up humming to herself, tapping her toes against the window.

For dinner she chose the Pasta Primavera because "it's full of flavor with colors that jump out" at her. She liked bold. When I expected this child-woman to choose Diet Coke, she asked for White Zinfandel. She avoided all talk of troubles or worry. She didn't want to deal with them. "Why worry? Won't change anything." She twirled those locks of hair around her fingers, winding and unwinding, absent mindedly as her thoughts travelled elsewhere momentarily. She licked out the cannoli innards discarding the shell. "They don't know how to make real cannolis here. Too sweet." I wanted to lick the confection off the corner of her pouting mouth. I resisted the urge.

She was drawn into the music store, I was left to follow wondering where her muse was taking her. She flipped through the CD's searching, bopping her head from side to side, shaking her hips to the piped over music, not really listening but allowing her body to respond while her focus was elsewhere. She looked content. She chose Creed, a Classical best of, and a Vertical Horizon single.

She took my hand as we walked into the early evening in search of a coffee shop. Java and Jazz, the name pulled her. She pulled me. She ordered an espresso wanting the "kick". She looked around at the people ensconced on sofas and chairs, enjoying quiet conversation or writing. Billy Joel sang in the background with the counter help singing counter point. She smiled, "I like this place". She settled onto a stool in the corner hooking her purse around her ankle, turning to have a full view of the place with her back against the wall.

She closed her eyes as she drank from her cup, as if she was trying to block out some senses to heighten others. When I asked why, she responded "I want to feel it, taste it, breathe it in. I want to experience fully what it is. I am a sponge." Her eyes sparkled. The foam clung to her upper lip. She was innocent and sultry all at once. On impulse, I closed the distance to kiss her, tasting the foam off her mouth. She stiffened before forcing herself to relax and give in. I felt it and backed off puzzled.

She started humming to the background music again, averting her eyes, not acknowledging the change. Pushing it aside as if it didn't happen. Her sparkle was gone. What had happened that she wouldn't dwell on? Why wouldn't she open up to me? If only I could get into her head. Suddenly I wanted very much to be that espresso so she would soak me in too. Then, I would know, why.

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