Sometimes, I'm wrong

As kids we were climbing trees and playing pointless games for hours.  It was sitting on the hardwood floor watching the thundercats, throwing each other in the pool, stealing secret kisses in the prop room on the stage at school. I thought that you would be the girl I'd marry.  All through school we always, somehow, came back to each other to find that our feelings had never really changed from when we were kids.  It seemed confirmed when we left home and we lived together in that tiny, one room apartment at school. We talked about dreams all the time then. I still find it amazing that we drifted apart even while we occupied that same, small space for so long.  I moved away and went out on my own to dry summers and a lonely river.  I looked back at you just in time to see you marry someone else.  In my heart I wanted it to fail.  When it did I grieved for your lost marriage and lost dreams.  It's been fifteen years and you have faded into a warm, sweet memory. I hope you've found your dream. 

Sometimes, I'm a fool

You intended to hurt me. You made sure that I would think of you whenever I hear the line 'After you just taught me how to kiss you' in the song, 'That's what I get'. I think of the time when I sat on the pool table with you standing between my knees with your hands on the back of my head - pulling me to your mouth. It was so hazy dark in that firehouse and the only light was a fluorescent stick casting shadows on the ceiling.  I could see it shimmer off your clean black hair and in your green eyes.  I was amazingly warm, with my arms crossed behind your neck, but I had goosebumps. I know that you painted that picture for me to remember, you set the stage and scripted out each kiss. For such an amazing boy, you were very callous to create your own foreshadowing.  You knew I would think of you whenever I heard that song

Sometimes, I'm cruel

I felt like an ass after I got mad at you at the CD store. First standing beside the rows of plastic cases while you argued your point to me, then later in the car when I yelled at you for making me feel stupid in front of the girl at the counter. It was so fucking cold out and the car wasn't even warm yet and I was yelling.  I could only see your yellow hair because you wouldn't stop staring out the window. You were very pretty when you cried and I liked seeing that sometimes. But it was such a pointless fight: Mea Culpa was Latin, I was right about that, but the lyrics were in French and you were right, too. I misunderstood what you said and you misunderstood what I said. I shouldn't have made you cry. Later I just stopped speaking to you - no calls, no letters, nothing.  It was wrong.  I shouldn't have let our relationship wither as it did. I'm sorry, a beautiful girl doesn't deserve to have her heart broken by an arrogant jerk.

Sometimes, I'm a coward

When you asked me out at the record store I was too far in the closet to be very nice about it. I can see you with your starched white shirt and dark hair, swinging your arms as if making a hole-in-one. My heart pounded in my chest with flattered excitement.  I did see your blue eyes and the way the edges crinkled as you grinned at me, but I still rebuffed you with a laugh. You took a risk on me and I turned you down - not because I didn't want to - because I was afraid of what saying "yes" might mean.  Sometimes I play the scene again.  I imagine that I said yes to your forward, transparent invite to teach me to play golf. In that world we ended up eating Chinese food on some tacky red tablecloth and talking in your car, listening to music, until 5 am.  It took two hours for me to sit still long enough for you to touch my hand in the dark and another two for me to work up the nerve to kiss you. Sometimes, in my head, you and I are still together. I wish I remembered your name.

Sometimes, I'm brave

 I'm glad I sat in that kitchen with you while we searched fruitlessly for a clean ashtray. I was always outgoing when I was a child, but as I got older I learned to never speak out of turn. I avoided making friends from strangers around me - and I was so nervous meeting new people. You, cross legged on the dingy yellow linoleum while Eric filled in my dragon tattoo with bright red and blue and gold. Afterwards, I sat in your place on the floor, while he smeared the shiny, wet, red and yellow lines from your ankle to your thigh. I remember how cold that paint was. I'm glad that we all became friends out of it. I know it was just silly, pointless body painting, but he sat us all down and allowed us to have a nice, long conversation. The room was crowded and smoky but there were only a few of us in that isle of talk - it was good. He was painted gold and I'm glad he understood that beautiful girls should have flames painted on their legs like hot rodsI'm glad we took the time to be silly. I only wish it lasted longer than a few moments.

Sometimes, I shouldn't

I was only in 7th grade but you were like 'Penny Lane' to me, and I loved you. You were this mysterious redhead who held my hand on the bus and laughed when the popular boys asked you why you were with me. For one week you were mine. You rode the tall, blue Corkscrew at Cedar Point with me, ran through the ridiculous, dingy fun house, we played cards in the bus while the mountains and mist and clouds passed by unnoticed.  I wasn't a fool.  I knew you were only mine for as long as the tour- one week singing through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and finally Indiana.  When it was over my heart broke. We all wandered that last night in some nameless church and wept. Everyone else cried because the tour was over.  I wept because I knew you were going to go away. When I said goodbye, and told you that I loved you, you kissed me on the mouth.  I felt your lips on mine for months afterward.  I never saw you again. It's easy to fall in love with beautiful girls when you're young, but they should never know.

Sometimes, I should

I had no idea that you were close enough to hear us mention your name. I gaped, cigarette dangling from my lip, when you suddenly asked us why we were talking about you. I didn't want to tell you that I was simply saying that, of all the people at the party, you were the one I found most attractive. I wanted to know how long you were standing behind me and if my friend had somehow set me up by leading me to your name. I hoped you were too blissfully stoned to care, remember or see through my lie. I know I was too drunk, at the time, to feel any regret or even remember what lame excuse I gave you. I wish you hadn't snuck up on me.  I should have just told you what I said. Instead, I made you feel suspicion over something innocuous and fleeting. Who knows, you may have been flattered.

In my classroom there is a little black road lined with scribbled cars stapled on. It starts at one corner of the wall and runs right into a big empty tree. The tree itself is just a sad trunk, one that has already lost all of its construction paper leaves. OUR OWN LITTLE HIGHWAY TO NOWHERE. Some days I announce this, wishing for a crazy cutout paper car to crash into a paper tree. Wouldn’t it be lovely if I could just slip in. Wouldn’t it be delightful if these babies could hear the sad dying humor in my voice.

Sometimes, my interest sits on the floor like someone else’s dead fires. Which is mostly wonder at how bright it can burn and what it will look like the next day.

Some people are do you mind: We will take your head out for a spin & give it back (all shook up). It will be no worse for the wear. Promise.

There was one, smiling, and me wondering how his angel smile could so disarm me as to want what I did not know I wanted. Maybe all I wanted (not knowing, of course), was the angel and a tree to lean on. (All Oh, slide against this.) All I could remember in the morning is that maybe there were wishing hands involved.

Sometimes, I can't help it.
Something in me: it keeps refusing. Even though I am aware inside my mind that somewhere in back I might have hidden a wanting.

One held his hands out to me, would you like a neck rub? Feet against mine at the bottom of the bed and endearing sweetly smiling at me; Oh wouldn’t I? Of course I refused, afraid of what his hands might feel like. Next time we play this scene it will be a YES PLEASE from me. Just to see that smile. (Just to scare myself to death with delightful hands).

Look, I have done it all wrong, but still I would do it all over again.

And this other one, smiling at me. (Why are they always smiling at me?) Smiling, and me wondering how a body smaller leaner than mine could be softer. Me smiling, I like this head. I will take it for a spin.

Sometimes there is in-between. Which is where the least of my regret lies.
For most of the charm smiles: It is okay, you know. I am over the charm. You can keep slinking back in my sleep dreams. Hooray. Here that one is again, and me again. Sometimes I need to repeat myself to make myself hear. (Don’t you Lovely me. Don’t you But don’t you Darling me. Shoo. Shoo, you. I am over yr charm.)

And then, (after kicking them out), another dream some night will come creeping back: one of you will smile. (My biggest fear is if I let you go, you’ll come and get me in my sleep). The smile, charm. Wear me out –

Kisses. & will there be arms. And mostly, me all, PLEASE oh me please?

(Come get me).

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