she stood in front of me in the middle of her room. so many long nites had consisted of me wishing for this exact scenario. but i'd fall asleep heavy with the realization that it wasn't reality. but now, it was for real. i looked at her, and so did the sun and moon, and i heard them say to each other that their light wasn't necessary on this nite, that she had enough to bulb this evening's sky. they decided to retire for a good nite's sleep. but me, i was just waking up to her. her eyes were closed and she spun herself in a dance of contentment. the smile rose on her face, as the corners of her mouth made their way north. she was such a little girl in this moment, seemingly as young and content as i was. i felt like all boys would look upon this scene and wallow in the mud of jealousy. good! i deserve it! i was king for at least this moment. it was as if winter was soon passing, as if groundhog day was in her room, with no shadow in sight, and only minutes remained of my cold, long winter. she was ablaze, melting all the snow that covered my earth, and she was excavating for my glow that struggled just underneath darkness.
she was a hope and a kick in the stamina.
i wondered if i should try to dance with her, hold her, touch her, feel her...but standing a few feet from her was giving me all the excitement i could handle - any closer and i risked melting like a grilled cheese. so i waited, stared, inhaled her. damn, she was hot. damn, she was everything. damn, she was. she spun around again, and her smile reached its' peak. i was at a loss for everything, except happiness. i was five years old, swinging on the monkey bars, belly full of twinkies. she opened her eyes, sent me the lightning of tomorrow, and moved towards me. holy shit, this is what summertime feels like. this is what i write about in the solitude of hoping, craving, waiting, but i wasn't typing this time, i was living it. i smiled, and readied myself for that long longed for contact. would it be bombastic, as my inklings had suggested? would it be the end, the finality of doubting? god, so many questions, so little time, as she's only an inch away now...
the next morning...
i came back from the store and gave her a pack of pudding cups. vanilla. she put them in the fridge. she handed me a bowl of grapefruit and i took a bite. i hadn't tried grapefruit in years, and had resigned myself to not liking it. to my surprise, it was really damn good. she said it made her feel good, alive.
my first thought when she had initially offered it, for some reason, was the grapefruit league. the grapefruit league is what they call spring training for baseball in florida. they call the league in arizona the cactus league, but in florida it's the grapefruit. after eating some of the grapefruit, i was struck by the fact that liking it was one of those curveballs life throws at you, one of those little surprises. and it struck me as ironic that i had just thought about the grapefruit league and how baseball is literally full of curveballs. funny, that.
regardless, i sat at the table and was indeed feeling more alive than the day before. maybe it was the grapefruit, maybe it was me, maybe it was her and how beautiful she looked across the table from me, maybe it was how the grapefruit tasted just like her, maybe it was the show last nite and the cool chinese man we befriended and took out to meet our friends. whatever it was, and i'm guessing it was all those things, i was grateful. and my mind, still in baseball mode, turned to the line that mel gibson says to joaquin phoenix in "signs" when they're confronted by the alien, and joaquin is holding the baseball bat, and mel says "swing away, merrill. swing away." i think i really like that philosophy. yeah, swing away - it seems like a good way to be.
so grapefruits and baseball and new philosophies all sprung from her breakfast table that morning, and i walk home with a smile, and secretly hope that later in the day, when she cracks open one of them puddings and takes a bite, she smiles too, and thinks to herself that it tastes just like me.