do you remember me at all?
I was the boy who claimed ownership of the puddles on your front lawn in seventh grade. We both lived on Saharasan Road. When I heard that a man named Sirhan Sirhan had assassinated Robert Kennedy, I misheard and became convinced he lived on our street. I wore my almost-best Sunday shoes when I went to tell you. I stomped a muddy oration on your front porch to announce my arrival. You were not wonderstruck, your father called my father, arrangements were made to stop my ‘bullshit nonsense’. Yet I continued. I told you I couldn’t help myself, I was in mourning. I don’t think I knew what that meant, but it got your attention.
you were the girl who wondered if our footsteps would become fossils one day and the aliens would discover that humanity had paws shaped like size-7 Dollar Tree sneakers. We discussed this in February, just before that big ice storm hit. The raw cloth of winter wrapped around us, our snot-clotted coat sleeves bore testament to our locomotion. Why were we in such a hurry to create fossils? The alien part was cool, though.
you remember this, don’t you:
Sergio Mendes and “Água de Beber”? A piece of warm vinyl from back when we still lived inside the half-life of innocence. When it was cool for me to wear an Illya Kuryakin turtleneck under a sports jacket (cute as hell, you said, and I still question the veracity of your fashion sense). Herb Alpert was good, Dionne Warwick was better, but Sergio was your thing, a compulsive soft-suede rhythm we confused with desire.
you: baggy cardigans on the beach to cover your midriff during our vodka era. You wanted to disappear into the sand, I wanted to find something in it. We took Polaroids of the fat Quebecois tourists and invented Beach Boy haikus:
So this is the life:
peeling the skinny dead girls
off our old surfboards
The antacids at the bottom of your handbag were plentiful and we ate them like Sweet Tarts.
do you suppose our old fossils are ready yet? Please tell me yes.