I knew her before we met. She was one of those girls that juggle their almond eyes to each bright spot in a dark alley. The kind of girl that found joy in even the longest, darkest hour. But some pain hung under her shining celebration.
We met in a neon studded windowless pool hall in Santa Barbara. Her face floated close to my ear as she slured into my ear the end pieces of all her adventures. She trailed off and I stuck close to her pretty curls. She would rise up every other minute, sometimes standing on her stool, and expel a dodgy enlightened exhaltation. Her face would flash with a fading beam, only to dim when she'd collapse in my arms like a whales tail into a placid sea.
I wrapped her up in my arms and we swung to Nina and Billie between tightly wound old couples in tweed over coats and sun worn summer dresses. She smiled a deep smile.
Imagine if I found my one and only tonight, she cooed.
I'm one to be sure, maybe not the only, I said.
But our bodies belied our distant conversation and squeezed together tighter and tighter still.
You'll do as my only one. Her eye lashes grazed the crestof my cheek. We funnled our bodies into the Packered and our night's destiny on the road ahead. All the world's a stage, she said, let's tear down the lighting and set the curtains on fire! Her tiny fists pounded my rust bucket's sloping roof.
You listening to me, she asked with spiked accusation, anybody home?
Nobody but us chickens, I said as I started up the car. It jumped and I led us out on to the howling streets, where men and women roam in tenative clusters like starved dogs. My wheels flung the street dust and grime from us and we fell into the unyeilding nighttime.