Her hummingbird eyes never landed for long, never rested, and she was always ready to make the next move. I never knew what that move would be, and perhaps that is meaningful - there was fear, certainly, and fear has always been my boon companion ... my huckle-bearer in waiting.
There are so many things I could tell you about her, but you would not know her. Words fail me. She was tall and strong and self-assured. She smelled like cigarettes and sunshine. She laughed in the face of everything. Her bravery lent her beauty. Her power was in her resolve. Things should be the way they should be. She believed it. I did not.
I tell you these things so that you will understand, if possible, why it was necessary...
She was not my enemy, but she was not my friend. She was a summer storm. One of those mid-western explosions of meteorology. When the winds came, I hid. I covered my head with the blanket and tried to sleep, storm-sheltered in old fleece.
I will always remember the first night. Leaving the bar ... they had one of those double swinging doors, but there was no one swinging and nary a cowboy in sight. Bourbon had made my defenses weak. I tried to outmatch her long stride and ended up with my finger between the doors. It was broken, but I didn't want to ruin the night, and the bourbon did a good job of distracting me. Her eyes did the rest. I could barely keep up.
We walked to the beach holding hands. I stopped to talk to a homeless man, gave him a few dollars, shook his hand. She couldn't believe the handshake. It changed something. Suddenly, I was more than I had been ... silly, really. I have never been Jesus. I have no interest in lepers.
We lay together in the wet sand and laughed and talked and kissed. It had been a long time. We were wet with fog and gritted by the dark brown sand. I woke up alone, back in my apartment. My finger was broken, and I didn't care. There were nine more fingers and only one of her.
After that, the months passed in a blur. But I destroyed it. My weakness. My longing. My irrational fear. I want you to understand, really, but I have a feeling you can't. Unless you've been there. Unless you've seen eyes like that turn dark before a deluge.