Like orange and black butterflies and the linger of cigarettes and coffee in his breath and hugging my chubby friend Manny or rolling over a witty joke over and over, just rolling. It was saccharine magic at its most youthful period, scorching and awkward, stumbling over myself because I didn’t know the first thing to do but to compliment him and run circles around his heart.
But I wasn’t paying attention to myself then – only the girlfriends that hid underneath the bleachers to watch like hawks what this marauder would do to their baby, those girlfriends with their boyfriends and their drama that I persistently observed with awe. I wasn’t paying attention to his heart back then, so disturbed and lost, but only the movie cameras shooting every angle of my powdered acne while Cat Power wafted in the soundtrack. I was Mr. Rochester’s Jane and our love would steal the hearts of vagabonds and Bowies “Heroes” would play as my wedding march. But I wasn’t paying attention.
He lifted me up and made me feel special
But after a while he didn’t have to say a word. He seldom said many words except to scold me or to reel me in before I’d bit him. Then we’d cry and kiss because we held on so dearly to the first one, but we never made up. Those girlfriends hardly ever saw their baby until she disappeared for good and made history smoking all that pot. I came out hoarse and bloodied, stark-naked and disappointed – he didn’t even like David Bowie – and neither did I.
When our lips locked I would’ve noticed the injured butterflies, or the residue of cigarettes and cool ranch Dorritos on his breath or the feeling of hugging an anorexic or chuckling politely. I should’ve noticed. Maybe I did. But I wasn’t paying attention.