The best people you will ever meet often come to you like stray dogs, moving with graceful evanescence through you life, then leaving you forever with empty spaces that only your dreams can fill. I saw my childhood best friend, and Miss Amarillo 1969, several more times during the past forty years, they moved on the streets and alleyways of the world, leaving me with no choice but to relegate them to the blameless flickering of a computer screen like a journal still in progress, never quite being completed, thus never ending.
The last time I saw Miss Amarillo 1969 she waved goodbye to me from the departure gate of a bus station as I left to return to hell. She hugged me as I left the platform. I will never forget that beautiful golden haired girl with the peach colored dress. I rejoined my friend Bill; he also hugged me as I arrived back at LZ Betty. He looked pale and wan and a bit shaky but he still had that infectious, world-beating smile. This time, however, the smile did not seem quite able to reach up to his eyes.
He gave me an old Timex watch of his, passing on a trinket of his existence. That evening a mortar killed him.
I guess you would expect a want to be author to have an eye for detail, but sometimes tears conceal the keyboard so much that one cannot continue to chronicle certain details. Minutes later after the explosions and sounds of small arms fire the area around me seemed deserted. The whole world seemed deserted. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with a cold and unforgiving rage that came from somewhere deeper in my dark and deserted soul than I ever cared to know about. The sweltering heat around me turned cold and unforgiving also. Time had become a one-way street and it was a one-way life and you had to pull the trigger and kill someone, you either lived or died on this one-way street. There was nothing between me and the pajama clad being yards away. I aimed the gun and watched as the M-16 did what it was designed to do.
Several days later on a tarmac, I leaned over a black body bag and cried. "You were alright as friends go." I spoke.
The night before I left, the night before I was to ship out after a months leave. Miss Amarillo 1969 had shown up with a small suitcase. Of course her mother and father would not have approved of this evening but they no doubt knew how much I loved her and no doubt how much she loved me. I saw the sparkle in her eyes, dimmed recently by tears, during which time I promised I would return. It was a moment, it passed, and I let it. It was like that and I am not sure I can recapture that moment with words. I couldn't help a few months later thinking that she had slipped through the fingers of my life, consigned for better or for worse, to the flickering of a computer screen. And maybe that isn't so bad I thought, a few people you don't know might stop and read what you write, and they may or may not pass judgment. And that doesn't matter so much because at least they can't see the tears on your keyboard.
I guess the only things you really keep are the things you let slip through your fingers. Or something like that.
She lit two candles that night. The candlelight touched her skin like fireflies, like roses, like little fingers of light and lightness through which would slip a memory I would surely keep.
She slept in my arms that night, we shared love, we shared something, and we shared something I am not sure I have ever known since. As you know, Miss Amarillo 1969 was killed when a truck ran a red lightand killed her as she was returning to Amarillo.
Almost forty years have passed since that night And a lot of things have happened in the parallel world of Wes and TCBNTX. In less time than it took me to write this journal entry the candle of Miss Amarillo 1969 burned out.
Oh and by the way, I have forgot to tell you in the many times I have written about my friend Bill or Miss Amarillo 1969. About a month after I left, Miss Amarillo 1969 was runner up in the Miss Texas Pageant in Austin. She had written me a letter after that event. I kept it after these many years. Here I'll read it to you.
I am still in Austin, I am afraid to go back home. But I have made the decision because I won't be able to keep the secret very long. My heart is happy. I am at peace.
P.S. By the way. You will be a father by the time you get home.
Watching the slow decay, first written 2. Jan. 2009
4 months ago