When I stumbled outside late this morning, I was met by a brutal north wind of 40 mph and blowing snow. If you wanted to be charitable, you could say I was taken by surprise. If you wanted to give me the benefit of the doubt, you could say I had known about this storm for some time, but was in denial since the temps have been in the 70's and 80's. But the weather is not why inquireing minds are reading this journal .
The mind of a hopeless romantic is driven always by that fateful, pilled-to-the-gills trio of teamsters: desperation, paranoia, and necessity.
Maybe there was still time with Freckles, I thought. If I screwed it up there would be lots of time later to sit and wonder where it had all gone. I put on my cowboy hat and headed out into the miserable wind blown snowy morning. At least I didn't have to yell, "Follow that car." The spiritual hallmark of this story has always been that there is no car to follow. And if I wasn't careful, there would be no passenger either. Just a shadow in a dream. Just a girl I used to know.
I began slipping and sliding to Freckles apartment. I began the trek up four flights of stairs. I heard a child crying, a young couple arguing, and someone cooking breakfast. I walked upward past the routine archaeological layers of life. A young girl was standing at the top of the stairs. She was kind looking, carried a frail sensuality about her, and she was holding a cat, gently stroking it.
'She left in a hurry last night."
'Say where she was going?"
"Say when she ws coming back?"
"No," she said. "but she gave me her cat."
There was a certain finality to that remark that made furthur questioning unnecessary. I tried the door to Freckles' apartment and knocked on the door a few times. Kind of like kicking the tires of a car you knew you wanted to buy.
I said goodbye to the girl. Never did get her name. There are millions of girls and millions of cats in this world and sometimes I wonder if we ever really get to know any of them.
As I reached the bottom of the stairs my eyes met the bluest eyes in Texas.
"What are you doing here?" spoke Freckles. 'My sister had her baby last night so I went over to babysit my niece."
'Oh well, err I was just out for a morning drive.'
While Freckles slept. I had a cup of coffee. There are a string of clues in this story that stand out like a gaudy neon necklace of winking motels signs along old route 66 that all of us seem to have traveled by too quickly. Nobody saw them for what were, especially me, and no one put them together until it was almost to late.
From behind Freckles' voice whispered, "Time to leave the ghosts of the past, Wes. Time for new friends and time for new relationships. Time to move forward and corrupt me" She laughed..
Thers was something uplifting about her words. The sights and smells and sounds and neon signs all seem to run together.
When I got home I pulled out the picture of Miss Amarillo 1969, kissed it then put it back in the drawer. I knew she would understand.
Watching the slow decay, first written 2. Jan. 2009
4 months ago