There are bad days too. Winter means ardor to most, and especially to me. I can feel the wind cut right through my bones no matter how many layers I’m wearing. I have needs. The need to float through rooms and across town and into your room. The need to haunt. The need to prowl like lonely snow leopards do. I’d abandon my daughter the first time she became a threat too. What is it about that thought that is so unsettling? Reminiscing of the ways boys intruded, men intruded. I wore a leather jacket and had the reputation of being a bitch only to some men. Boys.
The more we developed crushes, dated, picked guys for the prom, picked guys to kiss for the bet, the more I realized what a plague they truly were. Our attention was divided. I was never jealous of the attention they gave my friends, but jealous of the attention they took from my friends. Once we noticed them, it was hard to look away. Literally, they inserted themselves into everything we did. Hunting us in the ditch. Asking us about our walks.
“But what do you guys talk about on your walks?”
“Omg, Johnny, everything. Just like everything. You’re always asking this.”
It was bigger than guys. It was us theorizing about the future of the world, our futures and everyone’s. What kind of house? Would I be a teacher or a writer? Where will we live? Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Santa Claus?
“One time I saw the Easter Bunny eating carrots at the table.”
“No, you didn’t, Catarina.”
“Yes, I really did!”
How will we steal more blow pops? Our plans for the summer at the pool, at the Dyson’s house. Our school outfits. Our school essays. What will we do at the beach? Grades on test. Should we take up smoking? The games. I couldn’t explain the games.
“Come back here and bring those back!” the old woman yelled from her front door step.
Leana, clearly in hysterics, always and me, holding the pretend oversized gifts in my hand, turning around and placing them back on Santa’s Sleigh without even an utterance of sorry. Once placed, just turning and running as fast as I could the other way. Leana shooting out of some dark hidden corner to follow me as we made it back to my court. Her hands on her knees, out of breath,
“Like, oh my god, she was pointing at YOU, yelling at YOU.”
“Shh, I don’t want my dad to hear,” I gestured to the glowing window, “he’s in the den watching TV.”
She was just laughing.
“I didn’t even see her! She must have seen us walking into her yard from the front window,” she is sort of whispering but also laughing too loudly to be quiet as we are hiding behind my dad’s van. “Watching us steal her Christmas decorations.”
We did it for no reason. We were supposed to be at the other’s house. The games. The time my dad pulled up on us walking the block when I was supposed to be watching TV at Leana’s. It was 7:30 pm and dark. Or the time we took things out of the back of a truck and placed them on the corner, then put them back out of some strange guilt. Kids are how I know the universe is chaos, not planned. We did it for no reason.
Then the boys came. It may be a dramatic place to stop but it was stopped for us like that with centrifugal force. We were content with chalk, house, Monopoly, Sonic the hedgehog, making up games. We were happy. Then the boys came. We weren’t unhappy; just suddenly divided. And I don’t mean growing up. We grew up fast in our houses, I mean growing up thwarted and smaller than we should have been. We didn’t have to play house. We didn’t have to obsess either. We could have had a different trajectory. We could have both been dancers. We could have both been writers. We could have all been interested in astronomy. You don’t see disease as the bacteria, you just feed. If I said this to your face, I would have added
“You fucking shit fuck dick for brains prick.”
Because you are the plague that I hate, the craving.
“the act of naming things”