Thursday, January 07, 2016

Someone behind me at work just expressed a noise, kind of a honk, and it made me think of a woman—maybe a woman I remember, or a type of woman?—who laughed a loud, plaintive laugh that sounded just like that, almost like a sob. In my mind the woman was blond, and a hippie of some kind. Was it the hippie coder at my old job? I don’t think so. I felt a pang for the woman in my mind, although I still couldn’t be sure she wasn’t fictional. Entirely fictional? Or like on TV? Or in the movies, maybe. She was kind of like that woman, who is it, the main character in “Frances Ha.” Frances Ha I guess. But that wasn’t quite right either. Then I remembered a Deadhead I met at a show when I was about 15 or 16. Blond, weird, spacy girl. Spoke the slow drawl of someone damaged by acid, though she wasn’t older than me. Maybe she was, or maybe she pretended to be. She was certainly a type. A hippie teen with unkempt hair, wrapped up in a patchouli-soaked Mexican blanket, wearing sandals in the cold, shuttling between the posh homes of her divorced parents and spending little time in either. Course I wanted to fuck her. Not because I wanted to fuck that type—though for sure I felt an affinity—but just because I was a desperately horny 15-year-old. I would’ve wanted to fuck a prim and proper church girl too, specially if I’d met her smoking opium in the parking garage of the Worcester Centrum. (And God knows those church girls did that too. All the girls did; so did all the boys.)

Somehow I got a hold of that girl’s number, or she got mine. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed, on the phone with her, leaning forward from the pull of the cheap, tangled cord to the phone on my bedroom floor. I interjected haltingly, nervously, in the spaces within her languorous monologue. It was something about where she went to school—boarding school I guess, maybe even a special school for troubled hippie girls. She was required to take gym class so she chose badminton as her sport. She was hopeless, she said. I could see her in her grandma dress, wanly waving her racket at the shuttlecock after it drifted by. All I could think about was fucking her and the conversation went nowhere slow. After I hung up my dad called from the living room just outside my door.

“Pat, were you talking to someone?” he asked.



“A girl.”

“A girl?!” he replied. I might as well have told him I was on the phone with President Ronald Reagan.