Sunday, March 20, 2005

I'm convinced that girls from my past have some kind of radar. They know when I come within 50 miles of them. And last night, after I had spent most of the evening in my family home watching three episodes of Six Feet Under in HBO on Demand, an old flame called. She hadn't called in months and I hadn't told a soul I would be at home. But the phone rang and Ash was on the other side of the line. She was downtown and she was drinking and she wanted me there.

Ash was the kind of girl in high school I loved to hate and hated to love. Younger, hotter, stupider, more popular, more confident and waaay more bitchy. She was the kind of girl who ignored me and that was OK, cuz I ignored her too. I don't know what happened, but one day I was invisible and the next I was the center of attention. I dunno if I grew or got a really good haircut or just started walking a little taller, but all the sudden these girls wanted me to hang with them. The cheerleaders and the poms and the girls with the big houses wanted me around. Even if I listened to jazz. Even if I drove an old car. Even if I used big words they didn't understand. Because as big as the words were, my smile was bigger. They wanted to get me drunk and smoke pot and kiss me and take me to that little apartment over the garage where they showed me how to do very bad things.

And Ash, somehow she transfixed me. She wasn't the prettiest or the funniest or the richest. I was just intrigued. Intrigued by the red hair and the freckles and the giggle and the cigarettes. Now Ash takes care of old people and lives with some poor guy from Michigan that she tells me she doesn't love. So when I met her at the bar I knew I was in for trouble. Her older sister kept the drinks coming and the attitudes in check. And Ash moved closer. She played with my hair. She grabbed my arm. And back on her sisters couch she wouldn't let me go. She wouldn't let me leave.

I was 2 days form leaving for Cancun and somehow I'd managed to get stuck on the couch with a crazy ex. That's where I realized, at 4 AM, between her drunken slurs, that after all the drinking and partying and yelling and the bad breakups and the sad boyfriend and the insults and her trying to get me undressed, all she wanted was someone to care. I wouldn't let her kiss me. But I let her lay her head on my chest as I drifted off to sleep.

It's the little thing that always get you.


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