Bent Words

Bent Words

February 23, 2008

A stiff double-take and a swallow was all it took to relocate his heart to his stomach when he thought he saw her standing at the starting grid. How did she get here? he wondered though he knew it was a relatively superfluous question. She had contacts, after all and she was in the business, wasn’t she? and… and still, How can it be that she’s here?

The spotlight of the midday sun had nothing for the goose bumps developing on his arms when she turned to smile at the nameless face on her right. It was her. That unmistakable laughter coupled with the most fluid body movement as he’d ever seen – that showcasing of lively presence which almost seemed intentional but could never be fully faulted. The long-legged stance of a girl who could never sit or stand still, ever shifting, ever bending and always at the ready though concomitantly surprised at every turn of the world.

A bit thicker in the waist, a little more full in the face, hair a bit lighter than he remembered, a little less cocky, perhaps, than he could recall…

But it was her.

He kept her carefully, secretly, locked within the corner of his eye. His little piece of quiet recollection noisily buzzing through his body as though he were competing with the roar on the grid and while the technicians and spectators and cameramen and race-affiliated folks ran about, shouting and fussing and focusing, he focused on her.

He saw his arms wrapped around her waist in the reflection where he kneeled behind her. Her head bent to the side, smiling coyly at him, waiting patiently for the moments where they didn’t have to rush. The desire which never failed at creeping toward perfection, the calm clarity displayed in each other’s gaze, the sweet caress of whispered adoration…

He was angry at her inadvertent imposition. He was altogether thrilled with her outstanding presence. He was chilled and sweating, swept and stoic, erratic and elated all at once. He was resolute in ignoring her but incapable of doing so. Curiosity and wonder mingled with dread and territorial angst and… and that familiar, sudden and overwhelming desire to simply pick up and leave.

With her.

Side by side on pit bike rides, losing themselves in the heat of the moment, the height of the race, the hidden corners and the crowded hills. The passageways and blocked-off gates, under trees or burning with the brilliant sun. With backpacks full of vice and heads emptied of obligations. Rain would be welcomed if only to heighten the effect, the thrill the consequence, the excuse for becoming one. Fading into the day full of here and some of there, with a little bit of everywhere and missing nothing for the smile spread equally between their faces. Sitting and shouting and laughing and standing abruptly together. Where shame and hesitation, question and worry, do or don’t, could be swept away with each lap. Where they could rest or dance, linger or hurry, mingle or become silent, misbehave or fall with the sun – where definitions of wrong or right were non-existent. Unnecessary.

The only place in time he knew of, where limitations folded, expectations ceased, anxiety fell away and pure joy was boundless and complete…

With her.

From the corner of her eye she silently, secretly, watched him remember. His gaze following through to somewhere just beyond her resilient hope. The race over and though she could not distinguish quite who had won she knew it did not really matter.

For she walked away with all she could have ever asked for; just to know, to see, to be sure, that he remembered.

Written at 9:29 p.m.