See, this is what happens when you don't write back. My phone's working, I know cos the shill for the company called, wanting me to pay up. I told her I had already worked it out with the other shill, the one that called me the day before.
What I mean is, what happens is, I start to see things, to hallucinate; my eyes stick stuff into my world that I want to see, like the colorforms I liked to play with on the floor when I was little. Maybe Goddess is some girl somewhere, and we are colorforms that talk, and write letters and love people. You never know.
But, like I was saying.
I was on the 8 Mile bus, sitting in the seat with the extra leg room for my celery stalk self, just behind the back door. Just in front of the same door was a gal, a white gal, which is noticeable enough, but here's the thing: she had your dark hair, tied back like she did it in a hurry, and your librarian glasses. She was looking out the window at the gas stations and liquor stores and fast food places, all of them curving by in the back of her right lens as I sat behind her. I think she was seeing something better, filling in 8 Mile Road with Paris colorforms, or Martian ones, just to amuse herself, but maybe I am projecting.
I'm rambling, aren't I ?
I was checking her out, because she looked so much like you, honey. I thought to myself, stop staring at her, but I couldn't. Then the most unexpected thing happened; I got up to get off, and she got off behind me. I heard her call "thanks!" to the driver, and then she was next to me, and she said hi to me. This was 8 Mile, nobody talks to strangers, but she looked right at me and said hi. This is where I flubbed it, fell on my ass on the dance floor, so to speak. I went into automatic mail lady mode, flashed my for-customers smile and said 'hi, how are you?" just like a tape recording issued by the Postmaster. Jeez louise. I'm used to people I don't know saying hi to me, I smile, I nod, I might as well be a bobblehead.
I'm starting that negative self-talk thing, aren't I?
Well, anyway, she didn't answer, just turned to cross the same way I did, the first time, the way where three lanes of traffic are all turning right, right into one's soft and fragile pedestrian self. I almost called out to her not to cross that way, but I imagine she's already got a mother somewhere, so I didn't. I crossed the other street, the narrower one the cars turn out of, and stood on the other side watching her. She had waited for the tide of minivans and Dee-troit hoopdies to pass by and then she strode her long-legged self across 8 Mile to the center island. She was wearing faded jeans and a loose green tee shirt. She might have just come from mucking out stalls, and she walked like a ranch hand. Like I said, a total babe.
I'm such a lesbian, I know.
So there we were, walking opposite sides of an intersection rectangle, bound to meet again when we both came cattycorner. I was gonna say something to her, because she looked like you and I haven't heard from you, and my colorforms all go blue without you. I can only make midnight, or the ocean, or a leaking ink pen too sloppy for writing poetry.
Now, what was I saying? Oh.
I looked down just for a second, crossing the second side of 8 Mile, and when I looked up, Baby Longstrides had vanished. From there, I only have three short blocks to go, and I thought about why I didn't think of something terrifically clever to say, and I wondered whether my dog would have eaten his food or if he is still sick, and about colorforms and what on earth made me think of them after all these years, and I thought about you, you, as I always do....you.
Write me back if you can, babe.
for Corey's "Lost Art" letter writing challenge at Real Toads. I hope letters-in-my-head count!