Tuesday, November 06, 2007

h was on board and i sat many rows behind her. she had straight black asian hair. she had slim shoulders and a careful nose. her eyes had a streak of wildness like a coyote in a desert at night. not a fox because i feel i know the exact danger a fox would put me in. just a coyote in the desert at night. i haven't ever seen a coyote do anything harmful but i wouldn't consider a coyote harmless. i had seen h's picture on myspace or facebook, a new friend had wanted me to see her, as they were roommates. my new friend was a classmate i wanted to sleep with. usually i find myself wondering if i'd want to sleep with the friends of people i met or if it were possible to rule sleeping with out entirely. h was just attractive enough to look at twice and so i ruled h out as a friend.
on the flight i saw h preferred company to anonymity. she had a way of sitting still without looking out the window or pulling a book out of her bag. she did not seem disinterested, but rather midly concerned about something that was possibly happening in front of her that she did not know about.
my friend had told me h liked to order cosmopolitans from cute bartenders but otherwise only drank in the homes of friends. she liked drinking with friends over strangers and looked for familiarity before understanding.
my friend loved her roommate more than i knew about loving people then. i shared apartments before but could never share a room. my friend and h shared a room and they shared a desk and when they were sick they brewed tea once but decided it wasn't for them. most of the time they were just a little more depressed than normal and smoked pot or talked about minor annoyances until they were annoyances they could no longer deal with.
my friend acted on impulse and that's how she wound up kissing me. it was a good long kiss that ended our friendship. when i saw h on that flight i wondered about my friend.
i remember that night perfectly.
i remember the lighting of the bookstore and the number of steps on the bus. and i remember thinking that what mattered now was my friend telling h why she came home later than usual. telling h she was still thinking about getting back with her ex boyfriend who had stopped by to keep h company. it would be unfair to me and i would make a fuss about it someday. but that's not why i'm telling this story.

as a child h had an earache that was left untreated. it hurt her so much to listen to more than a whisper. normally children tell their parents about pain, but h was the kind of the girl who waited for her pain to become visible. she never told anyone close to her anything. when my friend went home they didn't talk about anything.

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