Lisa was tall and lanky. She and I met at Crane Road to walk to school together every day. She walked in a sort of fast-scrape, fast-scrape kind of way, with her green Army surplus bag beating in rhythm. She saw me at the corner and smiled at me. Her hair was long and wavy, golden, and a tendril escaped and curled down her face, and she pushed it behind her ear with a quick jerk. I watched her make that gesture a hundred times a day.
After school, if I didn’t have to work, we descended on the village of Scarsdale.
We would sit on the stoop and eat half-sour pickles from paper bags.
We would buy daisies and hand them to people on the train.
We would go to the headshop and pretend we were customers, you know, real druggies.
We would buy paperbacks: Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Hesse, Ram Dass.
We would laugh.
My chest was lifted by invisible threads when I was with her. Her fingers were always slightly bent, as if holding an invisible orange, and flitted around as if juggling those oranges while she talked. And smart, oh so smart. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, even if I never could touch her. I wanted her by my side.
And then she was gone. We moved to Michigan. I gave her my favorite ring, and she sent me an outline of her hand with the ring drawn on it. I put my hand on her hand.
Poetry I had read before I understood. In my head, I was dancing to Rich Girl in socks on her hardwood living room floor, as silly and full as I had ever been. Lisa
Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.
Now that I am without you, all is desolate,
All that was once so beautiful is dead. (Aiken)