It won't be long before they electrocute the trees with candy colored Christmas lights. Soon everything will be gone: memories, glances, the year. Every thing will dissolve into nostalgia and our lives will become more patchwork and less hopeful. Soul-crushingly sweet our smiles will be, as we watch that disguised meteorite crash into our existence.
Her name was Reno. Her dad joked he named her so because she was the result of a gamble gone wrong.
I could see the stitching around her eyes start to falter, as tears slipped out like a young nineteen year-old girl, running out of the back of a double-wide. Away. Away from it all. Leaving her father, the mechanic who could only fix things with his hands. Running through a field as shimmering as her nails, touching the tall grass with her short fingers.
"I'm not trailer trash," she said, "I've just had it rough."
Reno could see things others couldn't see. Frequently she painted wrecked cars, and I asked why, to which she explained, "Some accidents are allowed to be beautiful."
I fell for her the way her jaw drops after one of my inappropriate jokes: quickly and with such joy.
She had the same answer to when I asked if she liked movies and if she missed her mom.
"Of course I do, Josh," she looked at me and smiled, "Hey buck, have you ever seen True Romance?"
A woman after my own heart.
We watched Christian Slater shoot Drexl, and, like a bullet to the chest, she placed her hand over my heart.
"My, oh my, are you sure that rib cage is big enough for that thing, Mr. Haines?"
She looked a little like Patricia Arquette, but identical to Michelle Williams.
"Are you aware that you look like Michelle Williams?"
Reno ran her hands up my legs, across my torso, and held her hands at my jaw,"Are you aware of how good of a person you are, John Mayer?"
"Ah, yeah. I've gotten that since high school."
She smiled, looked down and up at me,"No, the part about you being a good person? ...You're the drawing on my wall."
I didn't know what that meant.
"I had this drawing-so terrible-it was of the sunset on our hill in Welling Valley," she looked into me and down, while smiling,"Anyway, the sun would kiss the grass every evening, and one day I thought I'd draw it and keep it in my room. When every thing got ugly with my daddy's drinking, and when he beat me something awful, I wanted something to remind me that the light sometimes goes away but will always be back another day. You're my light, Josh. You're the next day after nineteen years of cussing and drinking."
We made love on my bed, as, through the window, the sun bathed our bodies. Her body was a sculpture and her voice was as soft as her lips. I was terrified.
Pulling her hair back, she stood at the foot of my bed, naked,"Are you scared of little ole' me? You look as white as a ghost."
"No, I've never felt so alive... You're so ******* beautiful."
Reno and I lain in bed while Parks and Rec played on the television. Her index and ******* walked across my chest and stopped as she asked, "Josh, have you ever been in love?"
I touched my fingers on hers, studying them with my eyes, and then I looked at her, "Yes, once."
"What was it like?"
I thought I'd feel pain but instead I smiled, "Fantastic, fleeting, and always a little out of reach."
She cooed, "I can't wait until I think I love you like nobody else."