Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kissing Johnny Depp

I didn't think that I would stay for the whole party, but then I arrived at my friend's house and it was full of those nasty girls from high school who have perfectly highlighted, straightened hair, and pert noses that have a few freckles in summer, and skin that tans to golden perfection. I was wearing a short black dress, wrinkled old wool socks, and one of my brothers baggy striped pull-over sweaters. So, just to irritate them, to get under their acne-free skin with my messy ensemble and deadpan comments, I stayed.
We played a game where we slapped on red lipstick, were blind-folded and spun around, then sent to try and kiss a poster of Johnny Depp. I deliberately bent too low and with a loud and decisive smack, kissed his bare chest, much to the consternation of the Riverbender's. Did she mean to do that? they whispered to each other. How odd. She is so strange.
I slept over. M asked me to, she needed someone to talk to, and I like to listen. Besides, I felt like this was the final blow to the Perfects downstairs...I was Chosen, they were not. They could keep on talking about the Bachelor/ette and Grey's Anatomy and their new manicure and their new car and their old boyfriend; I didn't care. The bed was small, and I was reminded of sleepovers as a little girl, spending the entire night on the very edge so as not to accidentally brush against one another in the dark. She talked and I tried to stay awake and make intelligent comments, but my tired brain had turned to mush and I'm afraid I may not have been the most helpful, as I was mostly just wishing she would be quiet and let me sleep. The blankets were being pulled over to her side, and I was too embarrassed to yank them back, so I shivered instead, letting one limb at a time freeze before covering it and thus uncovering another expanse of chilly flesh. Slipped into and out of conscious for what felt like eternity. But I must have slept a bit, for I had this dream...

...Greece, in spring. Green fields with a million wild-flowers. Brown and gold people. I was digging in the dirt for dead bits of history. There was a wink of ocean in the corner of my eye, but whenever I turned to try and see it, it would be gone. It tempted me, and I was obsessed with the idea of seeing it, but it forever eluded me.

I woke up to M's alarm. I pulled the sheets over my head when she turned on the lights, and when she got up and left to the bathroom, i moved off my stiff left side and into the middle of the bed. It was so soft and so warm and there was so much space that I fell asleep for real, and this time I didn't dream. When I finally did rise, the house was empty. M's house is one of those huge old mansions on a big bit of property, with 7 bedrooms and doors that open onto entire new wings that you never knew existed before. But the fridge is always stuffed with good food, and the family is always friendly, and it has a sense of unpretentiousness that comes from not bragging, or really caring, how much money you have. It is comfortable. So I wandered downstairs, made myself coffee and helped myself to leftover Vietnamese food from the fridge. M found me later, feet up at the kitchen table, sleepy-eyed and wearing the same clothes as the day before. She isn't like the other Riverbend girls, she is genuine and gets embarrassed when you talk about her money.
On a separate note, our roads are like 3rd world streets- almost impossible to drive on. I feel so tough whenever I hit them fast, sliding around corners and jumping the curbs.

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