Late Night


For a school night blog.

But.

I was just on the phone for over an hour and got to talking and when the conversation is good, the talking it just happens.

I don’t always get a chance to connect with people on the phone.

Like actually a phone conversation.

Not texting.

Not messaging.

Talking.

Communicating.

Sharing.

It has become something special.

I remember when I was a teenager and my sister would get on the phone with a boyfriend and how jealous I was of her sitting in the kitchen on the phone, the long tangle of cord drawn taught as she pulled the receiver further and further away.

Then.

One day.

I was on the phone with a boy.

Oh my heart.

How it pounded when I answered.

And how we talked.

It wasn’t much, the talk, about going to a movie if I recall correctly.

I remember how we had met and it was cute.

In a total nerd kind of way.

It was at a debate meet.

Yeah.

I know.

I was captain of the debate team for three years.

Shut up.

Oh!

Hahaha.

I just remembered his name, Jeff.

I don’t recall his last name, probably better, leave the innocent boy out of it.

He approached me in the lunch room at the visiting school where our team won our first ever debate.

I was a senior that year.

That was the year that we swept.

That was an amazing year.

We started to win.

I had finally figured it out, not really, I have never really figured it out, I still cannot figure it out, oh how I wish I could figure it out, maybe if I think harder about it I can figure it out.

Oops.

Sorry digressed.

Anyway, the team was doing great.

Irony?

Our debate coach was sick that day.

He had sent us off alone.

We were alone!

I mean, I think about that now and I wonder, did we even have a chaperone?

Of course, there was the bus driver.

But for the most part I think we went in there and ran the tournament completely on our own.

Perhaps it was that freedom and the lack of pressure.

Perhaps it was that I was feeling myself.

I can even remember what I was wearing, which hello, that was a long time ago, but it felt special, I felt special in my clothes, not something I often did when I was in high school.

The funny thing.

I was wearing men’s silk pajama pants.

And I’m not sure how the hell I had come across them, but I loved those pants, they were a soft sky blue with piping and I felt sophisticated and I was wearing a white button down shirt and black suede flats that were really too small for my feet but so adorable that I had bought them anyhow and loved them to death and wore them until they did fit.

I remember meeting Jeff in the cafeteria.

And he remembered me.

He remembered me from another school event a year prior.

Not even debate.

It was a forensic’s event.

I also, yes, nerding out some more, was on the forensics team.

I had done poetry then got introduced to extemporaneous speaking, which it turns out I was really good at.

Jeff remembered me from that, from the year before.

He remembered.

And I was high on the feeling of doing well at that debate, that we were doing well, although it wasn’t until after lunch until after the third round and making it to the finals and then finding out how well we had done, that I realized, this boy was flirting with me.

This boy liked me.

Oh.

Oh!

Oh my gosh.

You like me.

Insert obligatory Sally Field reference and no I’m not that old, fuck you.

I mean.

You really like me.

Holy shit.

I am so blown away.

It still didn’t completely dawn on me.

I was too high from winning.

Yeah.

We won, our first time ever that I had been on the debate team, we won, and it felt really good, I mean so very good to carry that trophy back to school and leave it as a surprise for the debate coach, Mister Stewart, to find that next Monday morning.

He was over the moon and kicking himself for not having been there.

I remember too how the team ran up the auditorium in the darkness toward that bright lit stage, how they pushed me forward to take the trophy, how it felt in my hands.

I said something, thank you I’m sure, accepted it on the behalf of our out sick coach and walked back to our seats with it heavy in my arms and a bit dazed and dreamlike.

We passed it around.

Every one got to hold it.

Then.

On the bus heading back to school.

They team decided I should carry it home.

I held it in my hands the whole way back.

I also realized as we were pulling into the school parking lot that not only was I coming back with this enormous first place trophy, but also that a boy, Jeff, had asked me for my phone number and holy moly, I had given it to him.

Would he call?

He did.

As it turns out.

I was brushing my hair.

My sister had dashed down the stairs to answer it and I hadn’t bothered to move, it was never for me anyhow.

“CARMEN!” She hollered up the back stairs, “it’s for you, and it’s a boy!”

Oh my God.

I don’t remember what we talked about.

I just remember the sunlight streaming through the window in the kitchen nook and how it struck the linoleum and how the phone cord looked wrapped around my fingers, the yellow curling cord proclaiming to the world–a boy had called for me.

It’s a powerful thing being wanted.

I don’t know that I have ever quite understood it.

I don’t suppose I ever will.

My friend tonight on the phone said I was blind.

And.

Perhaps I am.

Blindly fumbling my way along, heart on my sleeve, trying to not try to figure it out.

Trying to not be breathless and teary.

Trying and failing.

Falling under and over and for.

I have fallen for some and thought.

I should not.

No.

I should not.

I have thought of that often today.

And then.

It happens and there is no disentangling the cord.

There is only the acknowledgement, like the sunlit kiss curl of phone cord winding around my fingers, of love.

Here.

There.

In between the lines on the page.

In the shadow of the oak tree dappled with sunlight.

On a full mooned night.

Even when it has waned.

Love.

Love.

It is everywhere.

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