You still don’t know me.
Next time, I’m going to say, “How hard can it be?” over my shoulder, as I’m walking away.
But in the meantime, let me give you this.
(It’s a magic decoder ring.)
You stop by my house. The lawn has not been tended, but there are stripped crayons melting in all of the cracks in the drive. The shades are drawn, as ever. The music inside makes it too loud for me to hear your knock. So you come around to the back door and find me in a babydoll tee and jeans, eating berries and cream in front of an open refrigerator.
What do you do?
Your original plan was to offer me a glass of the wine you brought and sit me down to show me pictures of your recent trip to Dubai.
Sneak quietly into my kitchen.
Make a cry of “HYA!” and catapult your body just so.
And when I squeal and bolt wildly into the living room, give chase.
You won’t catch me. Not yet anyway. Because I’ll climb right up the backside of the sofa and out the front door.
Do not reprimand me for stepping on the furniture. Even if it’s white. It’s mine. I can do what I want.
Instead, race down the street in pursuit. Be faster than I am. Grab me around the waist and wrestle me into the neighbor’s running sprinklers while their little chihuahua goes berserk around our ankles.
And when I fall down—breathless, laughing—show me your stupid muscles.
I’ll love you forever.
It’s an overcast afternoon. You receive a text from me.
It seems I am in town. In the park right near your house, no less.
You call my phone and I say the words, “I’m feeling so lost.”
Today, this means that I am wearing a thin, white sundress over black lingerie. Grey suede boots, heavy makeup, and a wide-brimmed hat.
Do not show up on your bicycle and toss me a frisbee.
Let’s make this one for the ages.
Pull up on a motorcycle right as the rain starts. Take my hand and guide me beneath the cover of a tall old pine. My bare back against its coarse trunk, drive your front into mine. Don’t hesitate but to use your full weight.
The combined smell of the pine, the leather of your jacket, and the rain will stay with me long after you’re gone. I promise.
I show up at your house with a snowstorm at my back, wearing a wig and the french prostitute outfit you’ve heard so much about.
I trust you’ll know what to do here.
At first, anyway.
But tonight is also the night I want you to tell me about every person that’s ever left you. Hopefully without crying.
Talk until your voice goes hoarse. Then we’ll take off the wig, and start the night again. But in a different way.
This means I am having one of my episodes.
Do take no for an answer.
Do not hide behind the apple tree just outside of my house, looking worriedly up at my bedroom window.
Because I am sitting right in front of you, you blockhead.
That’s right. There I am on the front patio. See me? Wrapped in a fuzzy blanket but still shivering, smoking one of the hand-rolled cigarettes you left behind?
Climb the patio steps and hold me if you must.
I’ll secretly like it.
But then leave. Please.
Knowing that any woman who comes after me is likely to be a breeze.
* * *