Thursday, April 5, 2007

A Box of Puzzle People

Summer was tall. That was the first thing that struck you about her. Tall, with light strawberry hair, cut short around the bangs, pale skin. When I first met her, she was wearing a black dress with a polo collar, that fell to her ankles and had short sleeves. She wore a leather collar and a pair of high-heeled combat boots. I met her and lost her in the span of a day, when she stole a shirt and five dollars from me, I stole a Sisters of Mercy CD and a Type O Negative CD from her, and she left with a redneck that hated me. Funny choices some women make.

Julia was short and round. Large for her height. Curvy, full-figured, or just plain overweight. Take your pick. She wasn't bad-looking, though. When I met her, taking classes at community college, she told me she was a promoter for the local punk rock scene. That may even have been true at one point. I fell in love with just how damn cool the idea of it was, and how motivated she came across as. That was my first mistake. I spent the next year and a half convincing myself that she hadn't lied to me, as the closest to a punk rock show was a Vampire game, and she dropped out of school, blaming me for emotionally distracting her from her studies, and the two months following that working up the courage to walk away. Optimists call this "life experience" and say that they wouldn't trade it for the world. Stuff that, I want my 20 months back. And the psychological scars to heal.

Jeremy was the first real "cool kid" that I ever met. And I don't mean that in high school hierarchy sort of way. I mean that in the long-haired, leather jacketed, cigarette-smoking, sex-having, swearing , facial-hair growing sort of way. The guy was walking sex. Looking back, I know he was full of shit, but he was full of shit in that good way. Being a writer, I know that all liars are not bad people. Some lie because they are insecure or unsatisifed with their lives. We put a lot of these people on medication, whether they've hurt anyone or not. Some people lie to entertain people. We call these people writers, musicians, actors. We cut these people paychecks sometimes. Some people lie to better their own lives at the cost of other people's. We call these politicians, and we can't do anything to them because they're writing the laws. Why I bring this up in Jeremy's case is that I have a feeling he's a little of all three. I hope he's still alive, and doing better.

Darryl I can't recall completely, because in my mind's eye, he's been ever so slightly replaced with a characiture of himself done in the style of the artist Darick Robertson (he who drew Transmetropolitan). Sort of a rabid chihuahua of a man, constantly under the influence of something channeling a greater amount of energy and hyperactivity than is otherwise available to most people. A poet who, while protesting the break-up of a poetry reading by local police, was arrested for "aggressive stomping" when told to step forward. His fans nearly rioted, until the K9 units arrived.

Cindy was the girl that all the artistic and/or nerdy guys loved. Imagine Alanis Morrisette's mom had a torrid affair with a native American painter, and the offspring grew up in the lap of relative luxury. An aristocrat with the soul of a bohemian, beads in her hair, long crinkled skirt and drab olive paint-stained tank top covering her just-a-little-too-thin frame. I was the only who wasn't in love with her, for reasons I can't place, and she adored me for it.

Ashley. He was reason I couldn't place. Alright, so I've never been gay, bisexual, or terribly curious. Most people go through that phase. The closest I came was Ashley. He was a black-belt, a painter, a sculptor, a self-proclaimed starving artist, with long flowing brown hair and a dress sense that allowed him to wear a ratty band t-shirt and baggy jeans, with a few too many bracelets, and still look impeccable. He was a touch effiminate, and we'd always joke about him flaming when he lit a cigarette. He always claimed to be straight, too, and I never got to find out if he was lying.

With the right amount of spice and additive ingredients, any normal person can become instantly interesting. A little bit of nostalgia, a touch of nightmare, a pinch of pity, and you have someone that people would actually sit down and read about.

These are all real people, so of course I would never write about them specifically. Must figure out which line of narrative would work best, though..

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