Last night I was tempted to go to the moon. She was low, almost touching the horizon. Only a sliver of her showed, but she had a warm hue. That of burnt cheese. I wanted to run down the rocky, crumbly cliffs. They were soft like a bleu cheese, not burnt. I would wade out into the water, but it would not be difficult. I allowed myself to be tugged out by the current. The moon was pulling me towards her.
I wondered what she thought when she looked down on Earth. I wondered if she would love better than this world. The love in this world is intense, but I have found that it is fleeting. If I went to her and laid my head in the nook of her arm, the one that now touched the waves, would she allow me to love her? Would she love me back? Would it end the next time a strong young sailor decided to use his tattooed arms to pull himself up to where I sat and told her stories.
I believe her love would have the same qualities as that of this world. We are in fact made from the same atoms. The universe has created both of us. I decided to go home.
This morning we prepared to eat a lot in the evening. We would fill ourselves with turkey and Pillsbury croissants and mashed potatoes. We found outfits that were free, allowing our stomachs to grow without notice. We got in my dad’s Subaru and he drove. As we crossed the bridge that connects our town to many other places, my dad flicked his long braid over the head rest.
“Can you do this for me?”
“Yes please do.” My mom added.
“Ok but it may come out looser than when you do it. It’s much harder for me to braid other people’s hair.”
“Don’t french braid it. Just a regular one.”
I slid the black rubber band from the end of his braid. There is a tuff of hair grabbing onto its rubber host with a great deal of strength. It is a commensal relationship. The rubber band is not harmed and so my dad allows the parasite to grow. My mom hands me a brush from her purse that holds everything.
I brush his dark, strawberry blonde hair. It grew to twice its original size. Its naturally curly and his omnipresent braid exaggerated them. It was slightly darker than the head rest it frizzed from, contrasting with the smooth beige leather. My fingers were slow to understand how to fit all his hair and make the under, over motions necessary to braid. It slowly curved into a recognizable shape.
He inspected it with his fingers.
“How does it look?” My mom asks.
“I’m sure it’s perfect, because my daughter did it.”
It was said sincerely.
Tomorrow I will drive through the rolling desert hills. They will turn pink at sunset. I will get to where I am going. The Uncle of a friend’s house. She is the friend I call instead of text. The front door will be unlocked. I let myself in. We squeeze each other. Her face close to mine. She will look beautiful, because she always does. She will be wearing a faint pink lipstick with a denim tank top and a skirt you can twirl.
She will lay on her bed and I will follow and do the same. Facing each other we will overlap our limbs, like two puppies happy and exhausted.
“Bubba what do you want to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you want to go see a movie?”
And so we will go see a movie and then go drink together and try to flirt with men, but really all we want to do is smoke on the smoke deck and be with each other because it does not happen often enough.
The next day we will become new people with a piercing and a hair dye. We become more confident and therefore more courageous together. There is something about having a friend next to you who is not fleeting at all.
We will leave each other in the young hours of the next day. The stars will be watching as we squeeze each other again. I will drive home watching the sun rise in my rear view mirror, creating reflections of the rolling desert hills at sunset.