Saturday, May 28, 2011

after the dreams of falling and calling your name out.

...but, beyond any of that, the weirdest thing about it all was the Hula Hoop Girl. She's announced as a member of a local burlesque troop ("troop?" is that right? do they have "troops?") and she wafts like a wisp of smoke between saloon doors, glitter-coated face and red wine lipstick lips. And the singer counts off a one-two-three-four into some eastern European gypsy jazz thing and I guess it's all supposed to be sexy, the way she slips in and out of the hoop and lifts wilted legs into stale bar air, but it's more sad, really.

"How old do you think she is?" Sam asked me. "I'm guessing late-30s."

"No way," I said, "early 20s."

"Then she's done late-60s worth of drugs." I nodded and sipped a 7-Up.

I was too embarrassed for this poor girl to stand inside and watch her do whatever it was she was doing--gyrate? throttle? sterilize?--so I stepped outside to the small bench adjacent to the big window looking into the bar.

"Weird place, huh?" said the girl that I hadn't seen, already sitting on the bench. She's a dainty thing, and her blue sundress catches the light showering down from the flickering streetlamps and the whole scene looks like a music video for a song that'd be on an especially overwrought episode of Grey's Anatomy or something.

And I wanted to talk to this girl. I wanted to hear what she's doing in a tiny town in the mountains of the southwest. I wanted to know what her favorite movie is and what kind of dog she'd like and what she used to dress up as for childhood Halloweens and why her favorite is color is what it is and what she thinks about Big Things and if she's ever felt like talking to a nice person she runs into outside of a bar in God Only Knows, AZ but has become too emotionally internalized and conditioned to be skeptical and paranoid of the outreaches of anyone around her and if a situation like this makes her want to go back to the friend's house at which she is staying and try (unsuccessfully, of course) to fall asleep on the couch, wondering for an unreasonably disproportionate amount of time what it was that could have come of any of this.

But I half-smiled, nodded faux-dismissively, and wandered back inside because she looked just. like. you.

1 comment:

Claire Valene Bagley said...

Why do you have the uncanny ability to write the most life-like situations? Even if I've never at all had a situation like this, I still feel as if I had at one point been exactly there.