“Hey do you have any spare change? I’m looking to buy something real nice like your girlfriend… not that you’re something to purchase you’re not something to purchase lady,” she uttered with a slurred, yet quick release of the tongue. She thought she had to get it all out in a single breath if she wanted to be heard at all. I can only assume she has mere seconds to make a lasting impression on passers by.
This woman, this street stranger, called out to us as we briskly walked in the fresh fall of summertime rain. It wasn’t the objectification that caught my ear as we trod hand in hand. It was this single word: girlfriend. My stomach filled with boisterous butterflies; my heartbeat quickened. It had been a long time since the word girlfriend meant something simple and sweet as opposed to a sour aftertaste in the mouth. My mind conjured up daydreams of days past in your arms, and days future still ahead of us. In reality, this was our fourth date. The boyfriend/girlfriend titles were not yet brought up in conversation. We were infants, mere children in terms of getting to know each other, but to me it felt as if you were a lost winter mitten found in the wrong season. Something familiar, and something unexpectedly needed as the coolness of Spring lingered.
Meeting you was a snap decision, gone right. Your teddy bear hugs, your warm embrace and concern for my comfort and happiness is genuine. The way your soft eyes sparkle behind your dark circular glasses plays on repeat, in an endless loop in my brain. There’s new circuitry carved in sulci and altered white matter pathways from my head to my heart. From my heart, to the tips of my fingers and toes, I can conjure up remnants of your touch.