Gypsy [Birdie/Leland] Oct 9, 2019 23:27:01 GMT -5
Post by zori on Oct 9, 2019 23:27:01 GMT -5
Leland DurrowAnd it all comes down to youWell, you know that it does, wellLightning strikes maybe once, maybe twiceOh and it lights up the nightAnd you see your gypsy
Rained that morning, starting even before I hauled myself out from under the sheets. Arg was out, though he’d left a dirty bowl of oatmeal in the sink, not bothering to wash it before the oats crusted. It was my day off from the diner, so I had nothing to do but bullshit all day. Which meant lighting up a little bowl and cracking open a beer, on account of it being just past noon.
Used to love the rainstorms in autumn. Whole days spent inside on account of a little rain, excuses made that neither of us wanted to get wet and ruin an otherwise good day. So we’d retreat to the old plaid loveseat, and fight over who got to have the knitted yellow blanket (ugly as it was). She always got to have the blanket though, just as long as she sat on the floor, and I got to spread out along the couch. It was better for the two of us to play cards that way, too. She’d go on complaining about me looking over her shoulder, and always winning – but then again, kids are fucking dumb, so of course I snuck a peek or two at her cards – until she started sitting on the other side of the wooden coffee table.
Don’t know how we passed so much time in that little living room. Old black analog clock ticking away as we ran fingers along our cards and talked shit to one another about what we had to play (well, mostly me talking shit, giggling to myself over the good hands and souring over the bad ones). I would smoke a cigarette now and again, to give her the whole bar vibe, until Birdie got up my ass that little girls shouldn’t be breathing in smoke, as though that was the biggest of her worries. Even had me watching the number of beers I had, after Dam went and told Birdie about how she’d had to tuck me in on the couch, with the knitted blanket over me. As though getting day drunk was such a fucking crime (she was eight, which was old enough in my house to watch yourself).
Lunch was usually bologna sandwiches on toast, with a little smudge of mayo and mustard. I called them the Leland, because they were exclusive in my kitchen. I’d cut the little edges of crust off and serve it to her as though she was the most important guest in the restaurant, embellishing on the fact that the condiments were watered down, and that the bologna’d been bought on sale.
I don’t think I’ve had one of those sandwiches in years, now that I think about it.
We’d finish out the afternoon listening to records on the turntable. Old artifacts from ages ago, things picked over or handed down, just about the only thing that I ever managed to hold onto. There was something special about music, the kind that spoke a story to the soul. It turned a gray afternoon into one that was about each other, one that taught us we didn’t have to have much more than this to be happy.
When we listened to some of those records a hundred times, we’d sing along. Not that she wanted to, at first – but then I’d go and be as loud as could be, off key and everything. Because it wasn’t about whether or not either of us was a natural born singer, it was about digging down deep and letting out every last bit of sadness, or fear and putting it into the music. Singing about being my little gypsy, singing about how her love was enough. Wrapping ourselves up in a sheet and swaying to the music, spinning each other around and laughing, just – laughing.
I was listening to one of those old records when Arg came in, dopey little face taking one look at my sad sack on the couch and shaking his head. ‘You need to either get out of here or go back to bed, because I’m not hanging around this today, He says, arms crossed like he’s the definition of someone that should be passing judgment.
He was right, I guess – sitting there and thinking about her, my girl – wasn’t bringing Dam back. And it wasn’t making me feel any better, either.
I put on my coat and took a little black umbrella out into the storm, nowhere in mind. Honest. At least at first.
I had thought about going to see Shauna, dropping in and just seeing if she wanted me to put in her. I mean, after a little sweet talk and romance, and maybe a glass of wine for her and another beer for me. But it was three-thirty and she wasn’t going to be home for at least another few hours. I wasn’t going to wait around for her. That wasn’t how these things worked, it might’ve given her the wrong idea of things.
And in walking through the rain, thinking about Dam, thinking about how we had some good times, the two of us, had to start thinking about Birdie. About how those days always came to an end when she would come over. That the two of us could have our time too – until we started up like cats and dogs again. Not that it was her fault, she just didn’t really know how to act right. Always telling me that I was acting like a child, like I wasn’t allowed to have fun. That she knew better because she kept Dam to a schedule, made sure she got fed, made sure that she was going to school.
Ask Dam who was the most fun, that’s what I’d have said.
But then I think about the nights that we did have, all quiet, laying next to each other. Talking about how the rest of the world was shit, but we had each other. That we made an amazing little human, weird and sad, but our own – and that I could be proud of.
I debated knocking on her door. Truth be told, I’d had three beers that afternoon, so I was bordering on the territory of not being on my game. Except I figured, staring at the little grey house with brass numbers on the door, that it wouldn’t matter so much if she knew I was there about Dam. That I wanted to say anything, be with someone that might’ve known just what I was feeling. Even someone like her could understand that.
So I pulled open the screen door and gave a hard knock, rain still coming down, wind blowing sideways.
We still would’ve been dancing, around this time in the afternoon.Gypsy, Fleetwood Mac