Thursday, January 8, 2009

BBQ's in Morgan Territory

Last night my best friend came home for one last BBQ at her dads house.  We, of coarse, met up at my parents old place.  We hung out in the pool house, Carl, Jay, Dempsey and I playing pool and my brother manning the tables playing amazing record after amazing record.  She was dancing.  We were all dancing.  It was summer, the end of summer, so we were all in our swim suits.  We were drinking beer and champagne.   After our game of pool we got in the hot tub, splashing around, trying not to get water in our bottles and cans.  We were doing flips off the brick ledge, seeing who could actually go the whole way with out back flopping.  It was all so perfect.  We all had a perfect relationships with her.  It was like she was a girlfriend to each and every one of us.  Taking turns making us laugh, talking trash, sitting on our laps, nuzzling our necks.  Perfect.  Like in the movies where a scene is so perfect that the director can't do anything to make it better except to pull the camera away, fade out the laughs and talking and cheering and splashing and fade in the music.  
Soon enough we had all settled in and were getting ready to drive out to Morgan Territory where her dad lives.  It was a silent drive.  It was evening now and the night chill was arriving so we all bundled up in sweaters and beanies, though we refused to change out of our shorts.  We arrived and George was standing on his porch opening cans of beans and chili and corn per his usual BBQ greeting.  Madeline and Sandy were there too.  Maddy in the garage and Sandy in the house.  Soon the mood was lively again as we built a fire in the pit, played darts, and tended the BBQ.  We were all a little tipsy on wine by now.  I remember sitting at the picnic table, one leg on either side of the bench when she came and sat in front of me.  She leaned back into me, her hood crumpled against my neck.  I new it was time for her to be going.  That it would be a long, long time until I saw her again.  The back of her head was nuzzled against the right side of my neck.  I bent my head down and slowly took a deep breath.  She smelled exactly how I remembered.  Stale cigarettes and Ora perfume.  But some how, over all that, the scent of her skin came through perfectly.  Some how it smelled exactly how it felt.  How it looked.  I breathed her in as much as I could.  As slow as I could and as long as I could.  Then with out looking back she slowly rose to her feet and walked down the long gravel driveway.  We all sat in silence, stretching our ears to hear each and every last fall of her feet until we were all just sitting.  Silent.
That night during dinner her father, her mother, her brother, her sister, Dempsey, Jay, my brother and I sat around and laughed and toasted our sister, our girlfriend, our daughter and our best friend.  At the end of dinner I stood in front of the table and raised my glass to toast our girl but before I could get a word out my throat swelled and I broke down sobbing.  Sobbing at how ridiculous it is to raise a glass for someone who isn't there.
That's how I woke up.  To a wet pillow case, a snotty nose, swollen eyes and a broken heart.


Anonymous said...

I love you my son and share your tears. Love Mombo

Anonymous said...

James.... ever since you posted her memorial, I come here occasionally to see how you are doing, and read some of your wonderful stories. This one really and truly moved me. You captured so much. Brought tears to my eyes. I miss her. Thank you for sharing this.