Sticks and Bones

The first part of a chronicle of a crush-turned-obsession. I'm sorry, Julie.

To experience this in natural reading order go to A Bright, Ironic Hell: The Straight Read .

Also, try Satellite Dance and Crystal Delusions--Parts 2 and 3, respectively--complete.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No, Not Okay (6/29/09 Monday)

This is one of those times when I just stare at the paper for twenty minutes or so, slack-jawed and barely breathing, before starting to write; when the entire first paragraph is temporization, a running start. I'm still running--where's the starting line? It's not a dearth but a surplus of thought that paralyzes the pen.

"I'm not going to try talking to you, anymore" was an interpretation of my note that came to me last night, and I decided I had to debunk that, first chance. Ten o'clock, Julie took over for me at the window, announcing so while turning her back on me to get something from the cabinet above her desk. I said, pointing to the cart of books, "These are check-condition." "Okay." "And there's probably quite a bit more in the bins." "Okay." "How was your ride back Friday?" i asked her back. "Okay." (What does that mean?) "Okay?" She finally turned but didn't look at me but with a brush of her eyes and a glancing, forced, tight-lipped smile. "Uhm-hm." Every aspect of her told me not only that she had no intention of telling me more but also, "Go away."
I did. What more could I say? What could I ever say to someone who didn't want to talk to me? The same hour Julie picked up a call. It was for Greta, who was not in the room. Julie left the window to find her. She did not ask me--the only other person in the workroom--to watch the window for her--a breach that she would not have dared to make in normal circumstances.

Again, I am on the edge of distress, yet no course of action presents itself to me. What happened? I can't be convinced that the note in itself had a strong bearing on her attitude. Distasteful as speculation is to me, it is all I have by way of an answer, gossamer as that might be. Her bike had been parked inside, where everyone gathers at the end of the workday to leave together. She may not have been the first to see that slip of paper taped around ther hand-grip, and was very likely not to have been at least annoyed, and given the pretense of work-place propriety she tries to maintain, that was probably a floor I laid bare as she stood upon it.

Is there really anything I can or should do? Is this sudden feeling of defiance I have justified? Is it defiance at all? Did I do something wrong? I mean, besides fall in love with someone who'd as soon have nothing to do with me. What have I done wrong in this whole year-long quagmire of misplaced feelings? But I repeat myself.

As I thrash in my cage, my blood pressure setting records for anything on the outside of a vacuum, I think of my only escape as writing. I think that I could be writing my nights away, putting my energy toward getting out of the library by means of my only obvious talent. Then I wonder what the hell I'm going to write, and I let go of the bars, lean my cheeks against them and stare, unseeing, at freedom. This--whatever this is--is all I seem to know. What is it worth?

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