And so I met this girl.
She was this little ball of sarcasm, slouching and smoking the same way, with a casual insolence, on a filthy couch in a little black slip. She didn’t look particularly elegant.
I was rolling out of a tumultuous and turbulent relationship with a girl who, to me, balanced trashy and classy at a perfect level. She was languid, and radiated a sort of Deep South sweaty glow that I found terribly enticing. She seemed taller than she was. She had one of those long necks, I guess. I was heartbroken when she showed me the door, not that I didn’t deserve it.
And so I met this girl. I wasn’t much more than a boy myself, though at 23 I certainly thought I’d figured out everything worth knowing. I met this girl who teased me mercilessly.
She came across as brash, as testy and sassy. She knew the city and she knew the country. She drank tequila sunrises in class, and Bushmills from the bottle. Her coloring was impossible for me to figure out- was she pale, or olive complexioned?
“Oh Will,” My mother chided me. “No one can be pale and olive skinned at the same time.”
But she was. And yet, and yet- and yet there was a sort of ruddy glow to her features at the same time. Her nose fascinated me. Her chin, this perfect little point beneath a mouth that always looked a little sad, except when she was smiling.
I wasn’t going to fall for her, of course. She was fun, I enjoyed the teasing, I enjoyed that she caught me off guard a lot, kept me off balance. But I wasn’t going to fall for her. For one thing, she was too young. She was only 19, and four years seemed like a long time when I was 23.
After I had fallen for her, I met with my Ex for a beer. She knew I was involved with this girl, but until we talked that day I don’t think she knew how involved, and I don’t think I knew how much either, until that moment. My Ex seemed a bit miffed that I had fallen for this girl.
“I hadn’t really planned on it,” I admitted, exasperated. “It was an accident.”
“Well,” my Ex said. “I don’t ever notice you having accidents with ugly girls.”
She was paraphrasing a quote from Lonesome Dove. It is one of my fondest memories of my Ex- because now I can look back and see the door that closed. I closed that door when I fell for this girl, this girl I wasn’t going to fall for.
I don’t mean that I “chose” to take one path or another- or one girl or another- I mean that by falling for someone, my life changed. I look back at this moment as point where the game changed.
Now it is 12 years and some since I met this girl. She’s a woman now (the only girl in my life is almost 4 months old and drools a lot) and she is still pretty sassy. I still look at her and smile.
The mini-series of Lonesome Dove ended with Tommy Lee Jones agreeing with a young newspaperman who has told him that he is “a man of vision.”
“Yes,” Tommy Lee Jones responds. “A Hell of a vision.”
She still is.