I met this girl with sunshine in her hair and a habit of holding my elbow. Im not really sure why she always chose to hold my elbow, but it was a cute little peculiararity.
Shed grab hold of me whenever I was near her, and just grasp that part of me with slender fingers. While crossing roads, shed do it also – always the same side. Always right in the middle. Right in that crook. Sometimes a little awkward, but cute nonetheless. Everyone has their own idiosyncrasies, and for her it was that. I’d asked her about it one day, brought it up in casual conversation – and she’d been dumbfounded. Hadnt realised that shed done it. Hadnt realised why she held my elbow. Hadnt realised that she’d been doing it her entire life.
“Maybe you jsut like the shape of an elbow?” I asked her, once the topic had been broached.
“No, no. I dont think that thats it. I mean, to me..its natural. I jsut place my hand on you…and instead of goign for your hand, it settles on your elbow. I dont even think that my mind registers that you HAVe a hand to hold, or that its the proper fit.”
“Try to again, here,” I said. “Heres my hand. Lets jsut hold hands.” and she shrugged, and put her hand out to hold mine.
And grabbed hold of my elbow.
“What the fuck?” she exclaimed, staring down at where her delicate fingers lay in the crooked portion of my arm. “I swear to god I went to hold your hand. At the last minute, my mind closed on your hand. I saw it happen in my mind. I saw your hand, adn my hand, together. I AM holding your hand ..but my eyes tell me Im holding your elbow.”
We tried again, and each time, she grabbed hold of my elbow, as if her mind stubbornly refused anything else. As if to her mind, my hand didnt exist, and all there was, at the end of it, was my elbow. A stub replacing a manipulating digit filled piece of flesh.
“Okay, she. ” she said, resigned. “This is really fucked up. Maybe theres something wrong with me? maybe theres something .. some kind of damage? I cant explain it.”
“It realy is pretty fuckin weird,” I said. “But hey, dont let it bother you! I mean, it -is- kinda cute, you know?”
But she couldnt let it at that. She, an intelligent young art student, minoring in psychlogy, just couldnt leave a msmall piece of thread be. She wanted to know. She wanted to test it on others – maybe it was only with me. Only when I was around. Maybe there was some kind of variable that altered the way in which her mind percieved the external environment. Maybem, just maybe, there really WAS something wrong with her.I kept thinking it was me, that somehow, I had instilled this behaviour in her. That somehow, my influence had created this abberation in behaviour.
“Well, I said. “why dont you try it with someone else? See if it happens when you go to hold someone elses hand.”
“You’re right,” she said. “This really needs to be tested! I’ll let you know!” and with a quick kiss, she was gone in search of the reasoning…..
…. but it kept bugging me. Muchly. I kept wondering why it was that she acted in that way, and as I wouldnt know until she returned, I turned my mind over and over on the possibilities of the entire thing – but then, she always had had the capability to make me think. Always had the capability to make me wonder. Our meeting,w asnt a chance thing after all, it was calculated, and for the most part, most imporbable – because who in these days meets in such as way as we did?
She worked at a Florists, jsut downt he road from my house in Leederville. Id ride past every day on my way to work on my bike and I’;d see her setting up outside. Sometimes Id smile. Once, I waved. but we never spoke, and never excahnges good mornings, hellos, how are yous or anything of that type. Until one afternoon, coming home, I saw her walk into the florists, and Id snapped.
I walked in. Looked around. Didnt know what the hell I was doing. Didnt know one flower from another. didnt have a plan.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said, succinctly. “Im looking for flowers for someone. What would you get a girl? what are your favorites?”
“Well, theres a wide variety …” and she’d gone througth a bunch of ifferent things. Different arrangements. Talking about them all.
” .. but these are my favorites.” she said. “Liliums. Theres just something about them, maybe the smell and the coloring, that really makes me weak at the kness! If its for a girl, you cant really go wrong with liliums!”
I’d smiled. “Great. I’ll take them!” I said.
She packed them up,. put a bow around them. Did a few weird arrangement things here and there. Tied it up.
“Do you want to give her a card?” she asked, all smiles. All eyes. All cute.
“Yeah, I really should shouldnt I?” and I wrote what needed to be said on a piece of card. Wrote a few words. As many meangingful into two sentences as I possibly could – pouring out the moments. Unsheething my feelings and allowing what it was that needed to be – be.
She went to the cash register, and rang up the price.
“That’ll be $55 thanks!” and I counted out some bills.
Gave them to her.
Looked her straight in the eyes.
Pushed the flowers towards her, across the counter.
“Those are for you, ” I said. “The card is for you as well.” and I stood there, hung and quartered. Scared and subdued. I watched as she took the card. Opened the small envelope. Read through it. read through it again. Watched her mouth open at those words I’d scribbled down. Things like “I can not help but admire from afar, something I find ephemeral …” or useless words of bullshit like that. What can I say? one can be bold, but boldness does sleep firmly with nerves..
Her eyes flicked up to mine and her mouth remained open. She looked back down at the card. Looked at the flowers. Looked at the card.
“Wow,” she said. “Fuck. she said.
I decided then, that I was a fool, and turned away, seeking my escape …
When she came back, her face was a small thunderstorm. She looked at me with the perplexed scowl of a woman thwarted – the way only they can look.
“I tried it on a few different people, a few mates – guys and girls! … and I held their hands! I dont get whats going on? Its only happening when I try to hold your hand … “and she did so, and there it lay. Firmed grasping my elbow. Hard. Delicate. Soft. Luxurious and passionate in a way that no other grasp could ever be.
“It’s okay,” I said. “I figured it out.” and I kissed her as she stood before me in all her wonderful poise …
…. as I went to leave, a slight feeling of idiocy on my face and a stomach rattling like a saber, I wonder what it was that I had done. How had I been so bold? What had made me so something so foolish? Why on earth had I written what I had?
I reached the door, began to open it …
“Hey, wait a second …”
And I looked around at her smiling face, and felt her delicate hand grasping my elbow, stopping me from leaving …