> You're an angel

Her words, like a whiff of fresh air, appear and seep into me. I hover my mouse over them and they change ... 'You're A Devil' they say now. I smile and ask her if she'd care to dance with me one moonlit night by a seashore.

> Romantic, aren't we?

"I will if you will with me - either of the two - jumping in the lake or dancing by the seashore", I said back.

> :-)

We live in the world of words. The world where the smallest unit is not an atom or a quark, but a bit. Infinitely and instantly duplicatable, replicable, and communicable - a bit, the two cents.

They carry pictures, emotions, secrets, laughter, greetings, love messages within them across cities, countries, deserts, oceans, wires, air, machines. The bits.

A sequence of 0s and 1s if you will, but look a little closer and you will see what they are encapsulating, these bits - A message within their heart. Just one look at the words wouldn't give you the message though ... you have to look beneath them ... you have to see the words beneath her words.

Her name is agnes2k ... or blueheartedkitty...or just Karen, or tRissi or neon or morpheusitA - Take your pick coz its not real. Its a name beneath which is she, a person with a real name, hidden as if in a shell.

And it'll open, the seashell - she'll show you who she really is if you care enough to know. She'll show you what her heart is like, what her fear and pride are. The person hidden beneath the person she is.

She'll travel to you through her words ... not laced with accent, nor moulded with expression. The expressions are all hidden inside, you will feel her joy, her sadness, her discomfort, her wavering attention, her smile, her jest, her cry, her kiss, all through her words.

"May I ask you a question? and be a little serious please", I ask.

> ask away

"You know what I'm going to ask...so tell me my pixie...do you?"

And her words will have hidden words, sentences, emotions. Her smile will hide a compliment, her complaints will hide a lighthearted teasing .

And if its your lucky day. If you broke no shoelaces in the morning, and spilled no coffee, misplaced no keys and smiled at all the kids - her blushing or her jest will hide her confession of love.

> Go Jump in a lake

"It's not that I don't love you, really, it's that you seem completely incapable of having a serious conversation."

"Hmm?" I said, sleepily. The marigold was tickling my nose in a peculiar way - I didn't want to sneeze so much as yawn. This had the added advantage of letting me keep my eyes squeezed shut - her back was to the sun and I, looking up from where I was, head perched in her lap, couldn't quite focus on her without being blinded by an effervescent halo. Her blond hair popped and fizzed in the late afternoon light and I suddenly wanted a rootbeer float. "What's that?"

She sighed, quickly; exasperated, but dreamily so. "You don't listen. All you do is react to the individual words I say, not their meaning, and twist them around to being about something that's happened to you. You bounce around like one of those little rubber balls that drive cats crazy until they get lost behind the sofa. You're a dust bunny, is what you are."

The image of a Tasmanian devil mated with a rabbit, ears whipping around its head, flashed briefly through my head. He looked playful, but deadly. In retrospect, kinda like this conversation I didn't know I was having. I scratched the back of my hand on the grass; be too cold for this kind of afternoon before long. Not quite yet, though.

"I listen, I really do." I tried to sound convincing. I mean, it's not like I could really argue - she had caught me way too many times to fall for the flagrant denial relationship strategy, the one where you refuse to admit that anything's wrong at all, that you're extremely happy and that she's wonderful for putting up with you. Well, she was wonderful for putting up with me; hell, I can't do it. "I listen, I just...kinda forget. But that doesn't mean I don't care in the moment."

She scratched her shoulder and tried not to unsettle my head. "Do you understand that girls, well, this girl anyway, lives one long, complicated story, that those bits and pieces you never seem to remember mean more than that moment's interest? It's a narrative, and you need to have all the bits before any of it makes sense."

I didn't understand, to be honest. "What's the point," I said, turning carefully so I could look at her without blinding myself in the process, "of a story like that, a story that doesn't have an ending? You can't concisely tell it to anyone, there's no emotional backlash at the end, it just sort of...fizzles out. Life, I mean. It fades. Stories don't fade, they hit. They hit extremely hard for a collection of words...and then it's over. Pop the tape, time for a new story. I want arc and depth and a point. I want a reason to listen."

She didn't say anything, just leaned a bit more, rested her back on the sun and her ankles in the earth. It was only when she leaned forward again, her wet cheek resting gently against my forehead that I realized I had said something incredibly stupid.



For Templeton, in a way.

"I love you, baby-"
, she begins,
flicking cigarette ashes too close to my shoes

       makes me think of days
       -- past? future? --
       blessed days
       where joy could be bought for a
       two-scoop icecream

       of course, now disdaining joy -
       "too naive"
       "so passe"
       "abused by capitalism"
        - she prefers eyeliner and smokes
       (although she'll recycle her Starbucks cup)

       she thinks its equally
       tragic
       to be a sub-culture as it is to be
       mainstream

       there's no winning with this one

Me, sitting, as she
inhales
(with disdain)
exhales
"-but not that much..."

(Of course not, it would be too Hallmark.
But the fact that she lets me in this far
tells the
lie in her words)

and the ashes flick
flick

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