"I can't leave things well alone,
understand, I'm accident prone"
I am knocking on her door and she comes out in her summer outfit. Shorts and an old LSU t-shirt. She stares and me with that "why do I even bother" look on her face, cocks her head to one side and says:
I try my best sheepish grin and ask "What's up?" as if we had talked yesterday and I had not left town to live with my cousin in Dallas 5 months ago. Without calling her, without telling anyone.
"Oh, please" she starts, "Let's just stop with that crap" You're angry, I say, I know I should have called, but I knew I was comin' back around and.. well.. (her icy glare cuts into my suave explanation-I'm toast).
"Is there any real reason you are talking to me? Do I look that stupid? Like I'm gonna invite you in, fix you some sweet tea, maybe a gin and tonic, maybe we'd go out dancin? Do I look insane? Am I some lunatic? Does this in/out/I'm back routine work with some people?" Her face is flushed and I am trying not to notice what she doesn't have under her Tshirt as she shakes her arms at her sides. Even I know this is not the time to point out that she is cute when she is mad.
"I should shoot you. I should. But I know you have lawyer friends and they would cause me shit. I don't need that, and I don't need you. Get on out of here! "
Maybe you would like to know where I was? Do you wanta hear about my cousin's divorce, his kids? It was traumatic, really.. (I notice her fold her arm and lean against the doorjam. She is trying to feign disinterest, but her body language is all about "Give me a reason")
She kicked him, took the kids, then left town and left the two little boys with her sisters. 7 and 4, that's how they are, cutest little things.. we took them to Mcdonalds, one of those big plastic crazy indoor things. We were there all day... (She purses her lips, trying not to smile. I am getting there) Then we drove them out to Mineral Wells so they could stay with his folks for a while. It was a real heart breaker, I tell you what. Divorce with kids, man, what a mess. ... I shake my head, look at the ground, try not to grin (too much).
"OK, real heart wrenching, but what? No phone booths in Dallas? No cell phones in your extended family? Gahhh!"
I shake my head again, slowly. I know, I should have, but I got caught up in it all, then felt guilty, not knowing what to say.. so all I could do was stop at Houston on the way back and get you these (sticking in the dagger-handing her a pair of Garth Brooks tickets).. I would understand if you decided you should go with someone else....
"Damn," she says smiling, crying, generally... melting, "I hate when you do this kind of thing..." She leans forward, accepts my embrace.. soft, but earnest.
I've stopped wondering if I'm going to hell.