Saturday, April 18, 2015


*written in late 2010

Honestly. I totally and utterly forgot. Slipped my mind. She saw me before I saw her.

She walked up to me, slowly, and she began to smile roughly five steps away. Her hair bounced along her shoulders. 

It almost looked like she was laughing. And she might have giggled a little. Her eyes glistened. Her eyebrows rose. She was searching my face as she neared.

It’s YOU? She somewhat asked and exclaimed at the same time.

I nodded.

She was so close now I could smell the flavor of the gum in her mouth. The waft caused me to look down at her lips. I love her lips. They’re full. They’re moist. They’re downright perfect, if you ask me (you didn’t). Every woman should have lips like hers. I noticed how perfect her teeth were, and self-consciously I closed my mouth as I returned a smile.

SAY SOMETHING! She demanded, adjusting the purse strap on her shoulder. 

I could only carry-on a brief conversation in my head, silently: WhatthefuckdoIsay? Whatistheretosay? Imissyou! Comeover! Kissmerightnow! The thoughts ran together, all at once, and I didn’t have time to process much. 

She knows me so well, she knew I wouldn’t speak.

She has a constellation of freckles spread out over her face, and they’re ever-so faint. I remembered, right then and there as we stood in silence smiling at one another (her waiting for me to make audible sound), how I used to whistle after I kissed each one of her pecas. She’d close her eyes, and her cheek muscles would ball up as she grinned in pleasure, and she’d turn her head in order to allow me to follow the path of her birthmarks. We were so fucking cute at moments like those.

HEY! She shouted, snapping her fingers at my face. Please say something to me. Please.

I looked at her square, and I probably squinted a little.

Okay, when you look at me that way … I don’t know what to say, she continued, filling all the gaps my silence left.

Her index finger found the top of my left hand, and she traced a vein softly. 

This caused her to look down. Her hair fell forward a tad. She looks soooooooooooo beautiful in profile. Her nose is long, and she’s terribly insecure about how it sits on her face. I used to tell her, often, how gorgeous her nose was. Her small digit’s touch brought back all our intimacy (that time seemed like forever ago). My arm’s skin gave way to goose bumps.

I closed my eyes. 

We were strangers now, meeting again after a long, long absence from our respective lives.

You shaved your head? She asked, rhetorically. God, you LOOK like a criminal. Let your hair grow out. And what is with the earring? I don’t like it. When did you start wearing glasses?

She’d stopped touching my hand, and she evolved her caress into to a full grab of my pinky, shaking and yanking as she critiqued my outward fashion.

She made a move for my neck, the way she used to.

She inhaled deeply, stopping too soon to make contact, Ferragamo? You always smell so good.

I felt completely helpless with her there. I was going about my business, anonymously, not thinking of seeing anyone from the past. 

Seeing her was the last thing on my mind. Actually I was trying to memorize something, a procedure for work. Over and over in my head I recited the mantra. And I needed to be in the frozen food section to get some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 

There she was … just ahead of me, turning around to do whatever she was about to do, and she made the connection.

I opened my eyes.

You know, she said irritated, I could give you my phone number. We could talk. But you don’t want that, do you? 

She let go of my hand, and when she did a gust of cold air rushed between us (the dude to my side had opened a freezer door). So apropos.

She looked at her phone. 

She looked at her watch. 

She switched her chewed gum from the left side of her mouth to the right. She exhaled and looked over my shoulder at nothing.

She spun around, and walked down the aisle and out of my life.

I forgot.

I forgot how beautiful she is. I forgot how impatient she is. I forgot how much she cared about me. I forgot how she noticed everything about me, and how much I loved her observational skills. I forgot how opinionated she is. I forgot how she was the most effervescent woman I’ve ever known. I forgot how she could make me feel. I forgot how to speak.

Sometimes, it’s best not to remember.

And I mean it. 

Craig Edward Kelso is the author of Anarcho-Capitalism (2014), a primer on the philosophy of peaceful, stateless cooperation. His curriculum vitae include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and a Post-Baccalaureate secondary education credential in both Social Science and English Language Arts. Kelso taught for nearly a decade in the American public school system, and was voted by colleagues Teacher of the Year, twice in his short tenure, earning numerous accolades from chambers of commerce, mayors, state assembly persons, governors, congresspersons, senators, and even Wal-Mart. Currently he struggles to earn an opportunity to be employed, working as a laborer, dishwasher. He is deliriously happily married to Myra Kelso, living in Southern California with their adorable children.

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