Sunday, February 10, 2002
Sunday. I am with Sherry in the big empty house; everybody else is gone until at least tomorrow and tomorrow is a school day. I am suspicious because I wonder if she’s planning to dump me. I get ideas in my head like this sometimes and they wont get out. Since my folks died and left me all but out on the street last September I am not right. I lost everything once and will not survive if I lose her. She is everything.
It’s touching that her parents left two sixteen year olds to look after the place. No one knows just when they will be back or how to get them in an emergency. Most kids our age would be inviting their friends over to have wild-ass parties that would leave the house in shambles but Frank and Annie know we are not like that.
It’s hard to know where to begin a conversation after yesterday. I had worked myself into a panic attack and ended up in the hospital getting sedated. Sherry’s not mad at me but I’m one down to her now.
I sit beside her on the front porch glider. The houses and buildings still harbor a gray chill and the sun sulks smoky and baleful over the city. Still, it’s unseasonably warm this weekend and today will be even warmer. The weather makes me sluggish and fidgety. It’s so warm we are both wearing shorts but a big change in the weather is coming. Tomorrow night there will be snow, or what passes for snow in Georgia.
I look at her and she puts down Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and looks at me quizzically.
Let’s start where we left off talking yesterday, I say to her.
There’s nothing to start about, Michael. You worked yourself into a fit and wound up in the ER yesterday for nothing.
For nothing, huh? I say. Well, the next time I have a panic attack for nothing you can just put me in the car and drop me off at the morgue. Would you like that?
Stop it Michael. I just meant you got yourself worked up for nothing and when you do IDK how to get you to stop. If it gets bad just take one of the pills he gave you.
How did you get me to the ER anyway?
Called an ambulance. Didn’t want to move you.
Okay. Let me see where I was. I said I loved you and you said it didn’t matter cause you were too young.
Her head snaps around. She says angrily, I never said that.
What was coming next, Sherry? “I think we should see other people?’
No! Stop, Michael, please.
Is there someone else?
No! Jesus god, Michael. What’s got into you?
I don’t see how she could be, as careful as we’d been.
Alright, I say. I’ll have to dig it out of you, whatever it is…
It’s nothing, Dammit. This is all in your head!
Were you about to say, “I like you as a friend,’ translation, “I don’t want to fuck you…
I fuck you every night! She says, anger building.
So far you have, I say. So far.
What kind of inquisition is this?
I’m trying to get you to say whatever you were going to say yesterday.
I wasn’t going to say anything! It’s all in your head. What’s the matter with you? Do you want me to say something to reassure you? Fine, just consider it said, whatever it is.
That’s not good enough, I say. I want you to love me the way I love you. I need you to reciprocate.
I get up and point my finger at her. You are trying to fuckin kill me, I say. If you want to break up with me just say so, but don’t keep me…
I don’t want that, she says. Get that out of your head.
You want to dump me just do it.
Nobody’s getting dumped, she says. Please stop. Don’t have another fit. I love you. Calm down.
I say, You may speak freely for the victim is fettered. Is he truly fettered? Aye, he is fettered. Let the crucifixion commence, your hands are free of the blood of your victim, washed away by the blood of thine indifference…
I stand here angry and hurting and breathing hard. Everything slows to a crawl and I think I am going to fall again when she does exactly the right thing. She sticks her tongue in my mouth and gives me a deep French kiss…and my hands are in her hair and I have forgiven her for anything she might have done of commission or omission.
She pulls away and looks me in the face. We are both breathing hard. I say, can we be private? Is anybody…
Come inside, she says, gasping. Nobody’s here. Make all the noise you want cause i’m gonna make plenty.
I put both hands on her butt and she wraps her legs around my waist and I carry her into the house like that and into the bedroom, kick the door closed, and put her down on the bed…