I Miss You All Over the Place
There are so many things that I would like to say to you, if you were here. Of course, when we were together, in quiet times like this, when the walls melted away and our lips and fingertips were the only movements in a still life, we never talked much. I mean, we did, but I can’t remember much of what was said. Do you, wherever you have gone? Do you think of us, of those times, when we fit together and made something greater?
I have memories of you – connected to a hundred different places and events. Each one is something I did before, and will do again – but not in the same way or with the same feeling. I remember when we played pool after a boring party, me in a suit and you in a black dress, cut low and loose. You told me to keep my eyes on the table and stop looking at your chest when you arched your arm back and sent the cue ball bouncing around the felt. I will see the swell of your breasts the next time I go into that poolroom and miss you there.
I miss watching your lips – full, soft, and moist as they sipped a cup of coffee across the table. You were someone unlike anyone I had ever met – and those lips looked like a door that only you would open. I found myself staring at them, wanting them to say the things that I only whispered to myself, alone. You never said any of those things I hoped to hear; in fact, what came out was more often than not the exact opposite of what my ears were waiting for. But no matter. If I ever go again to the bar with the plastic tent, I will see your lips, silent and detached, and miss you there.
I suppose people still go skating in the park, helmets glaring in the sun, dogs running behind. I can see you there, all in black and purple, a sheen of sweat coating your legs as they pumped, firm and strong atop the rollerblades. You were obsessed with the feel of speed, controlled by you. I could only watch, earthbound by bad knees and the knowledge that I could never keep up the pace, and you couldn’t slow down. Now that you are gone, I can remember you however I wish, and when I go to the park, I will see your long legs pumping on the concrete path, and miss you there.
I don’t know if you noticed, before you went away, that I had taken to roaming malls for hours at a time. Nothing really catches my eye except for the cutlery shop and the record store. We are the last generation to call them that, you know. The kids now call them CD stores, and don’t place significance to anyone on a cover sitting at a piano or holding a wooden guitar, not like you did when I would come up behind you and kiss the hair at the base of your neck as you stared at the picture of Leonard Cohen. You always moaned, low, but hard enough to cause a tremor down your back that I can still feel. Whenever I go there now, since you left, I can see your hair, dirty blonde in contrast to your black jacket, and I miss you there.
I’ve always loved bookstores, and so did you. We never read the same things, and you always seemed to grade me on my selections. I didn’t know the words to say to defend them, but enjoyed going there with you. I liked watching your eyes as they danced from title to title, alive with the possibilities of escape from the life you had. I saw the way you would glance up and see if I was watching you – and if I wasn’t, then you would stare at me with a wondering look, as if you were trying to figure out why I was there, with you, in love. You never thought I saw you, but I did, just as I do now when I return there. I see your eyes and miss you there.
I’m sitting on your porch, or what was your porch before you left, and listening, as we once did, to your chimes echo in the breeze. Some thin, others heavy and deep – they all had a different meaning to you. I can remember looking at your ears as we would lay underneath, wondering what the sounds said to you. You could listen to them for hours, just as I could stare at you. I don’t think you ever noticed me there, not when the wind picked up and made the metal ring above our heads. I lay here now and see your ears, as they were then, so close to my eyes that I can almost see them move, and I miss you.
But the thing I remember most of all, and come back to most often, is the feeling of your hand as we rode in my car. You would remember the car, blood red and childish, that you took me to pick out. I can still feel your thumb tracing lazy patterns in my palm, the heat of skin on skin and my desire for the moment to never end, wanting to freeze the sensation forever, no matter what you said.
All my days are like this, going from one nest of memories to the next, turning over what was or what might have been in my head. I see you in all these otherwise unseeable sites – and I miss you all over the place.
Atlanta Journal and Constitution – December 12th
Atlanta police arrested Ted Watson, 31, yesterday in connection with one of Atlanta’s most bizarre murders on record. Watson was found sitting outside the apartment of his victim, Nancy Hester. He was holding the slain woman’s left hand in his right when apprehended, and police found human ears, presumed to be the victim’s, on a landing outside her home. Police reportedly were led to the dead girl’s home by a description of Watson’s red sports car, given by the owner of a local bookstore. He attempted to follow the accused after watching him place a pair of human eyes on a shelf in the store and then exit the building.
Police say the alleged killer lead them to the location of the victim’s hair at a mall CD store, her legs at the entrance to a biking path at Piedmont Park, and to a Northside poolroom where the dead woman’s breasts were found on a pool table.
Watson was armed with a large knife, presumed to be the murder weapon, purchased the day before at a Lenox Square knife shop. Watson has not made a statement, other than surrendering to police a paper with the words “I miss you all over the place” scrawled hundreds of times. ◼