It’s too damn hot. And too dry. When I water my herbs in the morning, their dirt is more the consistency of crumbled leaves than soil. I worry I’m making tea instead of nourishing them.
The tiny bush by the front door probably won’t live and the grass in the neighbors’ lawns is bleached and crackles like tiny bones when you step out on it.
How do rain dances work? I asked.
And he said, you keep dancing until it rains. And he smiled wickedly, that inviting way men have of challenging you to come closer. “Whatever you do, don’t sit here next to me…. Okay, but whatever you do, don’t slide your hand across my chest… Okay, but whatever you do, don’t run your fingers across the prickly whiskers on my chin… Well, okay, but whatever you do…”
Only, I, of course, took him at his word. “Don’t sit here next to me.” Okay, fine.
My feelings hurt; his feeling hurt.
I’m a sucker for Catholic boys with old scars and his he kept almost in plain sight, cigarette burns on his arms, mostly hidden under long sleeves. Maybe this is why men like him need you to back around into things. Everything straightforward has hurt.
I don’t know. I thought he liked me.
I liked to write him. I wrote him emails back when we were just learning about email, back when his brother would call me and I would walk over to the library just to show them how to check their accounts. I wrote him notes and passed them to him in class. I wrote him letters over summers and waited anxiously for the envelopes that would come in return with his blocky handwriting.
I think he did like me.
I’m always “not like other girls” though and, in the end, that always seems to be what it comes down to. I don’t know for sure what it means, but I know when I hear it, that it’s no coincidence that it comes just before the announcement of someone more… something, both more spectacular and ordinary.
What can you do? You keep falling for the same types of guys; they’ll leave you for the same types of girls. That’s no coincidence. The heartache is inevitable.
And that’s what I mean.
Why can’t you do that for rain? Why can’t you put your heart and mind and body in the same contortions they’re in when it’s raining until the act of acting like it should be raining brings about rain?
That’s got to be a more useful skill than bringing on wives.