new york 1982
grand central station. it was cold outside. converse and hooded sweatshirt. i wondered if
she'd even show up. it's not like we were girlfriends anymore. someone was playing
music. it had pop. bump. bounce. nothing i'd heard before. i moved toward the sound.
the beat. voices drowned out. but i liked it that way. live music. my head bobbed to the
up and down of it. something familiar. but different. and then i heard her voice. like the
old ones i used to hear. the ones that'd drunk and smoked into one of those voices
when they'd sing. those voices that carry you like a grandpa. you just fall into it. like that.
the voice was strong. i turned a corner and there she was. belting that shit out like
nothin' else. only she was young. real young. like fourteen maybe. and she was kicking
the wall real hard. to the beat. and smacking her leg. like that. strong beat. moved
through her. and me too, tell you the truth. it just grabbed at me. not like a grandpa at
all. more like a lover. it ripped at me. tore me to bits i'm tellin' ya. ripped me to bits it did.
so as i'd completely forgotten why i was there at all. nothin' else existed 'cept this girl
and that beat.
don't know how long i stood there 'fore she came up behind me. my ex girl friend. put
her hands over my eyes all cute like guess who? you like em? who? the music? fuck
yeah. fuckin-a yeah. you know these guys? that there's my new girl friend, she says.
and all a sudden i wasn't feelin' so good. s'like someone turned the room up sideways. i
wanted to run but my feet were glued to the concrete. i opened my mouth 'bout five
times but no words came to me. what could i say? ouch that hurts? not likely. not to her.
then it happened. i burst into tears. fuck. shit. i hate it when i do that. it was so bad the
girl stopped singing. that's when my feet decided to work. that's when i turned and ran. i
ran outta the station. don't know whether north south whatever. i just ran. down streets.
down alleys. past lots of yellow and red. blurred colors. i was still crying. nobody
seemed to notice. must be people are running through the streets crying every day
see. thing is, we used to have a band together. she and me. we talked my brother into
joining. he had a drum set. me, i played the base. and she sang. it's not like we played
any gigs or nothin'. just the streets. out on the jersey shore. summertime tourists. bucket
a coins. you know. like that. i was having so much fun i didn't even notice how sad she
was. i mean, if i look back i can remember. but i guess i was trying not to know. know
what i mean? it's stupid. all of it is so stupid. me and my crummy little broken heart. she
was sure happy once she left. that's what i heard round anyway. me, i just got sadder
and sadder. i heard from people she moved here. i swore i'd never see her again. but
then she sent me a post card. she says she misses me. wants to talk. i try real hard not
to care but i can feel the excitement in my stomach. like butterflies, you know? that kind
of good and bad feeling.
so i write back and say sure, i'll come on over and talk. just say when.