Sunset, First Love

It was autumn, but still warm and musty with a hint of cotton candy and oranges coming from the orange show. From the cell in the main county jail, I can see outside of a barred magazine sized window, at the end of the hall and see the city streets.
I have just started this life sentence, and it's Saturday, and we are allowed an hour non-contact visits, on the phone, behind the glass, with our loved ones. Dorothy is my girl and I read in a book of names that “Dorothy” means a gift from God. We met many, many summers ago, which seems like many lifetimes ago. 

I was playing basketball in the projects, across from our housing track. I saw Dorothy, out of the corner of my eye, towards dusk. She strolled up the pavement out of a desert sunset. She had on a white flowered top, cut off jeans, and pearl sandals, and she walked up with her cousin Dottie. Dorothy was a city girl, who had come to visit in the heart of the high desert.
I do not know, if she saw me looking her way, but she and Dottie came and sat on the little brick wall beside the basketball court. I don't know how it happened and it was not a conscious plan. I shot the basketball and I missed. I jumped for the rebound and saved the ball from going out of bounds, tapping it back to a teammate. The momentum carried me to the brick wall, where I ended up sitting next to Dorothy. We both smiled and looked long into eachother's eyes as if we had found a new constellation of stars.

Dorothy was a city girl with oval face and long dark slightly curly hair that touched her shoulders. She had smooth light caramel skin, full lips like daffodils, and black bumble bee eyes. She had a very thin waist which highlighted her robust athletic body, even her toes and feet fit the shape of her temple. I don't know who spoke first, but I think I said hi, as I ended up beside her looking into a smile and eyes that made me think of desert sunsets in summer and orange sherbet icecream.
Dorothy's cousin Dottie introduced us. We hit it off like long lost lovers, where every move, every word, every gesture and every breath were like they meant to be there like the seasons, like the sun and moon, like wild flowers in spring.
We left the basketball game and her cousin and walked into the sunset. I heard distant voices say, aren't you going to finish the game. 

We strolled to my house where I introduced Dorothy to my family and asked her did she want to go for a ride. I drove her back to her cousin’s house where we sat in the car and talked the rest of the day. She told me all about the city she was from and how to get there from the desert. We kissed and hugged. We were already in love.

When Dorothy went back to the city, she left me directions and that weekend I drove my brother's car one hundred and forty miles to see her, and each weekend after that I made the same trip. Dorothy's family, her mom and two brothers instantly accepted me too, like my family did her. Her little brother Kirk caught us making out one day on the couch in the living room and asked when are you two getting married. Everyone thought we would spend our lives together. Dorothy had planned to attend college and I the Marines. But, life plotted different paths for us both.

Dorothy has come to visit me each Saturday since I've been in jail, and have written me letters every day. I call her when I can. Sometimes her mom, or a brother jumps on the phone and says hello and reminds me how much they love and believe in me. Dorothy is smart and can be whatever she wants.

Still looking out of the barred window and it's raining and so is my heart. I miss the rain how it trickles down the face into the lips. The way it feels like little fingers on my forehead.
I can see Dorothy coming around the corner, umbrella above her head. She is coming to visit. She said she would wait forever for me to come home from this life sentence.
The visit is over and tomorrow early morning I'll be bused away from here to the other side of the state, it might as well be the other side of the moon.
I can see Dorothy walking back up the street past the palm trees, to the next city bus stop. She turned the corner. Good bye Dorothy!

1 comment:

  1. Tillith GovernsMarch 03, 2012

    The story is so full of scents and colors, the warm air embracing everything and then that cramp- in-the-belly shock contrast, and all the sadness. Oh, Spoon! Everything that is not said but is felt.