He sat on stacked cinder blocks and waited. This concrete kept shopping carts safe inside the Thrifty Bin parking lot but had a higher purpose, to border the sidewalk that cradled her perfect feet. She glided this path daily from school to her front door. Oh that front door! He had spent countless afternoons hiding in the bushes trying to sniff her hairspray through the wood. Now he sat on this wall waiting and although she had never glanced his way before he knew she was coming.
Her, with bubble gum breath and sunny skirts. Him, with pass-me-down corduroy shorts. Her with buoyant breasts in bright tube tops. He with sweaty, grey gym socks. She with seductive shampoo scent. He with belly button lint. She with locker full of pop stars. He with rusty matchbox cars.
What our hero lacked in style he made up for in sky high hopes. He had such grand love to give if only she could scale his shyness. He sat whispering sweet nothings to her passing ghost. The shopping carts and cicadas swooned. Time ticked by and as afternoon shadows grew long so did the beard on his thirteen year old face. It was the longest beard in the universe and although invisible to others he felt the bristles itch his knees.
He waited and waited and waited knowing any minute his Mom would call her herd in for casseroles, kool-aid and simmering teen angst. On a family trip to Texas she had acquired the ultimately embarrassing alarm, a large brass cowbell. At that moment of intense anxiety SHE, HER, THE VERY DREAM OF DIVINE BEAUTY appeared as if from the folds of heaven. Her hair flowed. Smooth intentions bounced around his mouth like silent marbles. Her tight corduroys swished. His heart beat an awkward rhythm. Then she looked his way with a slight smile and his being soared but * CLANG * CLANG * CLANG * the cowbell came and her face twisted to a smirk as if to say, “I know you are the cowardly calf being called.” A tear rolled from his eye, down a chubby cheek, off the curled tip of his lonely beard and down the rough cinder block wall.
supremely sad image by Kime Buzzelli