“Will you recognise me?
Call my name or walk on by,
rain keeps falling,
rain keeps falling,
down, down, down, down.”
(#ThrowbackThursday – old writing of mine)
Swollen lips, hips and daffodils
originally written in December of 1999
She was seventeen when she left home. One backpack was all she took. She carried inside a well-worn band tee shirt, five cassette tapes, a book of poetry, and her camera. She didn’t have much money, but she was full of ambition, that kind of drive in her soul that seeped out through every pore. She wanted to leave the small town world for good. She had miles to go ahead of her, and had planned this escape since the day she was born. She liked to say “the roads my middle name” and “I have too much inside me to stay in one place”. She wasn’t really that strong though, she wasn’t that brave. But, you know, she never cried on anyone’s shoulder either, not even when her family crumbled apart for all to see. The news of her father’s trips and falls on the lips of all the neighbors, the talk of her household everywhere she turned, yet she never flinched, never broke. No, she just swallowed hard and kept going.
She had spent the Summer with that boy from across the road, the one nobody spoke to, the one who never said a word himself, the one they all said didn’t know how to feel. They all watched her dance with him under the stars on the Fourth of July. They whispered about what she was doing in his room late at night, trying to label her the same way they had her Mother. She just shrugged them off, smiling at them as she walked by. She had other things to think about. The big city awaited her, and all her big plans. He was just something to do, someone to pass the time with.
“I will leave soon enough. I won’t be denied”. She sang it like a mantra as she held the bus ticket in her hand. Escaping this broken down yesterday just in the nick of time, she believed. She would not allow it to take her. She would never be a Wife, a Mother, a Spinster, a Nobody. No, not her, and she would never love, not even him. Loving meant being still. It meant opening yourself up for someone to rip you apart. She’d seen it all around her, all the empty souls bleeding over some kiss or infidelity. “I ain’t going to let you break my heart again”, she’d heard a million times before, and yet they all lined up for the big Valentine Massacre every year, every moment, with every held breath.
She wanted none of it. All she wanted was the feel of her feet moving, her favorite tee shirt, some tunes in her ears, something to read and a shutter to click. Was there anything more to life than that?
She stepped onto the bus, one foot after the other, never looking back, never waving goodbye.
She never saw him standing there with the daffodils in his hand. She never heard him scream her name. They all heard it, though. It shook the town like an earthquake. He spoke. He felt. He loved. Through him, well, they all did the same.
But she was gone before his very eyes, before all their stares and gaping mouths. She was gone before he knew the next words to say.
Don’t You (Forget About Me) :: Simple Minds