Monday, September 22, 2008


She would later tell me that she thought I was crazy.

Though I did not intend to mention it, had not even thought of it, when she finally showed up, she and her dog, both being very surprised by the fact that I was there, on the side of Ellentine Road—I spilled my guts. Not only did I tell her that I did not think her story was a work of fiction, that I believed the events actually happened—to her—I also told her how drawn to her I was. I took her hand, looked at her and said, “Allison, I am enamored.”

She pulled her hand away. I’d made a mistake. All of it, I thought, was a huge blunder. “I apologize,” I said. “I made you uncomfortable.” But before I could retract what I had said or in some way qualify my feelings for her, she scrunched up her lips, exhaled, and resumed chugging up what had to be the steepest hill in Iowa. I jumped into the air, raising her story over my head, waving it. “I know who they are,” I shouted to her.

She stopped. She turned and looked at me. I held the story out and again I said the words, caringly this time, “I know who they are, Allison. I’ve seen them.” The dog and she walked back to the car. She opened the door and pulled the seat forward allowing Angus to squeeze into the backseat. Then she planted herself in the passenger seat and pulled the door closed. I stood there for a moment. This is good, I thought, looking in through the window and smiling. She gestured to me as if to say, “What are you waiting for?”

I got in and looked at her. I ached. Amazing. But so sad. Allison didn’t ache the way I did. It was plain. She suffered. I handed her the story she’d written and she lifted each page looking for my comments, which at some point I’d stopped offering. After three pages I had intuited by the writing itself that it had been no fiction. “Did you want me to know?” I asked her. She bent her head to one side as if to say, “I don’t know.” Then she began to cry. I touched her arm—smooth, sculpted. My heart was breaking. I looked at my watch. I had half and hour in which to get to class. It was Friday, the last day. I would leave for home on Sunday.

“C’mon,” I said. “We shouldn’t be late for class.” I started the car and headed off with this beautiful and listless pixie at my side.

When some weeks later she finally got around to telling me she thought me crazy, her reason was that she believed only a "nutjob" would want to spend time with her, much less want a committed relationship with her. She had a point. But I couldn’t help myself. I was enamored, truly. Maybe it was pixie dust or something very like it.

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