May I lay with you for a while? I nodded. Oh of course. In the soft blue moonlight peeking through the window, she lay beside me ensconced in her usual blue lace coat, and softly pressed me close. Against her warm embrace I felt each reassuring breath with a rhythmic ebb and flow of all the lives lived beneath her wrinkles and the worn love lines shed beneath sheet crinkles--but in our stillness nothing was unsaid or not unspoken. She was just happy to be here with me. Nothing lingered or was forced, and we dozed in and out of sleep like ghosts slipping through our seams as one.
Fuck the Alarm emblazoned its chorus with a fiery cacophony that blurred my blue and black strips in a migraine as I smashed my head against the looming lamp overhanging my desk and quickly rushed to save my latest comic sketches for Le Chat.
Soft breeze textures her tresses in tortuous tangles and deep brown forests against her light olive skin. Snuggling deeper into her midnight blue pea coat, hazel eyes refract the early morning sun ray spires to far off planets where her likeness runs carefree along the rings of Saturn and outshines the throes of supernovas. Outside the bookstore she shuffles in a reverie and sits down at a white table in an unoccupied eating area and waits. She is waiting for me.
Lumbering hurriedly up the adjacent concrete stairs, I stop to catch my breath and gaze at her. She sits with a soft smile, her lime green blouse is bright and inviting like spring as her light brown bangs shield her far-off eyes. Miranda, I call softly. As I wonder if my words slipped on the morning dew at my feet, or if they just shlogged in too much phlegm, she turns toward me with a crescent flash and ember eyes. Heyy! How are you? It feels like so long! The last time I saw you, you were eating corn flakes in Chemistry and giving speeches about animal psychology on the tables in the commons. Hah! Oh...yeah? You saw that huh? With a flush in my cheeks I gazed off smiling sheepishly at some dried leaves. Yeah, you were totally into personality types and came up with all sorts of animal counterparts for people. Do you remember what I was? You told me I was cat-like in my affection. Oh yeah I did! We were near the balconies in Neason Hall, you had mustard on your shirt and I licked it off. Did not! That was totally you because your hair touched it and I called you the Mustard Queen when we were eating those shitty hamburgers together. God! They tasted so bland and took forever to swallow. Hmm? What do you mean? Ohh..hehehe I remember they were as hard as shit bricks or at least felt so in the restroom afterwards, ugghh. Grade F but still fit for human consumption huh? Oh yes, for sure.
...hey,I’ve missed you ya know..I know. How’ve you been Miranda? What have you been studying lately in your courses? Well, I’m taking a seminar on human computer interaction. It’s a lot of theory mixed in with some coding projects--I am enjoying it! The professor, Rogers, makes these wild connections with stories from his life. Like once he was at a conference and he couldn't access his notes because his computer wouldn't turn on, and he instead gave his presentation with volunteers from the crowd as stand-ins for interface app functions he was describing. And just as he was talking about meaningful design choices that may enhance function and understanding through spontaneous reactions, a volunteer was taking a selfie and walked too close to the edge of the stage and fell off. To which Rogers just turned and raised his hands saying...and there we go you get my point about the whole system. It was one of those times you had to be there to get it. Hahhh ohh yeahh okay, it sounds ridiculous. Well hey, I'm glad you’re enjoying your course! Yeah. So hey what about you, what are you taking? Are you still pursuing art and design? Yes, I am Miranda. It’s going well I’ve been happy with my courses, but sometimes they’re a bit restrictive in their design concepts and you know sometimes I want to do my own thing. Yeah, like what? Well like they wanted us to examine modern forms and I chose that Hudson library, you know the one by the computer labs? Hmm ohh..umm yeah I think so. Wait...huh? It's like right by your classes for HCI like the one you take with Rogers...umm...is it the concrete building? What? No it’s the one with red bricks and the giant human-sized chess board on the ground outside. What no way, I don’t think I’ve been there ….I don't … I don't know I guess.
Silence ensued as the commons facade lengthened deep, purple shadows with the setting sun. I didn’t realize how much time had passed, but we’d sat and talked together all afternoon. Miranda shuddered in the shade. Her features were overcast with gleaming dark eyes and distorted skin pallor as the wind chill picked up. The frames of her coat flowed ethereally, and we braced within the droopy umbrella above the table staring at one another. As the temperature continued to drop within the evening hours and the glimmering lights began go out one by one, and row by row in the colonnades by the dormitories, we could barely make out each other in the gloom. And as I racked my mind for the words to tell her how much I loved her, her purple lipstick shifted ever slightly in motionless words, with the sounds caught in the air around us as my vision dimmed and my ears rang and all the world slipped with the fuzzy fragments into a faint glimmer arching on the horizon. Roused from my fugue, my vision returned in a blinding rush of fluorescent overhead lights next to a massive wall of television stations, where a lady in a blue polo with a glossy plastic badge asked: “Were you going to buy the SM-R332 model, sir? It’s the latest in virtual reality technology and quite affordable.” Still blinking back tears at the light, I gazed at her name tag and tried to figure out the stout black lettering that started with an M.