“Is there anything I do do to help you?”
I watched him standing at my front door thinking of all the things that needed doing…terribly self conscious of the powerchair and the piles of laundry all over the living room….I had the screen door open only a crack….
“Who are you?”, I asked him, with some suspicion and disbelief. He smiled and said nothing. He just stood there…very very tall…skinny…salt and pepper hair and merry Einstein eyes. He had the classic gap between his two front teeth which were very white on the carmel colour of his face. His beard and moustache matched his hair…
“Do I know you?”
He opened the door the rest of the way and started to carry out the trash bags full of laundry….
“Wait where are you going with my clothes!!!!!”
“Wash them silly!”
“OK this is really weird I have no idea who you are and you show up at my door and…..”
Who was I to stop him? If someone wanted to wash my clothes that would be awesome it was hard enough to get it done with time and money….after he loaded them all in the back of his truck smiled again and asked,
“Coming with me you are? How can I find the place you wash clothes without you?”
OK this was REALLY CREEPY! He was wearing jeans and the most ugly plaid cotton work shirt I ever saw with more salt and pepper hair sticking out of the neckline and those SHOES! Those pointy wierd asian square toed shoes! I was desperately trying to recall the very few people from OVER THERE who had my address and totally forgot people here knew me VERY well but I was sure they had forgotten me and this was sooooo confusing!
He was motioning me….Nooooooo I did NOT want to do that ugly bound foot gheta walk in front of this guy he was merrily cute in a lopsided smile way! He must move so freely and easily by comparison to me? I gave him the ‘I DARE you to laugh at me look’ at pushed myself out of the chair and tottered over to him….
For this day I had chosen the long blue flowy THING I sewed with me own hands with the bright flowers to wear and I was glad for that because it hid the little hobble steps and made me look more graceful than I am…I wondered why I was trusting a guy whose name I did not even have yet and who was acting like he knew me all my life! Lonliness is a killer…makes you a sucker for anything. This was like some dream sequence so why fight it? If he is some serial killer I will die happy? I was glad I got to henna my hair the week before…I was glad I decided to wear eye makeup that day for no one and no reason as I often do…but still I was sure every imperfection screamed…
He was standing my the open truck door smiling and he saw my arm go up the embarrassing way it does automatically to help me keep my balance and my ears turned red and I was glad I was wearing my hair down but sad the wind was blowing and I was concentrating on the ground with one hand clenched in a fist in the air like they do at revolutionary rallies only mine was a balance thing when I felt a strong hand close around that wrist in the air and lost my balance completely and fell off the curb right into him and I was getting ready to be REALLY mad when I noticed he was grinning too big and grabbed me right under my shoulder blades in the middle of my fall and pulled me right up against him! OOOooooo….Was REALLY mad now he was LAUGHING and making fun of me and he said,
“This is very nice!”,
Suddenly it came to me just how tall he was! My eyes were right at his heart level and he smelled like….
All the rage just drained out of me and I leaned on him and it felt so awesome to lean on someone strong like that….and then I couldn’t help it and started to cry…..
He did not ask or make any comment or say what I should do or say anything at all he just kept smiling and holding me close to him and so I put my arms around his waist and started to hug back and it was again the feeling of, “I can die now smiling.”
So we stood there with a truck full of laundry holding each other and neither of us had even mentioned a name and some time passed and my throat stopped hurting and he felt it and let me go….
I am not used to tenderness or care. When it happens I get confused. It paralyzes me. I could only stare at those Einstien eyes and could not move. He did not judge or care he just waited. Smiling.
“What…” I couldn’t make anything come out…finally a whisper….”What….your name….is?”
Damn that desi grammar! I am an English major and I was not even BORN there. You hang out with people for years in real life and online and it messes your head up! The spend years and years alone watching people love all over each other while you look on like some starving kid staring in a restaurant! He just kept on smiling. Maybe he felt like me….to happy to even talk but I would have no idea why?
“Chalo…” he moved his head indicating we should get in the truck. I did not know any desi drove ‘redneck’ trucks. no way I was going to be able to get into that thing with any grace. I have the physics of things DOWN. I can get around if I need to but I was starting to FEEL something for this guy…I did not want him to be too disgusted with me. WHO WAS THAT GUY I GAVE MY ADDRESS TO A COUPLA YEARS AGO????!!!! He started to walk towards the passenger door to open it for me and I noticed he swayed funny to one side a little bit when he walked and…and…I looked down and….
…the wind blew the pants leg up over that pointy toed shoe where an ankle should be and there was a titanium rod! My eyes flew back up to his face and merry eyes and now he had a huge smile and my heart melted….I had nothing to worry about….he was also not perfect! I started laughing like crazy and he was laughing like crazy and did not care that I had to pull my leg up by one hand to get it in the truck first or swing a little bit too much weight from the side door handle to make it in and I did not care if I was not graceful…he wasn’t either….but we both had cute faces as old as we were and he shut the passenger door and went penguin stepping around to the other side and had his own physics of getting in and everything set up so he could drive without needing that missing leg….none of us needed to say a word and his arm went over the back of the bench seat and I slid under it as if we had been doing this all our lives….two messed up people on the poor side of town with no names going to do something like some old married couple might and I thought to myself….”There IS a God!”