Ava and I spent our evening trapped in a John Green novel. Ava and I spent our evening trapped in a John Green novel, swapping stories about school and life and family while halfheartedly swinging in the dusk of a park by my house, while young Hispanic kids jabbered at each other in disjointed Spanglish, chasing each other around and around in a stolen shopping cart from the grocery store up the street.
We sat folded between the pages of a book with whispering girls on the cover, and we sat, cross-legged, on top of a set of monkeybars while a little girl with pigtails went across over and over again, gazing up at us with wide eyes as we talked about nothing, about everything, the sound of our voices and the sound of the laughter more than the words that we said, the little stories about day to day life when we were far away from each other. And I held the end of the strings as Ava knotted them together, making us a bracelet in different shades of purple to tie us together, to hold us together, a bracelet made in the purples of the evening and the screams of the little kids as they crashed their stupid fucking grocery cart into the fucking wash again why are they trying to ride their scooter in the grocery cart we are going to have to call an ambulance I swear children are idiots.
And we walked back in the fading light and drove to the mall to look at the people and watch them look at us, and to buy food and listen to the music and laugh, and again, it was the time, not the words, the sharing of the moment and the kind of dry noodles from Panda Express and tea that mattered.
And we took our tea and walked over to what we long ago christened the “John Green spot,” the ramp across the parking garage from the mall where cars go up or down from the first level and the second, and as we did a few months ago, in the sun, in the summer, we sat with our backs to the railing, facing in to the asphault. Our feet on the pavement, we talked some more, and pretended that we weren’t sitting somewhere dangerous, that we were allowed to rest there, and the fact that we weren’t made it even brighter… and all the juxtapositions of a tilted world with a base on flat ground were mirrored in our actions and speech and the way that we saw both worlds… and the way we saw each other.
But the parking garage security came along eventually so we kept wandering, and eventually found ourselves all the way at the top, beyond where the cars were all parked, on the level open to the sky and blocked off from cars. And we clambered under the barrier and ran up the ramp and stood alone together in the emptiness of the sky dominated by mountains and by city and on the bare stretch of concrete that was never made to be empty. Parking garages are places that are made to be full, and malls are like that too- it’s all bustle and buy and sell and move and advertise- and nobody was up there. Nobody at all but us, leaning against the concrete at the edge of a wide and endless expanse of paint-marked parking spots that wouldn’t be filled except, perhaps, by us.
And it felt wonderful and open and safe in a way that wasn’t comforting, in a way that was hopeful but not established. In the warmth of a summer evening in the middle of September. In having someone you love by your side in the washed out darkness of electric lights at the top level of an empty parking garage. In the wind going by and the cars honking down below and the stars flickering just out of sight beyong the city light. It was the crash of the waves on a cloudy day or the sacred third space on the telephone when neither of you are talking but both of you are together, are there with each other in somewhere that is somehow both familiar and strange. And it’s unexplainable. And it was a John Green novel, and I feel so lucky to have been in it, if only for a few hours.
- wingedbookworm said: That was really good! Seriously. Not written poorly. It had really great phrasing that felt like the words were swaying, and wonderful imagery.
- lotionconspiracy said: oh my god that was amazing!!!!!
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