in the telling

This story is not about to be recited, only retold. I just want you to know I’m sticking to the rules. We’re all grown folks here and what do grown folks do if not retell.

Once upon a not so long time ago there was a girl. No, too soon. Hold on. Some other stuff first. Once upon a not so long time ago there was a Waffle House by a K-Mart in the quintessentially unmagical city of Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A. And in that Waffle House by a K-Mart in the quintessentially unmagical city of Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A., there were some teenagers doing some teenage stuff like talking shit and lightly flirting and looking sullenly off into the not so distant distance one night when the weather was warm because yes it happens there too and one of those teenagers was a girl—aforementioned—who also happened to be the most beautiful, sweetest girl this side of anything and when the unremarkable food and adolescent talk and childish flirt and angsty look were done, the girls got in her little white car and I stood with the other boys on the sidewalk outside and she to me said from the driver’s side window as she was pulling out of the lot while the other teenage boys stood around me with nowhere to go and nothing to say

“hey tall boy—call me,”

just like that, and she gave me that most beautiful, sweetest girl this side of anything smile and all the other girls laughed because they knew that request was as good as an order only a fool’d decline and she kept smiling as she drove slowly off and the boys oohh’d and aahhh’d like it was a scene from Grease and we were about to dance some fatal mating dance replete with choreography and costumes and too much singing but did I call her? A couple times, yes, but not enough, not nearly enough, and only once we grew to twice the age we were that warm night in the relative wide open teenage confines of that truly magical Waffle House parking lot in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A. was I finally able to call her mine.

The real person Oscar Isaac playing the fictional Llewyn Davis in the film by that verysame name plus “inside” said a very real thing. He said “if it was never new and never gets old, then it’s a folk song.” My father can sing, and he used to sing folk songs. But I can’t sing, so instead I tell stories and sometimes in those stories there’s a girl and sometimes there’s a boy and sometimes they dream and sometimes they make it and as far as I’m concerned that never gets old.

1 Comment

  1. I was that girl I could say once upon a time in Columbus, Ohio U.S.A. Just not that night or that kmart or that white car. The guy was the same though. Tall, sweet smile, off limits or so my boyfriend would warn before I would meet him for the first time. Double date, movie I think uh those nasty movie seats. Best friends showing off their “darker side” of life. How beautiful the color of caramel…don’t you think. He reminded me how short I was that night and every time we met, I sometimes wonder did he ever get a bigger bed. Seemed short the first time I sat on it. Yea I was that girl, different night though.

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