Red Wrist Bracelets

I had this friend, a friend of a friend, something, and I shouldn't but I sat her in her chair and saw she couldn't get over something. She was trying to drink her orange juice, listening to the cars that were driving with their music up too loud next to her broken Plexiglas window, and starring at the Window’s Media Player for something good to finally play on XM radio, on Seattle KEXP. But she just kept picking her lip, counting down the minutes to when her kids would arrive because she knew that she should have opted for thinking up a good lesson plan for them, that it would have been good for her mind, versus tagging herself on blogs and on various sites. But she couldn't get away from thinking.: the sky outside was grey and usually she couldn’t see the electric wires from how great the sun poured in from the windows that covered one outside of the classroom wall. But today she could see them and she imagined that she was somewhere else, like where he was from or in Seattle or in a new town where there was a dear main street and safe people and sweet smelling old women who would let you set your yellow mugs on their tables and not ask what was wrong, when there was really something. She imagined fitting her hair up into a fitted bun with a clasp or a silver beaded bobby pin that was an heirloom from an elderly lady who really liked her. But then she heard beeping horns down below and realized she was still in a school, that she'd had teaching obligations, like lesson planning that she'd neglected and so she let the ill feeling that drinking too much strong coffee made, overtake her and make her feel not good enough. The wind through all the fans that weren't hers were whirling and making a breeze similar to the ones people liked in the fall and she thought of Portland and how it didn't feel the same to think about it now that he'd said what he'd said to her, now that he hadn't called or paid attention or acted like he wanted more. So she told herself that she'd probably end up with someone he knew, someone who was just like him, who looked like him, who acted like him, because she felt that that would probably happen. When her kids were coming into the room and the lights were flipped on she got to thinking about the Hunger Games and which chapter they would read and she lost thought of it: Portland and Seattle and the guy who wasn't paying attention to her, whom she missed. That night the girl went out with a guy friend who was having problems with his partner and when she took her happy hour special, a $6 dollar glass of Little Penguin Chardonnay up the stairs to pee she sat instead on a blue chair next to the abandoned food of a crowd that had just left. There was a corner with white paste running down a quarter inch away from its burgundy paint where the red spot light was shining down on it and she couldn’t hear it but she believed it was some song maybe the “Perfect Drug” from Morrissey’s Meat is Murder album, going on downstairs in the jukebox. When she left it there were seven free plays and she didn’t play them all, they’d only had a few albums from the rest that she remembered were her favorite on the old machine. She let Chris talk to the guy who was hovering over his beer, with many tattoos on his right arm downstairs, and she was wondering in her blue plastic comfy dining chair if Chris was having a go of it and if the guy had picked up on his conversation and if he was talking back… Some drinks later and Chris and the girl were sitting across from Alan and Don and she’d had a thing for Don. She’d picked up a cat carrier that he’d tried to get rid of once upon a time, along with a record player he couldn’t sell for 25 dollars at Allen’s yard sale two years before. Chris and the girl drank most of his beer across from the red counters on the table that gave her hope tonight. She said yeah to duckpin bowling but really she knew that she’d have to hang out with Joe the next day and so she changed the subject to grammar which is what this tattoo artist poked her in the elbow at the beginning of the conversation to talk about anyway. Since everyone was being laid off from her school she played on that subject in her safe zone and felt no one would turn her down for opening up about how all the lessons she’d created for Verbal SAT and creative writing electives weren’t appreciated enough. After she’d shaken Don on the arm and hugged him, he’d made her forget who she’d missed so much for a second and she walked out the door and smoked her last cigarette from a girl that gave her a kind look who got a menthol from Chris before going back inside to a guy friend who was watching her Pit bull and Greyhound. In the Depot she forgot about her love or rather she felt like he was there. She was pretending she was in the movie that she was writing her manuscript about, about Sam and her , and that her love was jealous, seeing her dance by, darting the green , red , and purple strobe lights that Chris was dancing in the middle of. For a minute she was going around so much after Chris’s Yuengling and her wine that she didn’t notice the black chain link door open to a guy in a black shirt and pants smoking outside of it with no hair and she was all turned around from spinning and it just turned her around more to see that there was a way out of this room with windows, mirrors , and empty dj’s host, and a girl dancing all by herself in red wrist bracelets.

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