Billy and I pulled into the parking lot of the home, after driving four hours, to pick up my mother. I hadn’t seen her in over 15 years. I was married back then to a man who rivaled her insanity, a different man than the better man that had just driven with me to pick her up. So Billy had never had the pleasure of meeting her.
“Well, here we are,” I said. “Are you ready?”
Work of Art
She disrobed for him. The luna tattoo on her bottom half moved as if waving to the sky. She felt awkward at first, disrobing in front of strangers. Then oddly enough, the feeling would melt away like a good grilled-cheese sandwich; the crusts crispy enough and her attitude, just the right amount of spunk for this type of photo shoot. When she first started modeling, she told herself, I have limitations, no nudes. She believed she had standards, but quickly they dissipated just like her clothes.
She moved her body at just the right angle – the light hitting the moon and her pale face to make it look like they were both glowing. Chin up, sister, she told herself, you look good – hot, even, and it won’t take but a few hours to get this session done.
The photographer moved parts of her to fill in the frame of his lens. He had a vision and he’d fulfill it, at whatever cost. He was an artist and he needed models who understood that. He liked this girl, because she was professional, knew how to listen to direction, a natural too. She exuded both confidence and humility, grace and passion. Even with her abundance of talent, he would still need time to make it work. He moved her right arm above her head, lifted her chin even higher, spread her legs apart.
It had been ten years since she lost the baby. She mourned that day with ferocity.
Maybe it was the memory of the way Dan looked at her when he picked her up afterward, or the thought that once there was life inside of her and from that experience came nothing. Whatever the reason, every year on December 17th, she marked the anniversary by locking herself in her room and wondering what could have been. This year, on the tenth year since, it was no different than usual. Amanda wouldn’t even get out of bed.
I Know You
I wanted to undress him and see if the arch of his back or the cut of his hips was what I knew it to be. I sat in my old knowledge, untrusting.
“Do I know you?” he asked.
“Yes. Very much so, but I don’t know how,” I said.
I knew him. Not just casually, but I deeply knew him. I didn’t believe in past lives, but if I had, I rejected our past life together. We were together from a present time.
“How is it possible?” he asked.
“I’m not sure. But I feel comfortable enough to admit that I want to touch you,” I said.