Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Ashes of Dawn (part one)

I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does.
The Smiths

Speaking in euphemisms, one could call her a free spirit. Speaking bluntly and based on rumors, one could call her a slut.

Dawn was a junior and I was a freshman when she asked me to co-star in a one-act play with a kissing scene. I didn’t have a girlfriend, so I figured rehearsals might get interesting.

Apparently, so did Dawn.

I spent fewer than 10 minutes talking to Dawn. Her rundown of the play made it sound interesting, I’m sure, although I can recall neither the title nor the plot.

“There’s a kissing scene,” she said. “Are you okay with that?”

Her voice was a bit throaty and her mouth shaped the words in a manner I rarely have seen since. I liked watching her talk. As a result, my heart sped up a bit, presumably to move blood to my brain’s new single point of focus. A kissing scene with a girl known for being easy. What are you waiting for? Answer the lady woman.

“That’s no problem,” I said. Where do I sign?

I had another motive for agreeing. I wanted to be in the play. It would satisfy my attention craving tendencies and my adolescent urges in one act. Perfect.

A day or two later, I rode home with Dawn after school. We were going to give the material a read-through to see what I thought of it. I was just thrilled that I was in a car with a pretty girl who could drive, and that kissing already was on our agenda.

Dawn pushed in the dashboard cigarette lighter after we pulled out of the school parking lot, and pulled a Marlboro Light from a pack stuck above the sun visor. Her lips pooched out just enough to hold the cigarette beyond her teeth as she spoke.

“You don’t mind if I smoke, do you?” The cigarette wagged up and down with her words. She kept her eyes straight ahead.

“No, I don’t mind,” I said. I hated being around cigarette smoke.

The lighter popped out.

Careful not to stare, I watched as she deftly pulled the glowing lighter from the dash and touched the red glow to the cigarette tip. Her cheeks pulled in slightly as she took the initial drag that gave life to the death stick. She returned the lighter to its hole.

The driver’s window on the AMC Pacer squeaked and scraped as Dawn cranked the handle. I tried to figure out why she needed to roll it down all the way. When the wind made her hair dance, I stopped caring. Although it was about 40 degrees outside, I gave my window handle a few turns to stop the throbbing noise.

“Have you ever been in a play before?” Dawn asked, yelling over the rushing wind. She held the cigarette and the steering wheel in her left hand, to facilitate flicking ashes out the window. Her right fought the wind to keep her bleached-blonde hair out of her face. It was losing.

She was pretty, but the heavy eye shadow and caked-on mascara muted her beauty. Still, there was something I liked about her hair lashing her face.

(to be continued)

11 Responses to Ashes of Dawn (part one)

  1. I hope you used that ‘death stick’ line because you thought of it from Star Wars.

    You should have told Dawn, “You don’t want to sell me death sticks. You want to go home and rethink your life.”

    But of course this all happened before Attack of the Clones came out.

  2. Simon – I would like to say I was using a Star Wars reference, but it did not occur to me. Just needed a description that contrasted well with the word “life.” I should have told her, “You don’t want carpet, you want an area rug.” Now, I dare someone to get that reference.

  3. Spoiler alert. I bet this ends with you experiencing your first “smoker kiss,” only to cause you to vow that you’ll never do that again. :-) Or…maybe it gets a lot more interesting, and requires your wife’s approval to post.

  4. Charles – I’ll bet you can guess who it was by the time the story’s finished.

  5. Mark, you unintentionally use Star Wars references without knowing it and also intentionally misspell things like ‘wookiee’. Frankly, I’m going to have to reconsider how much I really respect you.

    And I can’t place your second reference. But for some reason, perhaps also given the time of day and that it’s Monday, I’m made to think of inappropriately groomed pubic hair. Which may well be an inappropriate comment, but you did use the word ‘slut’ in your post, so I don’t feel so bad.

  6. I agree with Simon on the “reference.” I guess we will find out tomorrow when all is revealed…maybe we’ll even find out if the carpet matches the curtains (that last bit is courtesy of Robert). [involuntary shudder] Too much testosterone today!!

  7. Hmmm sounds like an interesting story… but we’ll have to see how it plays out!

  8. E, did Bert possibly get that reference from a Taylor Hicks (American Idol contestant, for those of you who don’t watch religiously like us) parody on SNL last weekend?

  9. Shan, ahhh, so that’s what they were talking about on idol. We missed the SNL skit, unfortunately….sounds like it was a good one!

  10. E, it was hi-freakin-larious! I can’t remember who it was playing him, but he kept jerking his head and yelling “Soul Patrol!” Then he was talking about his grey hair and said something about the carpet matching the curtains – first time I had ever heard that one! :-o

  11. Shan, yep, I had never heard that expression until Robert said it yesterday….must be a guy thing. We must not pay much attention to such things ;-)


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