Even when Danielle was calm, she would slowly fidget with her fingers. But there was a scale. Only the tip of them, while looking down at her fingernails – meant a typical day. Having one hand on top of another doing small circles and you can bet there was trouble ahead.
Those fingers were skillfull, however.
They could play the piano and the bass. In a fast and confident way that most people couldn’t even dream that they would also beg for lazy scratches from shoulders to waist. Which I would not always comply. Her hands on yours, the official guide to an exploration expedition.
Holding a cigarette, another trait that made me notice her hands.
No nail polish, two rings – each on one index finger. Her wrists were full of different colorful ribbons and one hair band. Sometimes I wonder why she wanted to cover her wrists so much. But in the end I wanted to believe it was just to give her hands even more attention.
She took her time.
She was sitting on the sidewalk. Her hands, of course I noticed, were resting on the curb. The hand without the cigarette was doing a quick rhythm, a beat, for a song that she was working on. Even with hair band on her wrists, I have never seen Danielle with her hair tied. It was just who she was.
A yellow jeep passes us by – three bicycles tied to the car ceiling, plus one surfboard.
She tossed the cigarette butt on someone’s beautiful lawn. Across the recently painted white fence, close to the door and almost hitting the newspaper that was there since the beginning of the day. I thought the owners had to be travelling – everyone from that neighborhood during summer was either at a country or beach house.
There was a Starbucks on the corner. You could smell coffee. And boredom.
We hated the middle class posture but we enjoyed the perks of it nonetheless – at least the ones we wanted to take part on. Everything too obvious, like actually going to those second houses, or too uncool, like wearing in-your-face branded clothes, were avoided. And slowly, we were becoming aware of the hypocrisy.
She messes with her hair. Ties a bun with it that almost instantly unties itself. The light brown reflects.
Danielle’s behaviour was unsteady. It was like she couldn’t stand being inside her own body anymore. Worse. Her own head. The small circles were there, they appeared as soon as I was walking around just to sit beside her. I knew better than to ask. Whatever she was going through she possibly thought I couldn’t understand. And she was probably right.
I knew what we needed was hours of silent escapism.
Try as we might to blame the world, we are the only responsibles for complicating our own lives. At least when it comes to how you react to where you are at. I’ve always felt like uncomplicating things – solving problems, quite often someone else’s. It was some sick homeopathic thing I did way back when.
Somehow, I was already expecting to never see her again.
When I met Danielle, I saw how hopeless someone could become. It’s rather sad we have to somehow use people in order to cope with our own situations – but I guess that must be done. She did the same with me; all my insecurities raw and open for her to pick which ones applied to the relationship she used to have with her mother and which ones she would blatantly ignore because it was too messy even for her to deal with.
Bottle line is: we both needed each other, but for reasons unknown to one another.
I hugged her. She had a dizzy aura, like she had just gotten out of bed. She pretty much put her arms down and allowed me to hug her – I wasn’t expecting to be hugged back anyway. I never do. There’s something wrong with me, a nurture thing no doubt about it, that I want more hugs than anyone in the world is capable of giving me. So I decided to basically turn tables on that one and give the hugs I require instead.
We are willing to give what we can’t ask to receive;
Two hands, with different needs;
Her scratches and my hugs, never again to be.
listening while writing: Laura Marling – When Were You Happy? (And How Long Has That Been)