Let us all take a moment and soak up Girls Generation‘s new song, “Catch Me If You Can.” If you’ve never wanted to dance at a landfill or a construction site, now you will. The song itself is repetitive lyrically and melodically, but it is ripe, ripe for chill-trance-house remixing. I can even imagine a blues-jazz rendition.
I never really liked SNSD until they released “Gee,” and Jessica was my favorite (Tiffany and TaeYeon, and Yoona soon became favorites). If you follow K-pop at all, you know that Jessica left the group in late 2014. Although in the back of mind I know that someone is missing, the group is just as strong with eight girls. Aurally, the absence of Tiffany or TaeYeon would make a much bigger impact.
Retour (the following is primarily a work of make-believe):
I woke up and Lara was gone. Her clothes, the white pillow case, her blue hand towel, and her black indoor slippers were all gone. It was like she was never there, had not ever been there in the guest bathroom, the kitchen, the garage, or in my bed. The powers of my imagination were not nearly as flexible or Technicolor-rich like hers, so I could be confident that she was in fact there during some point in the last month. It’s all become a blur. My motives, my wants, and my movements had proceeded at a momentum so determined that I had scarcely a moment to catch my breath. I only had myself to reprimand, though. I had been drifting and tethered for such a long time when I met Lara that exchanging one afternoon of laughter, too much sake, and trying on wedding gowns for the hell of it had given me a taste of something I couldn’t put back down.
Lara had eyes link a lynx, she even walked like she was stalking prey. “Predatory” was an apt descriptor, as was “beguiling.” She was nearly four inches taller than I, but she always wore flats and I Doc Martens, so we created the illusion of being the same height . We could stand face-to-face and be eye-to-eye. When she kissed me the first time, two weeks after that day of laughing and rice wine, I felt as though time and space ceased to exist. Her lips tasted like berries and when she encircled my waist with her long, slender arms, I forgot I existed.
Only two other people had ever made me feel that way, and one of them was sitting across from me right now. We’d been at the beach house for a couple of days; I practically had to blackmail his superiors to let him redeem two weeks of vacation time. It was nothing bad, I assure you. Embarrassing, but nothing malicious. Some people are proud to admit they like opera, crossover-country-pop, and 1990s American boy bands. Other people, on the other hand, would rather crawl into a hole or let their most productive employee take a breather than to let the world know of their secret musical pleasures. I don’t always go after what I want, but when someone else wants something just as much as I do, I can make anything happen.
My friend of a thousand days cleared his throat and stuffed a watermelon square into his mouth. He chewed with motor-fine rhythm and wiped the fruit juice that dribbled down onto his chin. I leaned my head to the left, resting it on my left hand.
“Where are you?” he asked after eating another piece of watermelon.
“Sitting across my favorite, tangible person in the world.”
He laughed. I sneezed.
“I’m not your favorite, tangible person in the world. There’s another.”
My eyes dropped. Did he know? Could he tell? He’d only met Lara one time, when we’d run into her at a steakhouse. I didn’t know she ate meat; she’d never put any animal products into her mouth when I was with her. Of course, he’d been trained to look for relationships and rapport between people who pretended not to know each other well or at all. He spent nearly two decades of his professional life sniffing out such alliances, dalliances, and symbioses. He must have seen something I thought I kept at least ambiguous, open to interpretation.
As long as I was being true to my heart, he would be fine with whatever courses I took or missteps I took. He promised to be there always, to scrape up my corpse off concrete or to gather up the shattered pieces of my passion…if I couldn’t do it on my own. It’s not that I didn’t believe he meant it. I knew the last thing he’d ever want to do was break a promise, but I also knew that his time was precious, a limited resource. He needed to delegate smartly, satisfactorily, and above all, to meet expectations with the maximum results and minimum back-end rearranging.
I was about to tell him about Lara, about the kiss, about the extent of our friendship. Before I could, though, he pointed behind my shoulders in the direction of the tidal pool.
“That is your favorite tangible person in the world…out of necessity. Her time and attention is all for you.”
I turned my head. My heart quickening at the sight of her purposeful strides, her long dark brown hair billowing in the light wind.
“How did you–”
“When I saw the way she looked at you and the way you were trying very hard not to keep looking at her, I knew she was special to you.”
I lowered my gaze, my hands fell into my lap with the grace of a dying coyote.
“Hey,” he said as he put his right hand under my chin and tilted my head up. “I’m not going anywhere. You are too precious to me.”
He kissed me with the yearning of a thousand knights for one more day with their beloved.
Lara was mere steps from me, I could smell her berry lips. Two weeks with my two favorite, tangible people in the world. Would it be too bold of me to say that if apocalypse came in ten days, I could die happy?