Saturday, March 29, 2008

KateInLA:: Lonely View From the Roof Top

My mind fades back to a moment at 5 a.m. on my roof deck back in Florida four months ago when I was so lonely I could barley speak. The isolation was crushing.
On Wednesdays I would typically never wake up before 9 a.m. because I didn’t shoot on Hump Day. Bad karma. On this particular Hump Day, though, I awoke at 5 a.m. with a start, in the heart of a nightmare. Apparently, someone I loved passionately had left me for Hilary Clinton.
Whatever. It kind of felt real at the time.

I remember tumbling out of bed and waddling into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I glanced up at the mirror.

Ugh, I thought, I look terrible. Hair in ponytail, I padded down the stairs to grab a chilled, peach Fresca from the fridge. Then I made a courageous attempt to go back to sleep. No go.

I remember the scene like it was yesterday. I had ambled out to the edge of my roof deck and rested my elbows on the pale mustard concrete barrier, leaning over in time to catch a couple kissing goodbye.

It was the guy who lived at the end of the dead end street on the east side of my formerly-owned townhouse. His cottage was a pigsty and an eyesore. I finally had felt compelled to call the Broward Sheriff’s Office so they’d give him a warning and get him to vacate his illegally-parked mobile dumpster.

I later apologized for being such a bitch, and he and I had after the drama become friends. He’d been hoping to get bought out by the developers, who are building the parking garage across the street, because, he told me, he knows his house is a teardown and he wishes they’d get it over with already. At that point, he was broke and ready to move.

His girlfriend was/is (I assume) an American Airlines flight attendant. I often saw her in her uniform, sporting wild wet hair. On this particular morning she burst out laughing, and they fell into each other’s arms. The dawn was breaking, and the orange and peach light began to deepen as it crept across the sky. He grabbed her around the throat with his left arm folded into some kind of a chokehold and began rubbing his balled-up fist in a twisting motion on top of her head. It’s called a “nuggie,” I think. She giggled and gasped and for air and tried to kick him in the shin. He finally let’s her go, as she feigned a slap across his face. He intercepted her open, swinging palm, turned it face down and gently kisses her knuckles. I remember the entire scene like it was yesterday.

I’ll miss you, she whispered, pushing out a pouting lower lip. I’ll miss you, too, he replied. He then grabbed her in a big bear hug, and they told each other a “honey-I’m-going-off-to-war” parting goodbye — over and over again. Finally she broke free, rolling her smart, black — but beat up — overnight bag and throwing it in the back of her beige and green, two-toned Pinto and sputtered off. He waved at her.

I remember he stood up, mesmerized in her wake. His mint-green hospital scrubs, tied at the waste, began to droop as he shifted about in worn thin flip-flops, no shirt.
My eyes begin to sting with fatigue or tears at the memory.

I’m so worn out it’s hard to tell. But I do remember standing there transfixed, somehow lost as the fly-on-the-wall voyeur, consuming the moment. I remember my neighbor suddenly looking up and stepping back in surprise, shocked that I was up and that I was watching him. He raised his hand to toss me a somewhat awkward wave. I waved back.

I remember feeling lonely. That’s it. I just must have been lonely. That’s why I moved to LA…


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