Saturday, June 09, 2007

Strangers In A Park

Rain is spatting against the window right now, wind tearing through the palm leaves just outside. It's bleak. Cold. Dark. You just want to be inside with warmth wrapped around. I've barely cracked a grin all week, but I keep thinking about the stranger in the park, and that does it for me.

One week ago, guy and a girl in a park. Hasn't been a great week for him, but here and now - check this awesome day. Seriously, a harbour some people in some parts of the world would die to see, sunshine and warmth and the biggest threat maybe the shrill squawk of a child.

The guy doesn't realise until much later that he's opening up more than usual. More than he has in a long time anyway. He's had some pretty weird shit happen. The father. The mother. The whole family thing, he rarely mentions it, but for some reason (the booze... they are drinking wine by the way) he opens up and it's kind of strange because these are memories that he doesn't dust off very often.

He listens too, because she has also had a strange life. He watches as he listens, and he sees the activity beneath the surface. She talks of her whole family thing.

And it's serious and wonderful because look at that view and how did we meet again and how long have we known each other and...

Then there's this sound. It's the best sound ever. He makes them stop talking because this sound is one you have got to hear. Girl lying on the warm grass a little further down the hill, she's laughing. She's on the phone and she's twisted over laughing. She's lost it completely. She is giving it everything, has gone all high pitched and breathless and is rigid with the absolute joy of it. You have to stop when you hear a laugh like that because really, does being human ever get better than that?

Her laugh eases. They continue to talk, but then she's off again and it's better than before. Whatever the person on the other end of the phone is saying is just the funniest stuff ever. Through her high pitched squeals she gasps as she grasps the phone, "No don't. Don't go. Don't go." And she's off again into that state of writhing, hoarse ecstasy.

When she ends the call, reality comes back and she's here in this gorgeous place. This still and quiet place. Cleared throat. Green grass. Harbour. View you'd kill for. She's here away from whatever caused the laughter. She sits for a few minutes, alone and thinking what a scream that was. Then she gets up to leave. Dusts the grass from her jeans.

The guy has to ask. He calls out to her, "Hey. What was the person on the other end of the phone saying?"

She looks at these two strangers and asks, "What?" Then she smiles and has a little residual giggle, then tells the guy and the girl that she was talking to her family, her family in some other place. Some in-joke about them all being together on the couch watching television in the nude and the phone being passed between them and it probably doesn't make any sense or seem funny at all now that I say it out loud. Something about how she always pees her pants when she laughs too much and that's when they were saying they should go and she said no don't go.

She apologises because she thinks she has intruded. Then she asks if the guy and girl know where the toilets are because she really needs to pee.

Stranger in a park, her laugh and her family thing is a sparkling little memory.


Kathryn said...

That's brought a smile to my hungover Monday face. Thanks.

Mel said...

This is such a good post, really is. Well written and captured the moments better than a movie could.
Thank you for sharing.

Quick said...

Glad to hear it Kathryn.

And thank you Mel. Funny how contagious real laughter can be. It was priceless.

Margarita Milonguita said...

I only dream of writing as well as you Lee.

Quick said...

Hello MM. I'll bet you dream about a little more than that. (And thank you).

Guyana-Gyal said...

Ab. So. Lutely. Deeelicious.

What a great post. Yet another one.

When I hear people laugh like that I want to join in too.