Excerpt from “Wind through the jacarandas” by Lily Meyersohn I try not to let my eyes hover for too long on Irene’s body. There is much of it, overflowing from sundresses. She’s a mother, after all, and mothers are not to be stared at. When I ask, my roommate, Mei, says that my own body has not changed since August but it may have been false, since we are friends. I never know how seriously to take her. At times there is something quiet and nasty, suspended and unlit between us – what is it? anger? that we do not always click while I am waiting for her to slowly shower, slowly walk to the bus, slowly do the dishes I could do myself so hastily. There are conflicting paces at work here or is it that we do not want to fuck anymore or never did? – Earlier days, after telling each other we’d be down, we chewed on tepid empanadas filled with ground beef and chopped egg. In itself, this recipe seemed profane. The rubber egg spilled out onto plastic plates I broke the edges of the plates edges between us. II
On a Saturday, Mei and I walk through ORGULLO, bigger and louder and realer than the one each summer at home. We both seem elsewhere. I never asked how many women she loved, or kissed, if any. Or other afternoons, I do my homework on cafe patios before the air grows cool and further cloak my own breasts in my mother’s borrowed sweater. There, and in parks, and on the 29C and once on the pavement, I come across hundreds of couples kissing, pawing and each time I wonder if I were to stop them in the crosswalk and ask them if they were in love would they say yes? and how easily would that declaration drop from their tongues? would it drop together in smooth unison? But how quickly do people fall in love, anyway? My parents, for instance, or my boyfriend with his exes. It took us such a long time. Or her with the boy named Will, and then Henry, who I never saw. It takes me such a long time. Is it different to love someone? Like yes I love To be in love with someone? Like yes I’m in love with, sometimes at least, some days or some moments in transit To be in love at large, at all times, when you wake in the morning and go outside for the first hour? No, it’s not like this yet or it never was nor will be.