Puzzle Pieces

by Valerie on Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How cool is it to find the ultimate present for your mom in the toy department? She can spend months on end assembling her 10,000 count jigsaw puzzle, admire its completion for five minutes, then take it all apart and toss every piece back in their box like it isn’t anything. WTH. If you want to know where I inherit my OCD tendencies from… Thanks, Mom!

One time, Francis and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle together. This was a very long time ago—when our metabolism was more forgiving and we were still easily upset by things beyond our control. When he would wait for me to clock out at the corner of the bar, meanwhile slipping little haiku’s written on the back of beer labels or prose on paper towels into my jacket pocket whenever I served him his next round. Still very restless after hours, I’d hijack borrow a bottle of Black Label from inventory and a liter of Coke and with that, we’d plop down on my back yard and talk about absolutely nothing.

What I remember him saying was, “Did you know Courtney Love used to be a stripper on Guam?” and I said, “Ah, you read Spin, too?” And there was something familiar in somebody whom I didn’t have much in common with. Like feeling at home in a foreign country; that’s how I wanted to get people, how I wanted to be gotten. Even if we both felt a little smug in our knowledge of the most random useless information. Blame it on adolescent arrogance if you will.

Another time brought us well into sunrise. We took a drive to 7-11 in my beat down piece-of-crap ’92 Jeep Grand Cherokee for the largest cup of butter toffee coffee ’cause it was too late (or technically, early) to fall asleep and the chemical that tells your brain to wake up when sunlight dilates your pupils had already kicked in. We found ourselves crashed out on my bed by afternoon only to wake up still dressed in the previous night’s attire with bloody bad breath and boogers in our eyes and no weird feelings about sleeping together without ever actually, you know, sleeping together.

“Sorry I left without saying bye. You were still asleep and I needed to take a dump. I’ve been thinking about you all day though; I even thought about you in the crapper,” he said. A regular Casanova.

The things I come away with from those days—a dozen crinkled Bounty sheets, a magazine subscription circa 2004, a completed jigsaw puzzle—sentimental reminders of a time during courtship and carelessness. At first glance they don’t amount to much, but there’s something to be said about that. Something The Sunday Best said well, best when he quoted so-and-so (I forget who) in defense of fashion, “‘You can’t have depth without a surface.'”

straw boater hat – eBay
pink jabot top – reconstructed Kamiseta
denim shortalls – thrifted Calvin Klein
bag – Jill Stuart
mint sandals – Ecote

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