Confetti. That's what my brain feels like. No wait. Not confetti. Pieces of fish food floating toward the bottom of the tank. Yeah, that's it.
Jack called her a tart that night at Bottom's Up. A tease. I told him he was crazy. She was too pretty, her smile too. . . too. . . brilliant, radiant. All those cliches and more.
Mocha is how I described Lauren's skin to my mother. Mom raised her eyebrows. Incredulous. Polite. Probably wondering where she'd gone wrong. She'd envisioned me marrying a nice white, Catholic girl. She wanted grandchildren she could be proud of.
A scarf? Lauren left me because of a scarf? It was a present. Not for her birthday. Not for Christmas. A gesture. An attempt to cheer her up. She'd been so grumpy all week. Did I break some rule I didn't know about? I'd never gotten this far with any of the others. Perhaps chocolates would have been better. Or maybe it was the way my mother treated her on our last visit.
She said we didn't have any rhythm. I didn't understand. Still don't, but I keep thinking about that.
It was somewhere between remembering her face that night at the bar, her kiss the first night she invited me into her apartment, then her back when she moved out--a suitcase in each hand--that my brain turned to fish food.
I hope it's not a permanent condition.