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Twisting all the bad things into good

Sep 9, 2013


"You are the finest, tenderest, loveliest, and most beautiful person I have ever known - and even that is an understatement."
F. Scott Fitzgerald

MONDAY. JULY 24th, 2000

There was bad weather. It delayed her flight for 3 hours.
It was freezing in Cusco when the girls finally arrived.
Lisa said she looked like a snowman.
She was talking the works. Gloves, scarf, and boggins.

He had no idea what boggins were.
He couldn't picture little Lisa looking anything like a snowman.
Then he could. And she was adorable.

She assumed everything was super, right?
That was her word. Super. 

He liked the way she said it, the way she dragged it out but not long enough to be annoying.
He missed her voice. Her Georgia accent.
The sweetest voice he's ever heard speak his name.

Anyhoo, she was thinking about him and wanted to email him while she was still in civilization.

He'd never heard or seen the word "anyhoo" before.

The next day they would set out on horseback to the temple of the sun and the temple of the moon. She was super excited. 

He assumed the sun and the moon had been worshiped as gods many summers ago.
He pictured both temples in ruins.

She hoped he was having a great day. 


Besides the sun and the moon, she had been to "Quenko" which translated into "zig zag". She wrote that the zig zag was the temple where the black llama  had once been sacrificed as the Incan's pacha  to the pachamama, a gift to mother earth, and the blood was poured down from the top, to drip down, via the zig zag to the earth.

He'd never seen so much blood. He'd never heard of the black llama.

Lisa's horse kept biting Peru's.
Sarah's was like derby potential.
Mel's horse had a mind of it's own.
They laughed nonstop through the Andes.

He pictured Mel and Sarah and Peru having long dark hair.
Snow capped mountains all around them.

They'd taken a sunrise hike to this statue of Jesus that towers over the whole city.

He wondered if she prayed while she was there.
They'd never talked about God.

She was thinking of him and she hoped to hear from him soon.
She sent him hugs and kisses. Lisa.

He missed her eyes. How they brightened every time he stepped into her radiant presence. Her eyes, her smile, her whole face gave her away.

SATURDAY. JULY 29th, 2000

They hiked up to see Jesus again and they danced until the clubs closed.
Tomorrow she would go on a 7 hour hike straight up.
She hoped she'd make it.
The day after would be even harder.
She'd send him a message from Machu Picchu, if she made it.  

She'd written him a message but decided to delete it because she was afraid he'd think she was a complete crackhead.

He wished she would have sent it. He would have liked to read it. He would have printed it out and folded it up and kept it in his favorite book, her book, the book she gave him. He would have loved it more than the book. He would have read it over and over. He wished she hadn't deleted it. He wished she'd saved it to send another day. He would not have thought she was a complete crack head. He would have understood.

Keep her in his thoughts.

She was all he thought about.
He couldn't keep her out of his thoughts.
All he thought about was her.

She had hoped to hear from him before she left for the trail.

She was sad that she didn't.

She hoped he was having beautiful days.

Sep 8, 2013


"Write hard and clear about what hurts"
Ernest Hemingway


"Me too" she said and kissed him again. "So glad."
 She put the side of her face against his chest.
"Jimmy, I don't wanna leave you."
He kissed the top of her head and moved her dirty blonde hair away from her face.
"I don't want you to either" he told her. "I miss you and you're still here."
She hugged him tighter.
"Don't let me leave."
He laughed.
"What about Machu Pichu?"

Her overnight bag was packed on his bed.

"I wish I could put you in my suitcase and take you with me."
"You wanna put me in your suitcase?"
She nodded her head. "Uh huh."
"Let me get this straight," he lifted her off the ground so he could see her face. She was so light. She wrapped her legs around his back and kissed him. He pulled his head away so he could tease her. "No, hold on, lil one. I wanna make sure I heard your brilliant travel plan right. So you wanna put me in your suitcase?"
She laughed. "Yup."
"You, teeny tiny little Lisa, who wears the teeny tiniest little pair of jeans I've ever seen in my life," she laughed, but they really did look like little kid jeans when she wasn't wearing them. "Adorable little you wants to put six foot one inch me into your suitcase and take me on vacation with you? Is that what I'm hearing?" He gave her a quick kiss she wasn't expecting because she was still laughing. "Because that's what it sounds like?"
"That's my plan" she confirmed. "Isn't it super?"
"Super for you, maybe, not so super for me."

Super. That was her word.

She was super.

On his bed behind her, next to her bag, was her copy of her favorite book. She was taking the bag with her, but she was leaving the book with him. She asked him to please read it while she was away.

"Hemingway, huh?"
He felt her nod her head against his chest.
"You're gonna love it" she promised him.
He didn't know if he could love more than one thing at a time.

She raised up on to the tips of her tiny toes, kissed his cheek, and turned away towards her bag. He reached out and held onto her arm, and then her wrist, and then her hand until her fingertips passed over his own.

He never expected it would hurt so much to write about her.