I should have known better than to have worried that silence from Mandi (crymson_st4r ) was an indication of staleness. I was spot on, however, to be concerned with an assumption of danger (as staleness is, for her spirit). It seems that while I figured she was taking a break, she was actually breaking the record…for adventures after sunset.
Because I have known her and been included for so long, the jumbled paragraphs and single-breath speech in her journaling jumped out at me as though I had been there while it happened. The situation of being with questionable people and putting a part of yourself in their hands was so familiar it was as comforting as an aroma that suddenly reminds you of a good thing you haven’t thought of in forever. I don’t know how to explain so that it doesn’t sound like I’m encouraging you to ride at 60-100 mph with a tipsy driver who flipped their Bronco over into the ditch. But…
I saw her there, consciousness rushing back like invincibility given by God. I felt the gummy bottoms of her tennis shoes on the pavement in the middle of nowhere as she stood with (possibly even without) only a coat on for weathering the season, her face exposed to the winter cold at having made a humungous mistake. Hearing the drunk driver make them swear they wouldn’t go to the hospital and get her into trouble as one of them bled…the incredible agreement to lie to police and tell them a story about how they were crippled. Mandi’s breath white in the air as it burned with her commenting back to everyone, trying to express her side of what was best and what they ought to do.
I’ve been there with her, before. With nothin. Completely. Fucked.
I miss it, sometimes.
She went on to explain the grueling confessions and parental scoldings in tradition of how a fair fraction of our messes worked out. This wasn’t a particular force I went along with her on, as she chased, promising a Way Out. “Something Awarded Across the Lines If You Overstep Them”. No, this wasn’t my memory to have – but I dashed after the story after the fact, my eyes running left to right just as attracted and curious as she got me not too long ago, in the flesh of it.
You see, that trouble and that high stake gamble…that is her. When you’ve got oppositte sides fighting against each other for what they claim is right and you don’t know what to think anymore…she comes, blazing a trail sideways, offering something passionate and exciting to believe in. Indians and cowboys on the banks of a river and she’s cannonballing into the water. Sticks, stones, cruel names from people like me who have repeatedly sworn to wipe her from the picture… Nothing kills this bitch. So what is the point, in telling her not to do something or that she shouldn’t have done what she has? You know she’s being herself – why get upset because she isn’t someone else?
Yeah, she loses more than she wins. But in a fight where no one’s trying anymore, she’s going insane, screaming the battle cry. It takes more than a lunatic to rattle loose my stiff bones; it takes an overlooked hero willing to travel by humility and make sure you never forget her, whether you like it or not.