The idea of a tattoo had been running through her head every day.  First, she had wanted a bridge over the stream on her ankle.  Then she changed that idea to a stream with seven stepping stones with the letters  c-a-l-l-i-n-g on them. 

Finally, this morning she thought of the man who had picked her up one day and dropped her off at her boyfriend’s.

Colleen had been looking for her boyfriend’s house, well . . . his apartment.  She was wearing new shoes and had walked miles looking for the house of her boss, who became her boyfriend.  She heard the music first, then saw the black truck. 

She was desperate and flagged him down.

Seated in the truck she admired the dash. “This is a nice truck,” she said. “Is it yours?”

“Yes, who else would it belong to?”

“Your father,” she stated.

He drove her to her destination, drove her to the front of the building. Then, when she stayed talking in the truck he drove to the back of the apartment blocks and chose to park beside the little stream.  “Well . . . here it is,” he said.

“Oh,” she quivered. “I didn’t recognize it.”

“Are you sure it’s the right place?”

“Yes, I know it is.  That’s his car over there.”

“How old are you?” he asked.

“Sixteen!” she said.  “How can I pay you back for taking me here?”

“Go for a drink with me when you’re legal.” 

“I will,” she said.  And hopped out.  Walking to the building, she was hit with a sledgehammer thought. But she marched on.

Forty years later

First home run for Babe Ruth of the viper team.

A man showed up at her door wearing the same odd salmon color on his shirt as she had.  He was there to renovate her house, and was sent by a dear friend of the two of them.  Drum, drum, drum he went, hammering on the roof as he was fixing the top of the house. 

Stomp, stomp, stomp she went, letting her temper her.

The hot sun was almost unbearable and the hornets were bothering him but she failed to notice, lost in her solitary dance around the kitchen.  At one point, he knocked on the door to use the washroom but she barked “Get out!” at him. 

She was embarrassed to be seen as charged up as she was.  It was almost as if she had too much energy to contain and it came out of her like thunder, her words like lightning.  She didn’t see his hurt face as he closed the door.

After her tirade she looked out the window and saw him slamming shingles on the deck.  “Good,” she thought, you’re expressing your anger too.  Later, when she had her eyes opened to her effect on him, she climbed the ladder to the roof and had a heart to heart talk with him.

He looked apprehensive when she started but began to relax as she went on and soon he was picking up shingles again working in an easy rhythm as he expertly hammered the nails in her black shingles on the rooftop.

First home run for Babe Ruth of the viper team.

(The bases were loaded and Ruth was up to bat but they couldn’t find the ball.  It seems a dog had run wild with it for a while.) 

She ignored the phone call this morning as she was lost in music again.  Then, thinking it was her idea to call him, she tapped on his number and asked how he and his sister and his friend the roofer were. 

She had such a hard time hearing him, saying he talked too fast and asking him to slow down. 

“Listen faster,” he said. 

He was strutting down the street as a song came on the radio to be kind to others.  She saw him and was captivated by his rhythmic stride.  She wheeled around and brazenly asked the harmless looking man if he wanted a walking partner.  Little did she know.

He was the one who let her choose, he was the one who knew the path she was on and let her choose.  He’s the one who saw her whole unbroken and loved her anyway.  He loved her anyway.  He loved her first and she loved him all the way. 

Because he was horny and she wanted to grab his horn.  She wanted to come and make it right and peaked out the window to see if he was there.  

Oh to be sure, she was the vixen she always was. And had danced around the living room giving him the finger totally pissing him off.  What a bitch she was after all he had done for her selfish little witch she was, all into magic like that.

He took her out for a drink and she fell into his grace but didn’t see his face, hanging on every word she could make out.  He talked so fast she could only hear the odd word.  But she liked it, and she liked him.  They became friends first.

He was the one she took to see her first acreage.  On the way there she got lost and he sat, nonplussed, in the passenger seat, wondering if she would ever get there.  

She finally landed with his song and snapped her fingers with the faceless hands.

And she did it again . . . 

She cuffed her wrists with matching Thunderbirds.  It was the first time she had put both on and felt a little like she was trying to Wonder Woman with a star belt,  brass tits and all. 

The only constellations she could pick out in the sky were the big and little dipper and Orian’s belt. How many times had she thought of the name Ryan for a girl . . . and she found a Ryan ballcap in the house everyone thought she was too old to purchase. 

Trust me, it was a mess and she almost gave up.   

The ball game ended when Colleen fell in love with the pitch–er.  She didn’t know for sure who he was . . . she hoped . . . he would come clean . . . and reveal himself.

And finally, she said . . . “let’s play that song together.”

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