America is where we hung, And fell in love when we were young.
My youth passed fast: Windows 3.1 (1992)—Windows ‘95—Windows ‘98—Windows 2000 all the way to Windows 10 Pro, until my last semester of college.
And in that springtime of 2016, on a wet night, an attractive weird girl was working in the university cafeteria. Weird because I’d just been told that she was the daughter of U.S. Senator Samuel Archer.
And I was just sitting, half soaked from the stormy evening outside—tasting a cheese sandwich: which was wet with the rain dripping from my hair, veiling my view of that redhead cleaning tables.
What is she? I wondered: some student rebel? Working just to prove her proletarian credentials? Her independence from her father?
Now she was cleaning the table next to mine, which didn’t need cleaning. And as she came closer, pausing and turning towards me, she imperiously entered the universe of my existence. Or rather, annexed my existence to the universe of her existence.
Because, now our eye-beams were crossing. Our mutual stares were stalling out in a standing-wave pattern. And she was standing there, right in front of me—tilting that strangely glorious head: hair like sea grass under Windward Islands water.
Her eyes were the water.
And then dropping into a chair across from me: smiling, but waiting quietly until I finally said:
“That hair drives me stark raving nuts.”
“Redheads go gray fast, Jimmy.”
(My first words from her lips.)
“I guess we’ll have to live fast, then,” I said.
“I like fast,” she said.
Everything around was just college cafeteria things. Everything was normal. Everything was like every day. Everything was still everything.
But it was about to happen. One girl’s simple flesh and soul would haunt my days and derail my destiny for a long time—maybe forever, as this girl sitting across from me whispered the words:
“America is where we hung,
And fell in love when we were young.”
“Who wrote that?” I asked.
“Maybe you did,” she said. No smile of irony or amusement. Is she all there? Who is this girl?
“You wrote it yourself,” I told her.
“Maybe we’ll write it together,” she said.
Now a smile, but that of a lost creature. Distracted: mind floating somewhere a long way off.