I. My Cherokee girl
Do you love someone? Did you ever... ? Sometimes I don't know and I doubt I ever did. "Love" is a word, not a feeling... And can you describe feelings by saying out loud what is going inside you? I also do not know the answer to that question. You live and you feel, that's all I know and care about.
I have had my share of lovers, male and female, but never felt alive, really alive as you read in those internet sex fantasy stories. Lovers come and go, being swept in and away like ocean waves. I try to reach for a deep feeling but reality sneaks upon you and you get lost, you don't know the way anymore.
There was an exception to this steadfast emptiness: a girl I admired immensely, a ray of light piercing the darkness and shining on my "frail" feminine body and my willowy soul. She was strong in every sense of the word, and I fantasized about her mouth covering me with kisses, leaving me helpless and senseless, every day of my life.
God, I wanted her!
Snow was falling the day I saw her for the first time. She seemed a Cherokee warrior, with her long dark hair, her strong brown arms, proud cheekbones, her long legs slowing down to a quiet pace, while her dark mysterious eyes wandered about the street and store windows. I was shocked by her beauty and the inner peace her eyes betrayed. I wanted that peace and more than that I wanted her strength.
She caught my stare and smiled, but that contact didn't last. Her eyes returned to the store window and scrutinized whatever was in store. I followed her example and forced myself into window-shopping, a pleasure I could die for but not right then.
She went past me and my eyes could not leave that uninteresting window... I don't know what I was waiting for but whatever that was didn't matter anymore. I heard a voice inside me, singing and crying at the same time. It was a call... a mating call? I turned and saw her walking away, her unhurried pace unchanged, her quiet gaze jumping from the store windows to the traffic to the people who passed her by.
A little boy and his granny having an argument about a toy the old woman couldn't afford captured the Indian girl's attention. She went up to them and exchanged a few words with the boy's granny. The old woman's frown grew more intense and the boy cried out ever louder. Then his granny ceased to shake her snow-white head and, for a short moment, the cries subsided, as the Indian girl's hands wiped his tears away. The trio entered the store and a few minutes later the boy and the old woman returned to the wind-swept street, where I'd remained, unable to move and run away while I could. I didn't hear any crying. I didn't hear any shouting. Must be a good sign - the little boy had been appeased.
I waited and felt the cold bite my face and ears. I was not able to wait any longer and walked the distance and peeked into the window. The Indian girl was still inside. Again her peaceful way of doing things became obvious as she sifted through a heap of blouses. Sick of being cold and miserable I walked in, being welcomed by a solicitous salesclerk. The Indian girl didn't look at me, seemingly ignoring my entrance, my daring act of coming closer to a woman I didn't know from Adam (should I say Eve instead?).
I heard the call again in my head, growing stronger and closer... I closed my eyes and felt as if I was fainting...
Suddenly I was someplace else, as though I had been transported into a green prairie... I saw wolves and hawks and eagles and coyotes... No people, absolutely no people... God, I didn't know where I was. I reached for my machete but I didn't know how to use it. Fear engulfed me. A hand touched me and I saw the Indian girl beside me. We didn't speak but her eyes sang me this song:
"Daughter of the Moon, be my sorrow,
be my joy until we die, together.
Daughter of the Owl, be wise,
be my Sun and I won't die in darkness.
Show me the way, and I will follow;
Lick my wounds, and I will praise
The Great Spirit, hear me,
I will not speak again."
When I regained my senses I saw million faces crowding me. Somehow someone helped me to stand up. I looked at my savior, a middle-aged man, with gray hair, curious eyes, and a worried face. I scanned the store for the Indian girl but apparently she was gone... and that hurt. How blase can you get?
I asked the salesclerk if I could use their bathroom and, yes, she was in there, powdering her nose or whatever she was doing in that small, humid room. We stared at each other and before I could understand what was happening her long arms drew me closer and I was kissed with fervor and passion. I stepped away from her. I could not breathe.
She said something in Cherokee, her dark eyes filming over. She sang the song I had heard before: "Daughter of the Moon..." I didn't understand whether she was crying... She made sudden moves that frightened me, made me start, as if I was her prey, the animal she had cornered and her tribe was going to eat for supper...
"Clear-Eyes never fear," she said, her first words in English. She smiled a wide smile, showing her perfect white teeth. "Clear-eyes... That suits you." Then she left the room, leaving me with all my questions and fears.
Damn! Where did she think she was going?
I rushed back to the street. I looked for her but could not find her anywhere. Doubts about my mental sanity began to arise, but then I heard someone calling from above. I looked up. The Indian girl waved at me from a small balcony. She was eating some grapes and was spitting the pits at the flower bed her neighbor so devotedly tended to.
"Come on up. The door's open."
In fact, next to the store entrance there was a door. I turned its knob and made my way in. I didn't even stop to think what I was doing. Going to someone's apartment without a more or less formal introduction was not on my list of bad habits.
She was waiting for me at her doorway, smiling a twisted smile, her hand holding a couple of grapes, which were still waiting for doom's day at the hands of a merciless Indian squaw. She said, "So beautiful... for a woman."
I looked at her, probably showing my very obvious puzzlement. She invited me in once more, enjoying herself with my confusion and curiosity. Heard some music, Meredith Baxter or something similar coming from her den. She beckoned me to follow her and forget all the Cherokee baskets and other crafts that decorated her house. A magnified photo of a younger version of the Indian girl with an old man dominated the den.
"That's my dad," she said, her hands resting on her hips. With some effort I evaded her prominent breasts that refused to be restrained by her loose low-cut blouse.
"Is he a chief?"
"Yeah, but I'm no princess..."
Right, I thought. "Why did you do what you did?" I said out loud.
She laughed, hurrying to the balcony. I heard her spit her last pits, then she said, "Because you were asking for it."
"You wanted me to."
I chuckled in disbelief. Was this woman for real? "So you think you know what I want..."
"Okay. Two can play this game. I also know what you want."
She just smiled.
"I think you want to get laid," I said, amazed at my own nerve. This was not my usual me speaking.
"No, you're wrong. I don't have sex with chicks..."
"You just kissed them, right? On the lips..."
She gave a loud laugh, scratching her tattooed right cheek. Three dots forming an imaginary descending line had been drawn on her light-brown skin.
"Only the cute ones," she said. "I have to draw the line somewhere."
II. The phone call
My Cherokee girl and I became friends, despite the wishy-washy start of our friendship, if you could call what we had between us friendship. You see, I am pretty demanding as far as my friends are concerned. I do not let up until I get what I want. I am a go-getter, I'm told, and apparently that showed when I "stalked" her.
She introduced me to her friends, most of them men but there were also a few women, who were already spoken for. They were a friendly pack of wolves, whose dominant female was definitely my Cherokee girl. She flirted with both men and women but apparently she hadn't committed herself to anything or anybody.
I watched her as she laughed and took a deep drag on her cigarette. She wore skin-tight black pants and a dark gray cashmere turtleneck sweater. Her long, dark hair fell down her shoulders, her long limbs moved with elegance and poise. She laughed again, quietly, taking another sip of wine, as she listened to Fred Wallace telling a dirty joke he'd known since kindergarten. It was an unlikely story but Fred's honesty was not questioned seriously.
The end of the evening soon came and we returned to where she'd parked her car. "They liked you," she said as she drove off. I sat on the passenger's seat, shivering from cold. Her banger's heater didn't work or so had she told me.
"Maybe," I said.
"Why are you always so defensive?"
"I have my reasons..."
She looked at me, with her wriest smile. "Please, do tell."
"You were showing off your latest trophy... I have my doubts about it."
My Cherokee just smiled and asked for a cigarette. I don't smoke, so I was allowed to search for them in her purse, groping through her stuff. After all I was trustworthy, I thought. Getting more intimate than this would be stretching it.
"Can't find them."
"Damn, you're right. I forgot I had to buy a new pack."
.... There is more of this story ...