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here goes nothing... (nanowrimo 2005)

Category: Writing and Poetry
Okay, guys...here's the introduction of my second character. Let me know what you think. I'm beginning to think I may go in this direction: several different people telling their perspectives on Taci and what's going on with her, punctuated with chapters of the narrator and Taci's diary entries for clarification....so we can compare and contrast how different everyone sees things...here goes nothing. Chapter 2: Luke Taci was at her balcony, again. Like a sepia toned picture, aged with the passing of the years, she stands stoically, smoking her cigarettes night after night; just out of touch, out of focus. I see her there, quietly looking out onto the pool, with her face-full of eyes. As I swim my laps, I wonder what it is she’s thinking about. Someone as beautiful and full of life as Taci, shouldn’t be alone. I invited her to dinner, once. She graciously declined. I’m not sure what it is that she needs, and I’m unsure if she knows, either. Taci is unusual. A contradiction. Her looks resemble more of a Calvin Klein model than a Victoria’s Secret bomb-shell. Her olive colored skin, and steel blue eyes are rarely tarnished with make-up, save the occasional black eyeliner she’ll use to amp up the wattage of those electric blue eyes. Her long hair is perfectly straight and shines, as though she’s never bastardized it with chemicals or curling irons. A bohemian of sorts, it’s always a surprise to see what she’ll wear. At times, she’ll saunter down in paint covered over-alls, her hair in a knot on top of her head, other times, she looks like she stepped out of a photo shoot for Vogue’s latest gypsy themed story. She doesn’t frown, but always looks rather contemplative. If she catches you looking, she’ll flash a million dollar smile, accentuated with a humble nod of her head. She catches me looking, frequently. Each morning at the leasing office, we cross paths at the coffee bar. I take my coffee black, she drinks chamomile tea, steeped in silence. Her large smile illuminates the room, and she punctuates the space with her laughter at just the right moments. It seems as though the girls from the leasing office, and the regular coffee-bar residents line up to talk to her. Listening intently, as each of us take our turns telling her about our latest little events, she nods, and takes it all in. Looking at her now, silently suspended above me on that balcony, I realize, no one ever takes the time to ask her about her life. Perhaps, tomorrow, I will. I imagine she’ll probably reply with a sly smile and a quick, “Why do you want to know…?” I consider Taci a modern-day martyr. She descended into my world about a year ago, I don’t know where she came from, but I know it wasn’t from here. There’s a softness and an honesty to Taci that breaks my heart. You don’t grow up here, and maintain that purity. She is a rare import. The first day I met her, she introduced me to her husband. We sat out by the fire-pit and shared a bottle of wine. We talked about astrology and music. Her husband mostly sat, looking on at Taci as the light from the fire danced across her face. Occasionally, he’d reach over and place her hair behind her ears, all the better for seeing her expressive eyes as she knitted a web of intrigue that I’ve not been able to free myself from, since. After that night, I never saw him again. Sometimes, I’ll let my mind wander, and make up all sorts of story lines and plots as to what happened there. Perhaps he left her, perhaps he died, maybe they have some sort of pact only the two of them understand. I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone knows. Yesterday, the management of our loft complex hosted a pool-side barbecue, trying to foster a sense of community. Taci dropped in after I finished my third Jack and Coke, and left before I could finish my fourth. My memory is clouded, but through the broken recollections, I know that I said too much. This morning she didn’t make it down to the coffee bar, so I was accompanied only by my regret. I had been sober for 8 months, yesterday. But, the temptation was too much, and I gave in. Now, with a sour stomach, I remember why I had stopped drinking in the first place. I know it may seem wrong, but I watch her. Each evening, as dusk cloaks our windows in darkness, I lean out my balcony, and look across the courtyard as she plays out her life, alone. The life of a lonely, urban lawyer doesn’t afford luxuries like television shows, not at the hours I’d be able to watch. So, each night, when I come home from the office, I sacrifice my suit for board shorts, and I swim. The water is therapeutic for me, a catalyst for change. I’ve had many epiphanies during my lap-time. So many thoughts swirl about my mind, and when I’m swimming, they seem to sort themselves out. So, it’s only natural for me to feel connected to Taci. While the rest of the world sleeps, I swim, and Taci smokes. Last night, in my drunken stupor, I told Taci that I watch her, in detail. She diplomatically finished the conversation with me, retreated to her room, and closed the blinds. Damn.

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