Friday, January 9, 2009

Character Sketch: G.

is desperately guarded.
She was born with hair so blonde that she looked bald on white backgrounds. That never changed, even as she grew into her adult skin. Her breasts are large and her eyes have enough yellow in them that people tell her they look like sunflowers. G. is obsessed with windows and loves how skylights do nothing but serve their own purpose.
As a little girl she jumped from swings and for moments at a time she felt like she had wings. Once, she landed too hard and fell to her back, knocking the wind out of her lungs. She gasped and looked into the wide faces of those circling her. G.'s smile crept over her whole body and she got right up and back on the swing.
At 18, G. moved to New York and she learned to run for subways and watch people cry and do nothing because. Strangers shared her air and she would scream inside but make eye contact and smile. As often as possible, G. walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and sat on the court house steps in downtown Brooklyn. There is the most captivating wind tunnel to watch from that spot. She envies any newspaper stand owner who dares to take post near by. Their papers take flight and swirl around like ballerinas caught in an invisible tornado. The newspaper peddlers scurry for the "Arts" and "Economy" sections and G. leans back and sucks on her blue lollipop.
To say she is lonely is an understatment but G. knows herself better than anyone ever could. Her voice is soft yet unclear.
G. often asks her brother, Evan to visit and he has his own reasons not to so she feels her sadness with every fiber of her being. Maybe it is that she had intense crushes her whole life. Maybe it is that every time she looks in a mirror she is not the same. Men absorbed her beauty where ever she went but none pursued. She always thought, "I'm much, much better off. I wouldn't know what to say to a gentle voice or a harsh cry for affection."
Evan once told her he needed the sea and G. understood because she felt weight like the sea when she walked down streets and stood in coffee shops. She just wanted open space, open and fierce like the wind. She wanted to sail through the sky and feel the silence on her skin. G. met a little graying woman in a bodega once. This woman said, "I'm not sorry for anything." And G. said, "Nothing, not ever." And she said, "Not even my son who I gave up on before he was even born." And G. said, "That's a size I don't need to try on." And she said, "Oh yes, I'm not sure if it's too big or small." And G. said, "I need to get out of the city." And she said, "Go to the prairie and watch the wind catch up with the tall grass."
One sunny winter day G. woke up and the sun was shinning through her window and the tops of the bare trees cast shadows across her bed. She dressed slowly, even matching her socks. G. put on her last clean pair of underwear, her thinnest pants and her tightest coat. She got in a cab and told the driver to go until she said stop. Somewhere on the B.Q.E. between downtown Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy she told him to stop and he actually did. She stood on the edge of the overpass until her nose and toes were numb, then she jumped.
Time passed and sometimes she could feel her childhood sitting next to her bed in the hospital room. Time passed and sometimes she could feel the nutrients in her body. Time passed. Time passed and she finally felt the urge to be grounded--but not in a grave. On the nightstand next to her bed was a black and white photograph of a shadow falling. Her body flying.


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