Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day: Part 2!!

Brian Schwartz headshot by Brian Schwartz

Another story:

Here's the beginning of a story I wrote for Valentine's day…

A few years ago, I drove north through the rolling cornfields that stretch unbroken to the state line. Most of the farmhouses are quite modern, with big satellite dishes and pickups parked outside, but on a side road I'd never been on before I saw a classic white wood house, obviously built a hundred years ago and apparently unchanged. I stopped to ask the owner if I could photograph it, but it seemed abandoned. I went inside. I don't know what led me to that little back room upstairs, with a big window over the green green fields, but something did, and it was there, stuck in a crack over the mantel, that I found this letter. Judging from the paper and penmanship, it dates from the last years of the 19th century:

July 6

I never thought I'd run naked through the moonlight. I'm not that kind. But I must be because last night that is just what I did. Night after night, when Lord knows I should have been fast asleep, I've been watching the moon through the windows. It's another world out there, that moonlight world, white and harsh and a little scary and seeing the white ghost-corn wave in the wind just gave me chills over my body. A good kind of chill, though. I felt wild, alive as I sat in the silent night and watched the moon.

It was hot last night, and there was a warm whistling wind that came out of nowhere. So hot, I took off my nightgown, and that wicked wind came through the window and ran fingers up and down my body like it was a man in one of those novels. How is the wind so strong through the window? I thought, and then I realized I was outside, in the corn, and my hair streamed and tossed behind me in that wild wind. I should have been scared, to think that that robber moon had lured me outside, naked, unawares, as if in a dream. But I wasn't. I felt tingles all over my naked body. I felt safe. Something great was coming. The corn brushed my sides as I walked farther and farther.

I don't think I had seen him yet, but at some point I knew I was no longer alone.

Now I must tell you that, though I am seventeen and pretty smart, at least I think so, I just don't know much about men. How could I? I'd grown up on the farm, alone except for my mom and my sisters, so I was pretty strong and independent, we did all the work on the farm and I could milk a cow when I was seven. My mom taught me so I knew a lot of stuff, I could add multiply and even keep the books. And of course I could read. Oh how I read! I never knew my dad, but he must have loved to read and there were a lot of books around the house and I read them all. I loved the history the best. I used to pretend that I lived back in the days of knights and castles and a shining knight with long gold hair would come riding up and take me with him and we'd have great adventures. And we'd ride and ride and be together forever, forever. And he'd know every thought I had before I even thought it. Well sometimes I'd be thinking about this knight and his long hair and strong hard body, like mine but so unlike somehow, I didn't even know how, just harder. And I'd get the strangest rushing feeling running all over my body. But it was strongest between my legs, I don't know why and I wanted to touch it there so much but of course I am a lady, or so my mom told me, so I didn't. And it HURT not touching it, but when I got that feeling I never wanted it to stop. I didn't understand what a man had to do with that feeling. But there was no one I could ask and I didn't think about it too much.

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