Here is my first story ...
Those Summer Dresses
Another rainy evening finds me sitting by the window. I am watching the drops of water as they fall against the glass, the streaks of light as the streetlight shines brightly. The pane is cold to the touch; my fingers leave a small vapor from their trace. There is the tinkling sound of wind chimes coming from the porch. My cat Izzy has somehow found a spot to curl up in on my shambolic bed and Charlie dog is snoozing in front of me with his chin on my feet. What is it about rainy days that make you feel so alone?
On the table a small candle is burning sweetly in its light as it flickers slowly. I have a very warm cup of coffee, not so much because I need it, but because I love to feel its warmth in my hands as it flows into the coldness of my fingers. The TV is on atop the small wooden dresser with the sound off, and the stereo is playing this Coldplay tune. “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.” I’m listening to music as it seems the only thing that relaxes me, for a while I don’t have to really think of anything. Glancing at the tube I can’t help but notice a cute young looking brunette actress, flouncing across the street in the rain, wearing a fluttering red and white flower print sundress. Damn. What is it about summer dresses that breathe their life into a lonely man’s soul?
Laying back in my overstuffed recliner, I recall sitting on a graffiti scared park bench, with the summer heat on my skin, and glorious treats filling the senses. The summer dresses would pass by; they would sway and voice their concerns to the playful wind. They would soak up the daylight and were worn like the sunshine itself. They would light up the world with their amazing colors of yellow, pink, green and white, dancing in the sun with the grass and wind. There is no music but I feel it flow through me and come alive. How many are hoping for someone to dance with? What is it about summer dresses that make a man want to get up dance? A smile cannot help but to cross my face …
Ah yes, I remember back in high school when I met an angel named Judy. She bought this dress, made of the lightest green with little white flowers all over. She wore it from dusk to dawn, sometimes for days at a time. She danced in it, drank in it, ate and slept in it. She sometimes did things we sure as hell didn’t want her Daddy to know about in it. It was a billowy, spaghetti strapped dress made of cotton that was perhaps a size or so too loose. She oh who she loved it! Memories, drifting like feathers softly through my mind. Never will I forget Judy and that simple green dress!
I remember another one, a taller one, a clean sleeveless white, with ruffles down the side with a touch of lavender embroidery at the hem. I couldn’t help but to wonder if she is wearing anything under it. She still believed in magic, unicorns and fairies. It is so easy to imagine her, with perchance a small white headband to support her auburn hair streaked with grey, capering through the woods. She probably took a penny with her, or maybe a special quarter, hoping that perhaps that whatever she was wishing for would come true just a little bit faster. Everything about her seemed so childlike. “Dreams are priceless”, she said, and you can’t argue with that I suppose. For a moment the vision was perfect. Then again memories can make things that way.
I remember a third, a blue and white one, which would flare up about her knees when she spun around. I would see her by a massive oak tree, the one with the smooth little bench that was under it, writing about thoughts, desires and dreams. Oft times she would ask me to join her and the warm summer breeze would gently sweep leaves about us. The writing would stop so that she could take it all in. I look up to the sky, let my hands reach over my head and I feel the grass with my fingertips. Time would be delighted in looking at those lofty clouds, as free as the open air ourselves. Sometimes you would kiss me; sometimes you would run your fingers through my hair. Sometimes we would sit there in silence. Silence with her was beautiful too. Eventually she would put her pencil to paper again, and the words came out evermore enchanting.
Even though it was only March, the end of March to be fair, but still March, she thought she would be optimistic about the weather and try for once to make an effort. Feeling a bit down it was decided that wearing her scruffy jeans, the first t-shirt on hand and washed-out grey hoodie, wasn’t going to make it yet again today. This dress has never been worn before, not even on vacation, despite how much she loves it. It is cream colored sun dress with blue flowers, tight at the top and then floats outwards, the skirt part of it was gently ruffled to give it more shape. She also chose her thickest pair of black tights, it was March and it was pouring rain after all. Though still a bit edgy and kind of close to tears, (though probably no more so than usual), she tried her best to smile and be chirpy. Like the way she used to be. An acquaintance of hers does the same, acting as if she's confident and happy and somehow it seemed to help. I have to wonder sometimes, how many people are acting? Sure some people thought that what this girl was wearing was daft, but there seemed to be a change. She didn't particularly remember consciously being miserable, but the world around her seemed to become a lot sunnier.
Some people like to say that looks don't matter, that they're not important. I thought that as long as you are comfortable that's all that mattered. But I think I may have to change my mind. It cheered me up a little to find that sometimes, when all hope seems lost, that a simple thing like dressing nicely can really cheer someone up, even me. What’s up with that? Obviously I'm not going to go and wear a dress now, though it may sound like fun in an odd sort of way, but I might try making an effort to look my dashing self someday and seeing what happens. But alas, today wasn’t that day …
The wind stands still, and clouds roll across the sky. I take a stroll outside, getting myself wet on purpose so that I could sit by the heater and look out the window. There was this itch to dance. The sky begins to darken, shadows seasoning underneath. Izzy and Charlie doze on. The rain continues to beat a tempo on the windowpane, though now appearing more soothing … calming. “Dreams are priceless”, she said. It sure does seem that way I reply. I get up to and walked into the kitchen to ponder … What is it about summer dresses that breathe their life into a lonely man’s world?