Yesterday morning I awoke to find an email from a friend recommending a story in the New York Times. In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for work I put it on my mental “To Do” list. Then the office was a mad rush of hurried phone calls and scribbled Post-Its. Just before leaving my desk for the day, I rediscovered her email. Wanting something to unwind with, and knowing my friend’s unwavering good taste (thanks, Scribegrrrl & Scribegrrrl’s girl), I clicked the link. The link led me to the Times’ Modern Love collection, a weekly essay ruminating on matters of the heart published from reader submissions. But really, what it was was a gift.
Because what I read, in part, was this:
She was a poet living in a castle-like apartment flooded with plants and books I’d never heard of. The details of her exotic childhood, I learned, included an organic farm in rural Texas and a private girls’ school. She did origami and left it hidden for strangers to find, knew the secrets of library basements and overgrown alleyways, and wore vintage hats covered in rusty brooches. She was into queer theory. She got her clothes from the Goodwill Dumpster. She was everything I’d dreamed of but never knew existed.
So now I want to pass that gift on to you. It should take you 5 minutes, no more than 10. Please read “A Kite That Couldn’t Be Tied Down” by Lisa Ruth Brunner. Enjoy. I’ll be waiting.
Her story, a love story, is gorgeous beyond adjectives. We all have that girl, the first, the one. She may not have worn thrift store cast-offs or left delicate paper sculptures in her wake, but she was how we knew. We probably didn’t travel to the Gobi Desert or Moscow or even Pittsburg with her, but she opened us to a wider world. The girl we will always think is pretty. The girl who will always make us catch our breath. She might be sitting right beside you. She might be only moments in time. Still this story, these words, brought her rushing back sweetly into that small space you forgot was empty. Thank you, Lisa. Happy weekend, all.