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Davy Rothbart

“I had abandoned Elana; I deserved her uncertainty. I closed my eyes and focused on her touch. Perhaps she wouldn't have understood had I tried to explain it to her, but to me Elana was not only Elana--she was the sad-eyed love of mine who used to bag groceries at Woodley's in Buffalo; she was the sweet one who always sat across from me on the city bus in Niagara Falls; she was the girl I'd picked up hitchhiking in Mobile and dropped off in New Orleans, brash, full of sarcastic humor, but truly lonely and scared; she was the one I'd nabbed pinching Newports for her dad from the Marathon station I'd worked at in Bakersfield (I'd softened and paid for the pack myself); yes, she was the girl playing basketball with all the boys in the park, collecting cans by the side of the road, keeping secret pet kittens in an empty boxcar in the woods, walking alone at night through the rail yards, teaching her little sisters how to kiss, reading out loud to herself, so absorbed by the story, singing sadly in the tub, building a fort from the junked cars out in the meadow, by herself in the front row at the black-and-white movies or in the alley, gazing at an eddy of cigarette stubs and trash and fall leaves, smoking her first cigarette at dusk by a pile of dead brush in the desert, then wishing at the stars-she was all of them, and she was so much more that was just her that I still didn't know.”


Davy Rothbart
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