I met a gal at Burnside back in the day, her name was Coryn.
Square jaw, broad shoulders, all angles and curves and the kind of restless physical suspense which spoke to a barely contained, youthful sexual tension.
She was 19.
An escort, it turns out, just a side job to help her dad pay bills, although at the time I didn’t fully grasp precisely what that meant.
She sat and she squirmed uncomfortably as she watched us skate, and although I did not look, there was something about the sum of her parts which announced her presence in a manner that was at once distracting and deeply inspiring, for many of us had not performed that well for weeks.
Some hours later, her face painted in shadows and contrasts in the flickering lights of trash in a burn-barrel, we pulled from the same 40 of “Green Death,” a variety of malt liquor as abysmal in quality as it was ubiquitous, I began to find myself drawn in a nearly possessive manner to the geometry of her face, for it was both alien and familiar.
In a sense, she had become a mirror reflecting an acknowledgement of mutual attraction, and a parroting of subtle verbal and non-verbal mannerisms.
It was nearly three in the morning when she invited me to her place, and I was almost pitifully grateful, for it had occurred to me an hour prior that I had fallen, and fallen hard for this tall woman who literally had two inches on me and shoulders at least as broad.
Indeed, she needed a ride home, as she did not drive, and with all the chivalry afforded to a man whose clothing were soaked with sweat, and was now cold due to an absence of physical exertion, I coolly opened for her the door of my two-door Chrysler LeBaron.
Vinyl top, red on white. A box with an engine that sounded like an electric fan, crushed red interior, the scent inside still of the old man from whom my grandfather had brokered a deal.
On the AM played oldies from the 1950's, and we continued our conversation as I took the main roads to the freeway on our journey to her home, out in Molalla, “home of the Buckaroos.”
As we drew nearer she became ever more extemporaneous and giggly, from a tension I had interpreted as sexually anticipatory, and this was infectious, as I began to shiver, both from literally being cold and from suspense. My feet were very cold, soaked through with sweat, and my heart pounded.
She lived in a trailer park off a remote road which connected farms, and the yard adjacent her trailer was asphalt and the discarded remnants of toys tormented beyond recognition. Sticks, clothing, trash.
Feral, dangerous children, I knew, were present, having been lived as a youth in just exactly that kind of environment, and as expected I could detect at the margins of my headlight’s illumination the hungry and greedy beads of children’s eyes as they hid in the shadows between trailers.
Her trailer was nearly identical to the rest, and she got quiet and leaned forward as we pulled into the park, but when she saw the truck parked in the allocated spot, she sat back and I could almost detect the moment when all warmth drained from her body.
We parked and as we walked to the trailer she became very quiet, very closed. I touched her shoulder and tried to see how she was, and she started, then smiled and said it was nothing.
“It’s nothing, no big deal, it’s fine” she announced, mostly to herself.
“Let’s go inside.”