Friday, September 18, 2015

Part One - 11011 Means I Love U

Intro -- 11011 Means I Love U - A Story Of Friendship Outside The Binary
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. 
For information on non-binary gender issues, please visit https://www.glaad.org/tags/non-binary-genders

***

Sitting on the front stoop. A cigarette hanging limp from my lip. I watch the midday sun trace shadows of the long tall pines in the parking lot. Why does time move so slow and then so fast when you least expect it. I sat in my army green cargos, meditating on low income apartments and why mine resembled a dilapidated ski lodge or summer camp.

Slowly, but surely, a long shadow of a person bobs in and out of my line of sight. Shifting my eyes, to avoid glare, I catch a glimpse of a stranger. She walks fast, but more out of nerves than any sense of urgency.

“Hey,” I find the word slipping through my teeth from years of trained social obligation.

“Oh,” a quiet reply from above me, “I almost didn't see you there.”

A little noise, one of surprise, maybe humor, escaped my nose. “Ok.” Maybe if I keep it short and less than sweet she will move on her way.

“I don't see you out very often...” The girl stood under the shade of the front stoop, beside me, almost expectantly. I'm not sure what she wanted from me. Conversation? A smoke? I wasn't in a giving mood. “No really. I almost thought you didn't live here.”

Sighing, I turn to face her direction. “I do. Been here a while now. Just not very... social.” There, that ought to keep her at bay, I thought.

“Well, um, I'm going for a walk and don't like going alone. Would you like to go?” Her eyes, they pleaded to me like a puppy dog asking for its dinner. It was at that moment I noticed, they were two different colors. A blue eye and a green eye; how unusual. Her face was full of tiny orange freckles, sprayed across the bridge of her nose, spreading outward to the edges of her hairline, ears and chin.

I took some time to think about my answer. I never talked to my neighbors, let alone hung out with them. However, it would be a good chance to stretch my legs and play with my camera.

“Sure, why not.” Her face was nervously beaming. How sweet. I added, “let me grab my camera from upstairs and we can go.”

***

Locking the door behind me, I head down stairs to the front stoop, camera in hand and ready to walk.

“Hey, um...” I realize I didn't know my neighbor's name. I've met a couple neighbors, but due to my own social anxiety, the names never really stick. “What did you say your na--”

“Lacie, its Lacie.” The words barely escape my lips when she blurted her name out. “And you are Maria? Isn't that... right?”

I'm sure she saw my face go white as a ghost at the mention of the name. I hated that name, and it always came up. Its hard to explain the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach each time someone called me Maria. I wanted to get it changed, but somethings are easier said than actually done. “Ari, I go by Ari.”