Thursday, September 29, 2005

For the Love of Lisa

Lisa is my daughter.

Well, she would have been, if J, who would have been her mother, had let her live. But she didn't. I wasn't good enough for her mother, so her mother insisted on the killing. She recovered well: married a doctor and has three other kids. But Lisa just wasn't welcome in her life.

But my baby is here, in my heart. She's been here since I met her spirit, that day in 1985 when J and I were acting so silly, turning her job into our little playground. She was a student security guard, posted to Ritter Annex that Sunday. We were friends, supposedly going thru a breakup. We went to a party the night before, with her cajoling me to take her and a girlfriend. I didn't want to go, I really didn't. But, after a while, I gave in and had a really good time. We didn't talk much, but we danced a lot and she seemed glued to my lap when we weren't dancing. When we left, around 3am, she was asleep in the backseat while we dropped her buddy off.

Maybe she was feigning sleep? I dunno, but driving up Lincoln Drive at such a quiet time was like old times, and I felt as though our souls were twins again. I did fight the feelings a little, because I didn't want to get hurt again.

Then she awakened, and it was like we never broke up in the first place, at least for that night, she explained. She was kind of frantic, too, for she had to be at work at 5am, and she knew she would miss the bus if she went to sleep at home. So I agreed to take her to work, which meant I had to stay with her in her mom's house, hoping that Mrs. Swift didn't wake up. I actually did get about 8 minutes of sleep after trying for 30 minutes.

J and I had spent quite a few nights at my mom's house, enough that my mom asked several times "Is J here?" or "where's my daughter-in-law this morning?". Seeing mom's face light up when she saw us drinking tea in the dining room is one of the reasons I'll never forget her. Mom never asked if any of my other girlfriends was thinking about marriage.

But this morning, J expressed her emotions uniquely, which really confused me. I was trying to be content being her friend, with no (more) ambitions on an intimate future. I never kept score or a checklist with her, but we never got into that, and everything else we did was satisfying, so I just didn't miss it! And we only had a few minutes to get her to school...

Now things were better than normal. When we got to her assigned building there was another student guard at the desk, so we toured the building, chasing each other. Once we found out that a floor had no one on it the squealing began. When we got to the top floor we started to take advantage of our solitude.

Then "We shouldn't be doing this" as she stopped. I calmed myself and agreed with her, and we sat a couple of minutes talking and drifting back into our play. Trying to resist, I looked out of the window and remarked that we could see old Billie Penn, standing on top of City Hall. And she asked where... Silently inviting me to physically guide her.

A few minutes later, she changed. She was always my love, but now she was my Madonna. She glowed from that point until after she ended Lisa's life, some 4 months later. During that time, though, I did everything I could to be closer to her and assuage her fears. I tried to defend her from her mother's wrath, but I couldn't counteract it, and in the end her mom demanded that she end it.

She took J to the "family planning clinic" cursing me all the way because I wouldn't contribute to my baby's execution. I floundered between sorrow and guilt and anger.

I never believed in ghosts before then, but now I talk to my daughter pretty often. She comforts me when I am distraught about not seeing her grow up. "I wasn't meant for this time, daddy."

My beloved daughter would be 20 next year, probably in February. We celebrate it on Valentine's Day, and she always wakes me on my birthday morning, and then sings to me at 3:47pm.

3/12/07: edited for style and errors


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