She was one of those fast girls, the kind that wouldn't wait, that couldn't wait for anyone around them, or rather, for anyone to get near them. She moved straight ahead, on a trajectory paralleled only by a growing tree, or a bullet. It hurt me to watch.
This may seem like criticism. It isn't; not in any conscious way. I loved her, after fashion. I miss her still. She was just difficult. It's not that she intimidated people –intimidate isn't nearly the right word. It was more that they couldn't see her heights—she was so far above their understanding that she seemed to be below their notice, if you will. They couldn't see their way through her simplicity. And she was. Simple, I mean. I just wish I had known that then.
I'll never forget many things about out time together, but on of the most seemingly insignificant moments we shared demonstrates her character well and so I continue to keep it tucked away in the vaults of my mind long after others would have forgotten. I can't forget, and this is one of those mixed blessings we hear so much about. But we'll get to that later.
In any case, the day I'm thinking of was one of those brisk New England days that puts an extra spring in your step, and makes your ears look elfin and red. We were walking along, she and I, on our way to nowhere.
When she spoke, and she wasn't speaking to someone below her level, or beneath her reach, she spoke in capital letters. She could do no less than tackle the big subjects, the only ones that mattered to her. Resignation. Love. Humanity. Death. It was impossible to talk to her about the weather.
I once told her that the blank page discomfited me. She said that I was Afraid. Afraid, yes—I could certainly buy that (I was a callow youth if ever there was one)—but afraid of what? She told me then, and I'm still not sure what I think of this, she told me then that I was Afraid of Emptiness.