Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Valley Jews I Had Crushes On:
#1 Alyse R.

Ideas come like big rain storms to the San Fernando Valley. First with specious anticipation. Doubt. Lame Saturday afternoon doubt. Like knowing that no one would call. Then it’s there. Hello, pretty rain. Forgot how nice you looked and sounded. So, we stay inside. Eat food from cans, cancel obligations and make random car trips just for the adventure.

So, I had no idea that I loved Alyse when I first began to know her. She was the first girl in the world who I found easy to talk to. My mom was in her thirties and always thinking about something else. And I didn’t understand the significance of it at the time, but my sister was just learning to talk then read. The girls in the neighborhood where like the boys, except they were the cowboys to our Indians. They had the law on their side.

We went to the same grammar school and the same Hebrew School. And we had what I’d call a rapport now. Back then I called it miracle. She was interested in what I had to say and laughed when I did.

She looked like she had a tan every day of the year. Brown hair with loose curls at the ends that completed her magnificent beauty playfully. Like chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a cherry.

If I was obvious, it was never obvious to me. People who know me can always spot my crushes like a free parking spot in Hollywood. I guess my goofy smile isn’t as subtle as the lightness in my stomach. The thoughts just before bed and just as I woke up.

So, like I said, I didn’t recognize that it was real love until Alyse developed a very public crush on a boy named Jerry. He was even tanner than her and small, thin. He could catch a football well. And Alyse watched him do it every morning before school. We still talked at lunch, her eyes making systematic glances over the entire lunch area like a radar. Clear. Then eyes back on mine. I’m sure by then I was looking down. The dumb smile gone, I'm sure.


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