Capsule

Auction / Fiction

October 26, 2011 BY CAPSULESNEWS

What: Vintage Patagonia Reversible Fleece and Nylon Pullover

Where: eBay

How Much: Buy it Now $99

Why:

Autumn, 1996

Sky Adeyemi-Sheinbaum. A junior this year. Beautiful as only those mixed people are, face you can't look away from, so strange you could study it all day. She seemed barely impressed by his guitar solo in Ive Seen All Good People, that hed practiced every single night for eight weeks straight, played with his band for the big Homecoming celebration in the gym just hours before. Sure, he was no big jock, no footballer, no lacrosse player (those guys with their crossing and uncrossing, netted sticks extending across the hallway, some sort of animalistic, alpha swordplay in those endless, slow-mo minutes between classes when everyone was peacocking or trying to get to where they had to be or, you know, just hanging), no asshole. But those guys didnt exist to love Sky Adeyemi-Sheinbaum. Those guys wouldnt understand her house full of musty books, piled everywhere, on the floor, on top of the television, across an endless expanse of shelving, like the whole house was just built to hold books. Those guys wouldnt get the stacks of papers stained with rings form coffee mugs, the binders and computer table filled with papers imprinted with the complicated language spoken only by people addicted, in love with going to school. They wouldnt understand Skys mother, dreadlocked with spectacles falling down her nose calling everyone Sister this and Brother so-and-so, talking animatedly about the movement. And her father in the same tweed sport coat regardless of season, corduroy pants worn down to shiny in some spots and suede Wallabees so old they resembled collapsed bread rolls. No Sporto could love this family. But he could. And he loved Sky Adeyemi-Sheinbaum.

He had done everything his brother told him, back there in the woods behind the tennis courts beside the circular drive of the old middle school, after they had meandered there, slowly and without obvious purpose, from the high school gym. He put his arm around her, brushed a strand of her curly hair the color of mink, off her forehead and tucked it behind her ear (that totally gets them, dude! his brother explained), pulled out the pack of crushed Vantage cigarettes he had pinched from his dad and offered her one. She said no. He was getting nowhere. Kissing wasnt going to happen. It was getting late and the Homecoming festivities had been over for hours. She hadnt acknowledged the guitar solo. His parents would be expecting him.

So whatd you think of Homecoming? he asks, having run out of questions, topics, gossips. Not comfortable with the silence. Fishing for compliments on his finger work eight weeks he had practiced! He has to go soon.

I dont know, she says. I can barely see the point. Sometimes, with stuff like that, I just like, dont get it. Or maybe I choose not to.

She was so aloof, so smart, and wise beyond her years in a way that was sexy and a little sad. A grumpy old woman trapped in the body of a 16 year old. He slowly moves his arm around her shoulder again and she doesnt protest, but shivers a little.

Put my fleece on, he says. Hands her the weirdo jacket borrowed from his cousin in Colorado last Christmas break that he kidnapped and took back East. It smells like cedar, dead leaves, his mothers brown bread and boy.

Thanks, she says. Pulls it over her head deftly and brings the zipper all the way up under her chin. Can I have that cigarette?

She lights up and puffs like shes done it a thousand times. Even sticks her tongue out a little, pinches a stray piece of tobacco between delicate ring finger and thumb, then flicks it onto the grass.

This jacket is funny, she says looking down at it. Its supposed to be mud cloth.

Whats that?

Never mind. She rolls her eyes, sniffs a little. Looks up at the expanse overhead that bears her name. I gotta go.

-M.Q.

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