The time of my Life

by Amy Turn Sharp


People tell me things.

They always have. A lot of the time I don't ask them to open up, they just do. Take this week for instance. It is the last fight of summer. A summer where I am officially done breeding and my children now start to grow like weeds against the landscape of my aging body. I have been fairly relaxed and open to what the world is offering me. I have been chill. I have also been listening. And people just keep talking.

 

A friend called me up and told me all about his new "friend with benefits" in detail. 

I was painting my toenails and wondering if I should be more adventurous in bed.

He told me how she liked to reenact famous movie sex scenes involving food.

I laughed into the phone like a hyena.

 

Another friend told me a story about a kiss.

A kiss so deep and long and so intense that she almost pissed herself.

She forgot to breathe.

I found myself circling the rim of my kid's milk cup with my finger.

I touched my clavicle.

 

And then at the post office I was listening to a familiar stranger tell me how I remind him of his dead wife.

She died a mysterious death.

She always wore scarves.

I ate my apple.

I adjusted my baby in the sling.

I shook all night.

 

My mom cried on the phone to me because her mother had a good day.

My clairvoyant grandmother with the bad tick tock heart had a great day.

And they went bra shopping and no one had to sit down.

I cradled the phone against my ear and shoulder and rolled up to a stop sign and looked into the sun.

 

I like being the one you can come to.

I like being the one you tell.

I always imagine the scene from Dirty Dancing at the end, when Johnny is about to lift Baby, and he scrunches up his face and mouths the words, "And I owe it all to you" and I think about how I wouldn't really be much of a writer or an artist if I had not been listening so much to all the people around me.

Listening to the things they tell me or the pictures they paint with their bodies.

I can't do math but I can extrapolate all night long.

I know what you want to tell me even when you open your mouth and make mute.

And I am Swayze.

I am here for you baby.