Clearing Smoke

by rheeb

I have to admit.  I’m kind of an asshole.

Why do I say this?  Well, about four days ago, I called Smoke.  Why did I call her?  I’m writing a new script that is loosely based on our relationship (which I detailed here), and I wanted to call her to see how I felt towards her now.  Sick, I know.  So, I called her.  She didn’t answer, and I made sure not to leave a message.  But about ten to fifteen minutes later, the house phone rang, and there was a giddy Smoke on the other end saying, “Hello!”  My life.  I told her to hold on for a moment, because I had Chocolate Baby on the other line.  I clicked back over, and we began talking.  It was, I’m sure, the most awkward conversation I have ever had with her.  Wait, no, I’m sure that’s not possible.  I will say that it was, by far, the most awful conversation I’ve had in the past year.  Everything was extremely formal.  I mean, extremely formal.  She gave me very basic information–her son had another baby.  Her other son is getting married.  She’s still at Fundie Academy and still attends services at PFCM.  I told her that I was starting my own company.  I failed to mention that it is a production company, but even still, I didn’t want to volunteer much, because I can’t seem to get past the intense anger I have toward her.  Why am I angry?  Let me begin a new paragraph…

loved her.  And I can’t write that with any more clarity than I did.  I loved her.  And you know, even though it’s almost been ten years, I still can’t shake the belief that, somehow, someway, we would have been together had it not been for fundamentalist, legalistic religion.  I know that I was seventeen, but there is no denying the connection that we had.  No denying whatsoever.  I have learned in the past few months that intuition is probably the most important thing to following your path, and for me, both now and then, I am certain (CERTAIN!) that Smoke and I had a connection that surpassed age, time, space and any other factor that could be named.  About a year before we began our…whatever we had…I wrote her a letter, that, in pure Rheeb fashion, did not get sent.  In that letter, I spelled out how I felt such an intense connection with her…that I knew her.  Now, I have a firm belief in reincarnation, and I do believe that you can have universal connections with people that stem from a timeless place.  In addition to that, a year before we began our…uhm…whatever we had…Smoke and I were very close.  It was weird and wonderful and exhausting and exciting.

Anyways, back to why I’m angry with her…  Thing is, this connection, to me, is undeniable, yet, as years have pased, she has denied it–not explicitly–just spiritually.  And I’m certain that this is because she is the most religious woman I have ever known.  She is also the most fearful.  About six weeks after 12th grade began, we had a very deep conversation during her free period in her classroom…alone…where she said she was worried about whether or not she could trust me…how she felt that our relationship was “too good to be true,” how I was the only one she talked to.  And then, let’s fast forward to April of 2014, and we have the most generic conversation ever known to man.  It was almost like we were at a business meeting.  I mean, the fucking conversation ended with her saying, “Thank you.  Goodbye.”  The fuck?  Like, did I miss something?  In addition, my anger comes from the fact that when I came out to her, she said nothing.  Yeah, let me begin a new paragraph.

So during the 2012 presidential election (which, thinking back over it, was a huge turning point in my life since I broke up with Winny at that time and also began my disdain for Smoke at that time), Smoke and I were in my office talking.  My state was one of the four that had same-sex marriage on the ballot, so at that time, with the risk of being fired around me constantly, I would talk to anyone about voting yes for the bill.  So, there Smoke sat as I brought up if she was going to vote yes.  She said, “No, I won’t be.”  I said, “Why not?”  She said, “Because I don’t want them getting married here.”  I said, “So…you don’t want me to get married here?”  She said nothing and looked down.  She then began talking about something else, and I said, “You didn’t even hear what I said,” and she said, “I heard you.”  That was it.  No talking about what happened between us.  No reminiscing about the day she told me I looked “fine.”  No recollections of how, while standing alone in the “Test Track” line at Disney, she told me that I remind her of her estranged husband.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Zero.  Zip.  And there I sat, days later, reading the signatures of those who signed a petition to get the already passed marriage bill moved to the ballot.  There was her name and address as plain as day, attempting, among thousands, to control my life–to make sure that, in my home state, I would be treated like a second class citizen.  But that’s not all, folks…

I am also angry at her because, after knowing her since I was ten years old–after years and years of intimate conversation, when I got fired from PFCM Bible College, I heard nothing from her.  And I made sure to get Chocolate Baby to tell her I was fired five minutes after it happened.  She knew.  She fucking knew, and I heard nothing from her for over a year–until four days ago when my bitter ass decided to call her the day before her birthday to get information for my script–to get into the head of one of my characters.  So I said on the call, “Yeah, because y’all wanted to abandon me after I was fired.”  And she, I’d imagine, just like she did when I came out, looked down, and said nothing.  FUCK YOU, SMOKE.  FUCK YOU SO MUCH.  I loved you.  I loved you more than I’d ever loved anyone.

You know what, readers?  I was convinced that we were soul mates.  I was convinced that we were gonna get married.  I mean, for YEARS after I’d graduated.  I’d imagine having kids with her.  A daughter.  I imagined living in a condo together.  I imagined my life with her.

Or, fuck, maybe I’m just a silly girl with mystical dreams that were never going to be fulfilled?  Maybe I was just a silly girl who made it all up in my mind?

But still, I guess I shouldn’t call people I hate just to see if I can study them for my own uses.

But what the hell else could I do?

I’m a fucking writer.

Song of the Day: Definition of Down by Teena Marie