[the Writing of Kuypers][JanetKuypers.com][Bio][Poems][Prose]




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instead of feeling nervous

I didn’t know how many occasions would be obvious and apparent. I didn’t know how nice it would be to have you around, even if I never made the effort to visit you. You know, my sister said that it would be nice if I moved to where I grew up, because even if we didn’t see each other all that often, it was nice to know that I was close enough. I think of you now, after I had moved toward you and then I moved away. I think you’re ingrained in my head now, you and your stories, you with the way you wanted to show yourself off to people who didn’t like you, you who made fun of things instead of feeling nervous about them. That is what I like about you. I don’t know how to explain it any other way.
I remember you coming by when I was at work and you said you were borrowing your dad’s jaguar, and you wanted all of my coworkers to see it. and I thought, well, okay, if they have the time for this, and you wanted to point the car out to me and I saw it out the window and I thought, yeah, that’s a car...
Once you gave me a ride in the car and well sure, it’s a nice car, but it doesn’t win me over, the theory here is that I’m supposed to like you for who you are and not for how much stuff you have, but... god, that makes me think of how you would get into a huge argument with one of your friends and you two would hate each other, and two weeks later you’d make up because she apologized and all would be well again and I knew in the back of my head that they got mad because they didn’t like your attitude but they’d have to apologize because they liked the perks of being friends with a rich kid.
I digress. sorry.
Once when you and a girl you were on a date with met me at a fifties restaurant, and the waitress was insanely slow and we couldn’t get her attention, you took your paper napkin and your plastic tropical drink knife and stabbed the paper napkin into the straw and said you felt like MacGyver because now you have a rescue flag that we could use to flag down the waitress.
you see, these are my memories with you. they’re all a little above and beyond the call of duty, but I guess that’s who you are.
We went to post prom one year while we were in college, ganged up with friends we still had in college, and we ate at the top floor of the john hancock building for dinner, and one of the high school girl dates was afraid of heights... Well, they were all boyfriend and girlfriend, and this was their prom. and they were doing something extravagant and they didn’t want to mess anything up and look too young. Versus you and I, of course, who knew everything at the ripe ol’ age of nineteen, and we were feeding each other portions of our food and I think they were shocked with us but we weren’t interrupting anyone, no one thought we were doing anything wrong, and lo and behold, we were having fun. Go figure.
I don’t know, we had this habit of making fun of things that were unfair to us - one guy that liked me, well, you made so much fun of him that I’d be buckled over laughing, we’d comment on the rocks silently asking for food because they must be starved if they called the park “starved rock”...
But what I think I remember the most is when I flew across the country to see you and you were working, you got me a map and gave me a key and told me to just do what you want to do, so I shopped, and read in the sun, and toured the college and felt like someone assumed (for once) that I was entirely capable of making my own decisions and being in charge of my own life. Which was nice.
What is my point from all of this? Well, that maybe memories can seem poetic, but that it is nice when you don’t feel nervous through life and you just make a point to live. How many people get a chance to do that?




U.S. Government Copyright
Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
on all art and all writings on this site completed
before 6/6/04. All rights reserved. No material
may be reprinted without express permission.

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