Well, everybody’s gone now, and I come back to NY and get sucked into that shit and start the crazy spiral again.  But I find the book of Spider Woman’s Granddaughters and go up to the nature preserve – into the woods – and see the geese who mate for life.  And wonder what that may mean.

So then I come back and have to start working a different temp job – and it sucks bad.  Waiting for the second semester to start, I find the Talking Leaves stories, which I like better than Spider Woman’s but I remember the names from both.

We don’t have three classes together anymore – just the one, but I know they’ll be there on my way to math class Thursday night.

Back by myself again, but now I have friends.  And so I see her for the first time in a month.

Outside, winter now, but OKC winter  – not too cold, just my Dad’s army coat all winter.  Not too cold, man.

And there she is, and we have one class together.

And I watch the Super Bowl (Redskins and Bills) with John and Lester and I get pretty wasted, but John thinks I’m o.k!

He’s movin soon and says I should come by and see his new place.  And I’m almost too impatient and drive off after class, but I wait and then off we go.  And I don’t know if the women will be there, but they are.

But so there we are and her friend has to go, but Sharon stays.

And we’re talkin and “What am I reading?”

Ahem, good question, ’cause I’m in the middle of the Native stories right now, trying to have something to say to her, and so I do have something to say to her.  And I know the names of the ones I liked.

Carter Revard (Never Quite a Hollywood Star), Linda Hogan, Louise Erdrich, Joseph Bruchac, Joy Harjo, N. Scott Momaday

And I can give you a ride home, too.  And so maybe we’ll go out drinkin on Friday and Sharon can drive ’cause she’ll stay sober for us, man.  And so we do.

And John plays the traditional role of the matchmaker although I wonder how traditional it is for him to get me stoned out of my mind for the first time I go over to her place (but that ain’t my place to question).

And her roommate Lennie’s tellin me about her son who I remind her of – even though I’m from the Wahnnubeagh tribe.

And I’m stoned as shit, but I pull it together and we go out and it doesn’t make a bit of difference ’cause it’s still easy, man – just comfortable and talkin talkin talkin.

And she tells me there’s a powwow this weekend, y’know.

And if I want to go I should talk to John (’cause it all goes through John).

Well, him and Lester went off on their own and so I leave him a note on his door – all noncommittal and cool and all that, but a little more desperate cause I’m gettin close now, man, so close.

And so I leave him a note and he calls me back and we never talk about her, but he knows, man, he’s ain’t stupid man, he Knows.

But he says come by tomorrow, we’ll do somethin, maybe.  So I go shopping and find myself over by where John lives, and so I stop by and get high.  And maybe we’ll go see a movie or something.

Well, okeydokey, so I check out the papers, “Hey, call up Sharon and see if she wants to go,”  John yells at me as he walks into the bathroom, “her number’s right there hangin on the wall.”

And so I call her up all stoned thinking Hey! It’s me! And I’m callin you on the telephone.

Just like that – except it’s five months after most guys would do it.

But so anyways, I’m callin her on the phone, man, this is like a dream come true.  “Hey! I’m callin you on the phone!  I’m talkin to you on the phone!” and I cannot believe that this is real and sometimes wonder whether or not it really was.

“Hey, so anyways, let’s go see a movie.  Which one do you want to see?  Little Man Tate?”  “Naw.”  “Prince of Tides?”  “Naw.”  “Grand Canyon?”  “Weelll, o.k.”

“So let’s go see it, I’ll get John and we’ll come and pick you up.”

Wellll, John don’t wanna go anymore – he’s got work to do – “So maybe   You Guys   should just go and see it,” and so we do.

And it’s nervewracking but comfortable and I tell her about “Jernigan,” which I just read and how he washes down five Midols with homebrew gin, but then shoots himself in the hand with a .22 because he wants to “feel something.”

And I tell her about Diana, my kitty cat – how I dreamed I saw my kitty when I was home 2 months after she died and she’s got a ball of light for a head but it’s good to see her anyways.

And I take Sharon home and she invites me in, man.

Allll-by-ourselves, man – unbelievable.  And it’s late – like 11 o’clock – but sure “I’d love some coffee, that would be excellent.”

We talk, man and the caffeine chatter just goes on and on but it’s ok.

And we talk and talk and I leave around 2am but not before we laugh about random people and how crazy that shit is and how hard and you just never know but she tells me we should “get together” but I let it pass because things that only come up once won’t last – they have to keep coming back until it’s their time.

But – sittin at work the next day, I just sit there and think “She said we should Get-Together!”  And I know she didn’t mean it like that, but it sure is nice to hear.

And after that, my life is a whirlwind of activity – there IS NO STOPPING, no time to stop because this is the most important time in my short life of boozing and moronic idle philosophy.

My previous eight beer Einstein existence pales miserably before my time spent talking with Sharon.

My day starts at 6:30 and get to work by 8:00.  Temping at a local bank as a loan clerk, but they are woefully understaffed as is everyone in the early 90’s, but also because they’ve just been bought out.

But anyway, so its work from 8-5:00, then home quick for a change of clothes, then its off to school, three (Tues.-Wed.-Thurs.) nights a week, but Sharon and John and Lester and the rest are only in the Wednesday night class, but I still see her sometimes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and in fact go out of my way to hang around after class to see what’s goin on, maybe everybody’s goin out for coffee after class and would I like to come, shit I’ll tie myself to the bumper and drag along behind just to be within a mile of her shadow.

And so this late night coffee drinking and hanging out ends up being an every night affair so that I’m getting home at 1 and 2am and then back up at 6:30 to start the whole thing over again, and weekends are time to write and read and research papers and all that shit.  But we see each other almost every day, and talk and talk and talk on the damn phone for hours.

One Monday night when we don’t have class, I call her up around 6:30 just as my Dad is leaving with the one and only car not to return until 9:30-10:00.  So she asks if I want to do something, but I can’t ’cause we don’t have a car.

But shit woncha know,  9:30 rolls around and there we are still on the fucking phone, and Hey darlin’ my Dad is back do you wanna do something? you bet!

And so this is my life, strange as it may be to a white kid from suburban New York to be tooling around Ok. City with this beautiful Ojibwe woman Sharon Little Buffalo from Minneapolis, MN by way of Dartmouth and Cibecue, Az., but it is love and it is unbelievable.

(Tappan Ferry, N.Y.  Summer 1995)

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