Her makeup was a postmodernist painting, swashes of pinks and blues, wayward paint upon skin. When she put it on, she grinned, but didn’t smile.
Inside, her voice was a thunder. Shook things. Came from her bones, resonated outwards, circles, waves. I imagine it’s still travelling the universe. She was a ruffian and a clown, stumbling through song, a child stuffed in her cheeks.
Her head raised high when that tone of hers hit air. She conjured up her soul in its entirety.
We sang together. Crouch songs. She told me I could sing as well as her, if I wanted to. I believed her, but I never gravitated towards what I believed. She did. As if she were a realization of her own belief, a voice larger than imagination, mythic, wrapped around you, took you on a ride.
She’s a ghost.
Once at Carol the Krishna’s, the first food cart, walking the bus mall, peering at me from across the street. Her face clear, bright, free of makeup. I wave. She moves on. Stoic.
Once, dancing at the Overlook. I’m behind a Radio Shack mixer and two unevenly balanced turntables, in the backroom, next to the dice table, with a plate of homemade mac and cheese, cornbread, greens, hot sauce. I see her Brillo Pad hair bobbing as she dances, taller than everyone, as if she glows. She’s wearing makeup. I wonder if she’ll get kissed, even if only in the dark.