Ginny is in love with a wild girl. She bikes about it all the way up Memorial Drive. Her calves ache. She pedals harder. Breathes steady through impending muscle failure. She refills her water bottle at the QT fountains then hydrates on the gum pocked concrete outside. Drivers pull in for gas or cigarettes. Most cars are older models. Every now and then, something flashy and new slides into the lot. A Range Rover or a sports car with big wheels low to the ground. Ginny glares at the fancy drivers like they are ruining the world through gentrification the same way the wild girl is ruining Ginny’s life.
When Ginny aches deep enough to betray her own self, she invites the wild girl out for drinks. They wind up at an uptown bar with a dance club in the basement. One round of shots and the wild girl pulls Ginny down below where base keeps the floor pulsing. In between darkness and beams of light, the wild girl and Ginny move stiff. Other people crowd them everywhere. So many bodies all piled up. All charged in tandem motion. Ginny is dancing with the wild girl. Then the wild girl dances with someone else, leaving Ginny alone. There is no easy border between these two states of being.
“I’m up,” the wild girl says when the crowd that carried her away parts long enough for Ginny to see her, hear her. “I’m all the way up.”
The wild girl drives them home with the radio switched to the max. A dance club kind of pulse third wheels all the way back South.
“You’re too much,” Ginny says over the music.
“I’d rather be too much than too little,” the wild girl says, not budging the volume an inch.
The wild girl confides in Ginny that she is bipolar. Manic, speeding, racing. It’s not clear what happens when she is down, and Ginny is not sure she wants to find out.
Biking keeps Ginny from sitting long enough to question. On two wheels, she can’t feel the wild girl yanking away from her, an umbrella ripped inside out by storm and wind. On two wheels, she cuts through the busy roadway that separates one side of town from the next, new and old. She sucks air with each calf push, each lunge away from the other end of motion.
After, she rolls her bike into the living room. She showers and then spreads out on the floor in a towel with a jar of hazelnut spread. She switches on the heartbreak music. Nineties soul, ATL crafted, the good stuff. She finger-feeds herself as the music goes on about lying lovers, tearful attachments, slow sex, fast sex, and everything in between.
Ginny feels daring when she invites the wild girl to visit. She hides the hazelnut, prepares for the pain of a betrayal that comes from inside not out.
The wild girl takes the couch for a moment before she is up again. She dances from foot to foot like the floor is lava and standing still is a death sentence.
Grinning at the warmth of her own destruction, Ginny gets up to dance, too, tries to wind her hips like the wild girl winds her hips. She can’t follow a pace mismatched to the song—the wild girl invents her own dizzy rhythm.
On two wheels, perhaps Ginny could keep up. On two feet, Ginny drops down. She settles on her butt and spreads out on the floor. She opens her arms like she has volunteered to be nailed down, hammered and hammered to a stillness all her own.