Love like the Lovings

“She thinks my tractor’s sexy
It really turns her on
She’s always starin’ at me
While I’m chuggin’ along
She likes the way it’s pulling
While it’s tillin’ up the land
She’s even kinda crazy ?bout my farmers tan
She’s the only one who really
Understands what gets me
She thinks my tractor’s sexy.”
– Kenny Chesney

She had dark red hair stained with a tinge of brown as if she mixed coffee and cranberry juice together then dyed her hair with it. Soft baby blue eyes that were drawn onto a fair speckled canvas. You could play connect the dots with her freckles and end up with quite a few distinct designs.

She was a good ol’ girl. Real sweet and really attractive. She always wore jeans that complimented her frame, brown cowgirl boots, and a hunting camouflage jacket that allowed a confederate flag t-shirt to peak out amidst the foliage of trees, leaves, and Realtree emblems.

Yes, I found her attractive and no matter how different I was, I was always able to admire beauty no matter how it came. I saw her a few times in automotive class next door to my shop class. She worked like she was one of the guys and new when to talk out of her colon like one as well. But she always found her way back to her soft and sweet self.

Every once and a while she would come by shop class and pester a few of the guys she knew with jokes and memories from back wood parties where underaged participants learned that the moon could shine in mason jars.

Such activities were not my thing, but I was not a stranger to the funk either.

During one of her visits to the class, she stopped by my table, looked at my progress on my birdhouse and mustered up the courage to ask “so how do you feel being the only black guy in this class? Aint it weird?” I played it cool and downplayed how weird I often thought it was. I said “Nah, I like standing out.”

As I kept on with my work, I could see I had her attention by not giving her a lot of attention, which stirred the stubbornness in her personality and made her want to fight for it. She then added a sprinkle of assertiveness to her next statement. “Well you’re doing more than just standing out, you’re more like the elephant in the room.” I snickered at the joke and then looked up at her and playfully said: “dang, I wonder why.” She then whispered in my ear with “I think it’s because you’re black.”

I replied sarcastically with “thanks for letting me know, everything makes sense now.” She laughed with a slight snort and said: “I like this kid.” She then skipped away like a doe, leaving a scent of perfume behind.

As time went on I would see her in the halls and we would talk in passing. One day we found ourselves in the hall by ourselves. She saw me and asked how my day was. I always liked it when girls were as comfortable with small talk as well as deep conversation. I replied and returned the question.

Somehow the conversation went from cracking jokes, talking about fighting, to dancing. She asked if I ever line-danced before, then she grabbed my hands and placed one behind her at her lower back and held my other hand up high like a trophy and she said let’s dance. We playfully spun around in the hall and forgot whatever reasons we had excused ourselves from class in the first place. She would occasionally look up in my eyes, smile and tell me something I wasn’t doing right.

I would just laugh and shake my head, but then the mood turned gray and she stopped and looked down and away saying “my parents would kill me if I dated a black guy.” By now we were standing still, but the hall felt like it was still swaying and turning like we once were and I had no idea how to respond.

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