Wanting Bob [fiction]

Sarah met Bob in ’92; she was a Goth seventh grader like one of those kids from South Park. She read Kerouac and Roethke and Ginsberg and Plath; not really understanding their works, but making a connection to their words: music to her soul. Abstract expressionist art had grabbed her attention, too, and she became a 12-year-old “hippie chick” born during the era of Reaganomics and discomfiture: vague disorientation and cynicism that  followed her and her colleagues into their adult lives where heads of state have no backbones and heroes are felled by corporations and money.

Feeling bruised from surrounded by the wall (to steal a title from Pink Floyd), the Internet became Sarah’s escape: the road that Kerouac may have hitchhiked had he been a product of Reaganomics and discomfiture. She traveled daily, mostly at night, reading everything, looking at everything she could conjure on her little PC. Bob’s artwork caught her eye. He was Roberto, and he painted spiritual Don Quixotes battling windmills of all colors, shapes, and sizes. These were images from her dreams. She was a Don Quixote. She had a place in this world after all.

Then with a click of the mouse, she found his poetry and fell in love. She liked and followed everything he added to his blog. She was his number one fan, and she told him so in a comment at his blog. They became instant friends. Their conversations became lengthy, so they traded emails, then partook in lengthy online chats. And all that time, while she grew from a disoriented seventh-grader to a spiritual college woman, she knew he was old enough to be her father, that he was married and had a family, and considered her no more than an adoring fan. But she was more than that. Even now, she is in love with Bob in the truest, signified sense of the word.

How wrong of her to want to break up his marriage and have him all for herself, to align her life with his.

Sages have cautioned men about women like her since humans first set words into motion. They have given her horrible names to shackle her in shame. But she has done nothing so far as to fall in love with him, this guy named Bob … the man she spies on outside his home, inside her car, watching, waiting to have all her own.

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