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For Olivia

By Gillian Kessler:

For Olivia

We loved her first. She taught us about magic, brought all our dreams alive. With our spirit guide we skated and skated around the cement driveway, suddenly our wheels were in motion, headbands properly placed, we choreographed our eight counts all day, all day.

We learned of muses and beauty school, learned about summer lovin' and what it meant to lose the yellow cardigan, gain a cigarette and the word, "stud." We rewound the betamax to watch her sing her dolphin song, learn how to get physical, that a landslide was a metaphor for some new kind of love, and a heart attack could be hyperbolic. We learned of old country songs, of Sam who knew where I am, and the jukebox that played B-17.

I dig back and all the album covers lie before me, flash into my mind's eye after so many years. She was so totally hot. "Koala blue, how are you?" we answered fake phones and took fake orders for her clothing company on Melrose, wore her glitter studded sweatshirts and were carried deeper than night in the spell of her heart, trapped in fact, trapped in the spell of her heart.

Just this past winter I put "Twist of Fate" on my ski playlist, Olivia's determination helping me feel more roller disco than frigid mountainside, keeping me in the higher realms of deserved second chances. She taught us the word mellow, a word I've held gently to, a mile marker, a simple goal. Have you ever tried? Have you? To find a comfort from inside? Won't you spare me all the charms and take me in your arms? I can't wait, I can't wait.


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