Aubra, the disappearing act


On my first day back in Boise, I ran into Aubra Banks at a minor league baseball game.  Later that night, she took me home and had her way with me.  When I woke in the morning, she was gone.  I wasn’t surprised – she had left before.

We hadn’t seen or spoken with one another in more that 12 years – not since our sophomore year in high school.  One day she just disappeared.  A lot of folks took her for dead, me included. Part of me wished she was.

We were good friends, though there couldn’t have been two people more different. Her mom was a dyke with wanderlust and a motorcycle fetish. My parents were members of the country club. Aubra shot cocaine and fingered girls.  I had been drunk once and had almost made out with someone at a birthday party. She had a job, a fake ID and an apartment near downtown. I had student government, a learner’s permit and a nine o’clock curfew. She even once cut class for a week to hitchhike to Mexico with a drifter she met at a punk rock show.  While she was gone, she sent me a postcard of the Pacific Ocean.  I wrote a song about her travels. I wrote a lot of songs for Aubra. I never played her a single one.

Aubra didn’t seem to notice my deep affection. She would carelessly copy my geometry homework in class as I fumbled haplessly with the hard-on that emerged under my desk.  She’d let me walk her home from shows, but would leave me lingering on her doorstep. She’d call my missives sentimental. She’d laugh when I’d badmouth the people I figured she’d slept with.  When I asked her to the movies she’d always bring a friend.

One night I told Aubra straight up that I was in love with her. She was finishing off a forty that some college kid had bought her earlier that evening.  We were sitting out in the back lawn of the deaf and blind school. At first she looked confused from what I said.  Then she giggled.  Finally, she grimaced.  I didn’t say a word.  I waited for her to respond. “Hey, you wanna screw?” she asked. She pulled me by the wrist on to my feet and dragged me behind a hedge of tall shrubs.  What followed was quick, messy, and indescribable.  We were covered in dead leaves and bark. My skin itched and burned all over.

Afterwards, I held her in my arms and asked her to be my girlfriend. She said yes and bit my neck.  The next day she disappeared for 12 years.

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