Her bright hair lives up to the color of her name, and I canít believe it.

So lost am I in her green eyes.

She says she loves autumn; I say I love spring.

This is perhaps because I fear to love a time of year which talks of endings, even though the scent of eroding orchards haunts my dreams.

She is such and orchard, filling me up with her sweet aroma so that I become drunk with her.

She bruises easily and I hate the idea that I might hurt her.

So Iím more than a little surprised when she claims she is dangerous.

Each time I think of her, I bump into people and walls.

Her phone number is as embedded in my memory as permanently as any tattoo.

My father, who warmed me against the dangers of college life, never had anyone like Tangerine in mind.

Perhaps dadís advice fit better the jock who appears at my dorm room asking if I know Tangerine.

When I say I do he hits me, then walks away, the echo of his warning for me not to see her again ringing in my head as well as the dormitory hall.

Sometimes Iím slow to learn lifeís lessons.

I had to fall down a dozen times before I fully understand I could never ride a bicycle.

So with so much a history, I decide to see Tangerine anyway to ask her what this is all about, cruising the campus to where her dorm building stands.

A crowd stands in front of it, all me, all of them wounded in one way or another, all of them calling out Tangerineís name.

When I try to move around these men, some stop me and point to the end of the line:

ďWait your turn, Buddy,Ē they said.



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