She was the kind of girl you couldn’t hold. She was an experience you had to witness—a wave cresting during a storm with its head barreling toward you white and angry, ready to devour the sand and erode the shore. If you turned your head at the wrong moment, you could miss it and it would never happen again. If you turned your head too fast, you could miss her and that would be your last chance.
"Those kinds of girls can dance," he said. "Those kinds of girls dance away with your heart."
He could taste her in his mouth. She tasted like pennies and lemons. She was sour blood. She wasn’t the kind of girl you held against your cheek to melt slowly into your tongue. She was the kind of girl you pressed into the back of your throat. She made your face twist like you’d been thrown into a wall. She left your head shaking violently from side to side in an effort to rid your entire mouth of her taste. She sent waves of heat down your esophagus. She set your stomach on fire. She left your knees weak and your blood thin. You always wanted more, even when you knew you nothing good could come of it.
"Those kinds of girls make a man fight," he said. "Those kinds of girls make a man fight his own shadow."
Still, when her hips were finally within reach he spread out his arms, pressed his fingers into her skin, and held on. When he finally made contact, all he got back was a shock, a sting, a volt to his heart that almost left him dead. In her wake she left pink scars that looked like roots of a tree, of a life once felt, across his torso and his arms.
She became a legend eventually, a story he told to his children and their children when he finally stopped waiting for her wave to crest, stopped trying to swallow her acrid taste, when he finally settled down.
"They say electricity is an event, but once I held it in my hands," he would tell them. "Once upon a time it was mine."”