lindsay lohan and samantha ronson, subway, new york
November 4, 2008
they had kissed on a train, they had kissed in the rain, they had kissed in spain. that was kind of like a poem. lindsay had thought of it as they walked up from the platform, it had just popped into her head out of nothing, like a light bulb turning on in the dark. she tugged on sam’s arm and whispered it into her ear, “we kissed on a train, we kissed in the rain, we kissed in spain,” and sam laughed, oh the way she laughed, and smiled and kissed her again, high on the cheek. ‘we kissed again,’ she thought, that would fit into the poem, that would work, if you pronounced “again” in the british way, like, “a-gain.”
although really they hadn’t actually kissed in spain, not yet, but they were going to ibiza together in december so sam could play some concerts, gigs, she called them, adorable, and then they would kiss in spain, too, on a spanish beach or at a spanish restaurant or in a spanish club, wherever, just all over spain. lindsay had been to spain, she thought, she was pretty sure. she didn’t remember a lot about it, those days, the way things were then, god, but in a sort of way she remembered spain. what she remembered was that it was hot and beautiful and so….spanish. artistic, too. even if you didn’t go to a museum or tourist thing or old cathedral or whatever, just walking around in the streets there felt like art, felt like being part of the art of the world. so spanish, like a poem. her memory of those days had holes in it, big holes, craters like on the moon, but she could remember one time in barcelona, one beautiful thing. they had gone on the roof after dancing all night, her and some models and fashion people and et cetera, and sat in the sunrise, coming down. while they had been sitting there, listening to like bob marley or something, some reggae, god, doves had landed on the edge of the roof, right in front of them, maybe ten doves, maybe more, perfect white like toothpaste against the sunrise. it had been so beautiful, like in a movie when a director wants to make something look beautiful and dramatic and so has birds land or take off in slow motion.
she was so happy she had told sam her poem, so happy. this was the difference, this was what it felt like, the real, holdable feeling of difference. it was like…permission, is what it was. love like this was feeling permission, it was an all-access pass to the v.i.p room in someone else’s heart. like, lindsay could never have told her poem to one of the boys she had dated, not even wilmer, not even him. he was sensitive, sure, but he was too funny, that was the problem with him, he would have made up his own poem that was much funnier and cleverer and then her poem would’ve been forgotten. it was always about him, that was the problem with him. and to tell riley a poem, god, it would’ve been impossible, it would’ve bounced off his big, fat head like a basketball. but sam was different, sam had simply listened and heard and taken the poem inside her, she had held it there like hidden jewelry, like a locket under her shirt with a tiny picture of lindsay in it. this was the difference, it was, it so was.
“this is the difference,” sam had said one night as they laid in bed, eating strawberries from the farmers market. it was one of the first nights they were together, really together, one and one equalling two. “the difference is that they can understand your boobs,” she had said, really quiet, holding one of lindsay’s breasts from underneath and smiling, “but they can’t understand your heart.” and when she had said the word “heart,” she had pressed her hand into lindsay’s chest, firm and strong, like a doctor trying to fix what was wrong with her.
and it was beautiful and everything, of course, and lindsay had laid there holding her and being held by her and eating the strawberries and it was beautiful, yes, but actually inside she had felt weird for a second, it was that french feeling, deja vu. lindsay didn’t understand why she had the feeling, she didn’t want to feel it, she just felt it. and then a second later, she knew, she remembered. she remembered that this guy had said the exact same thing to her one time, about the boobs and the heart and the difference between them and how others didn’t understand. it was word for word, she thought, although maybe he had used the word “tits.” lindsay couldn’t remember much about the guy, that time was hazy, those days, things then, god. he had a beard, she thought, she remembered it scratching her face in the dark.
but anyway, even though it was the same words that the two of them were using, it was different, there was a difference. when he had said it, it had just been words, meaningless, the boring verse of a song you waited through to get the chorus. he had just wanted to get high and fuck and ask her about what famous people she knew were like and if he could meet them and stuff. with sam, it was different, she could tell that sam meant it, she meant it with her eyes and her lips and the hand on lindsay’s heart, she meant it. lindsay decided it was like standards, like jazz: sinatra, holiday, etc. it was like how a singer could make a song happy or sad by singing the same words in different ways, just by changing the little things, turning a phrase or a melody, skipping a beat.
this was the difference. lindsay was so happy, had been happy since the moment she woke up that morning next to sam and they had ordered room service and smoked in bed and not gotten up. just the simpleness of that, god, it was just so wonderful to stay in bed and smoke too many cigarettes and love her so much. it was like a poem, new york was like a poem, their life was like a poem, everything was so wonderful and lovely and just, well…poetic. it was all happening, inside and outside and around. the words for things, all the possible words for description of things in life danced in a nightclub in her head, they were wearing beautiful clothes and moving in perfect time.
she trailed behind sam a little bit, not far, just walking a little slower, just thinking. she wanted to think of a poem, another one, a better one than rain and train and spain. she wanted to write it in the little leather notebook she carried in her purse. the notebook had a clasp and tiny lined paper and she always meant to write things in it but never did. she wanted to write in it now, though, she wanted to save this moment in the book like a wish in a box, like money for a rainy day.
but…she couldn’t. nothing came to her, not word one. she couldn’t think of a poem, she couldn’t conceive of any possible poem, even by plath or dickinson or all the greats put together, that could match what it felt like to be holding sam’s hand before they reached the turnstiles and then letting go of it to revolve through, alone, unheld, weightless, and then on the other side their hands catching together again without them even having to look, like magnets finding their poles or birds not needing maps to know which way south was. she couldn’t imagine a poem that could show that, that could say that, that could feel what it felt like just to be walking with her love today, on their way to lunch in new york. lindsay thought that a poem about that moment would be like a neon sign on a sunny afternoon – no matter how beautiful it was, how intricate and bold and wonderful, it would be nothing compared to the bigger beauty of the sun, it could never shine to match it. lindsay decided right then who needs poems and sped up to catch sam, to grab her and touch her and walk close, in step, together. new york, it was like a poem, their life was like a poem, who needed paper? they were two words in line, they were synonyms, they rhymed.