I would like to meet you in a coffee shop somewhere. Accident instead of design. I want that moment of feeling my heart leap in a mix of pleasure and terror when I see you. My stomach stabbed with ice, your face suddenly unreadable. I want us to look like a badly cut piece of film, staggering and awkward and so cold. There might be ashtray weather outside, there might be sun. Either way it doesn’t matter. After painfully polite conversation, we would escape from the public glare of the cafe and find a place to sit and stare out at the world. It would be too cruel to stay where anyone could overhear us.
Someone else, someone who’s just heard of you.
A restaurant, we’re friends with odd flashes of intimacy that don’t lead anywhere. You walk like a drumbeat and I appreciate how your large hands flutter around your anecdotal stories, pale birds battered by how you frame your history. We’re talking about melodrama, how you declared you would never love again at age twenty-five. I thought that was charming in the way that embarrassing young mistakes can be until I realized that twenty-five is older than me. Then I looked down at my plate.
Later, in your antique apartment full of follow-the-instructions furniture, the music is wildly inappropriate, a random playlist shuffled from a little white box the size of a nineteen thirteen suicide. The urge to write is distracting, but my fingers stumble when they dance across the keys. Instead I get up to watch the miracle of your pencil outlining something that only had a blurry reality inside of my head. I’m caught in a chemical loop, scales of thoughts playing my spine for kicks, ignoring my more rational decisions. It would be unfortunate if it weren’t only two days a month. I think of clockwork, how the victorians made mannequins that played chess. Spinning brass gears and crystal eyes dyed as blue as yours. Hands that held pencils, that could only draw one figure. One figure, perfect, for ever. I think of hands.