Exhaustion drops him into my lap after work like a fantasy from my most feminine of secret hearts. Even in such tired disarray, he’s baroque jazz music – eyes drawn shut – every meeting another delicate discovery of something else I like. (His middle name is the name of the first man I lived in love with.) I feel like Rapunzel, the way his eyes seem to light when I let down my hair. Mornings congeal upon arrival, unbearable and vulnerable, to be resisted, so we shed our trembling days like skin in the evening’s tiny gestures, the taste of a fingertip, the angle he rests his head in my lap, clever conversation’s chance miracles. Tilting windmills Myth: We seem to only see each other at night. I may never kiss another blonde again.
Tonight I am sleeping alone. Bruised velvet stockings, a black slip made of something that isn’t silk. My lipstick poorly wiped off, I dressed up too well too late. My only company is a book and a neglected free movie pass, crumpled, a bookmark instead of a date.
Fireworks only work if the wind is right. Horizons are susceptible, just another line to create the backdrop of the sky. Too high, too loud. It’s never as safe as we say it is, which is why it’s perfect. Our fishnet talk of fire led to phone-numbers, dinner, dancing. Other people do this all the time, but we’re a little out of practice. Loud eighties music, barely recognizable. The almost clinically precise shift between songs destroy the music. DJs as A.D.D. trash. Wankers popular with underage girls and not much else. He’s drinking vodka. We’re dropping the names of dead poets and talking about L.A. It was earnest, not a sly nod to the old fifties protocol of pulling out her chair, but legitimate – possibly the first time I’ve ever properly Gone Out. The only other time was an accident. Slip of the tongue, whoops, what?
The elevator is familiar, so is the art on the walls and the echoes of a previous life. No culture, but no secrets. Everything interstitial. Ready to fly away. Black t-shirts and corporate chosen furniture, everything laid out; change on the table, (a boy affectation I’ve recently started doing myself), and too many dirty cups. Instantly recognizable, like the lyrics to a song you liked as a child, I feel I’ve stepped off a cliff only to be caught by a feather bed. Of course, the bed is like a barely padded brick. The couch, however, is another story entirely. One full of sensitive princesses in borrowed pink blankets and peas individually wrapped in uncoated plastic.
“We’re getting better at this.”
A man of smooth angles, I find he’s attractive like a lullabye, something perfectly suited for the edge of sleep, almost an unfinished sketch of some living holy ikon, with dreaming lines that run invisibly off the page. It was a shock to see him in daylight, as if I expected him to dissolve like pale flowers in a heavy wind.
“Affection is as addictive as anything else on earth.”