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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

maybe perfect

I bought her four red daisies, and then one more like the sun. The salesgirl wrapped them carefully in bright paper and ribbons, and I crossed the street almost falling in the snow. It's been a long time since I carried flowers down the sidewalk. She is already waiting for me, and takes them with one of her nervous smiles.

Is it really possible, for the first time - flowers from a man?

We go to a little French place, a bit brighter than I would like (although they did turn the lights down at about 9). I take your coat and hang it across the room, making my way back through a thicket of chairs as you laugh at my funny shoes, the yellow shirt half-tucked in. I take your hand, turning it between both of mine on the white paper that covers the table, our order scribbled by the waitress in the corner. You stare at me with giant eyes that never seem to blink. Your hair pushed back, you have become familiar and maybe I see more clearly now. It's our third date, and there are no more awkward pauses. There is only the cigarette smoke hanging in the air above our heads, the baby making bubbly noises at the table next to us and the accordian that begins to play.

Later, we walk in the perfect snow falling on us, as I wrap my arm around your waist guilding you between the drifts and then just in the street. I think I should really try to kiss you at some point, but now we're inside looking for another corner table to hibernate in. Sharing coffees and both of our desserts, the room becomes a sort of blurry painting. There is only your nose, your chapped lips, the freckles on your chest disappearing beneath a black camisole. There is only your hand in mine, and our circling conversations punctuated by long silences when we just stare at each other like teenagers.

Suddenly 2AM, your smile as big as the moon we go back outside. The snow just kept falling and we slip and slide back to your little green car. I wipe the snow and ice away as you warm yourself inside, music blaring, checking your eyeliner in a little mirror. I see it all, dancing around in the freezing air.

Downstairs from my house I kiss you for the first time, and we cannot say goodnight.

And maybe things are perfect for the first time, and there is no reason to say goodnight. Better to be with each other, better not to sleep alone. Better to dance in slow circles half naked in my living room with the cat playing with your house keys. Maybe better to turn off the music, turn off the lights and hold you as the snow just keeps falling in slow-motion corkscrews. Because you are ready to held now, just like me. You are ready to stretch out next to me on a giant purple blanket, and maybe we'll sleep a few perfect minutes before the sun comes up, or the sky turns bright. Maybe you'll rest your head on my shoulder, with some stray mascara on your cheek.

Comments

Annie said…
My life suddenly seems pretty gray. Not only am I not in Moscow, I'm sitting in a laundry room waiting for the rice krispie treats to cool, so I can wrap them up for Sunday School tomorrow.

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