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running away with the circus (looking for dolphins)

There are three of them, a brazen woman with bright eyes and a big voice, a man going grey with a hop in his step and a younger woman who might be their daughter or their niece that twists her short hair into little tufts. They roam the hotel, sometimes in elaborate costumes, letting us know that there will be a secret dance party near the ballroom in an hour.

The older woman strolls in during dinner in a costume of blinking Christmas lights and exotic face paint. V stares up at her, convinced she is a princess or a fairy or maybe both. The next night, she is all in black, great horns wobbling on her head. She always has a pair of black Converse high tops on, as if they go with every costume or maybe they are the only shoes she owns.

The man is typically dressed as a pirate, in a striped shirt, maybe an eye patch. He is perfectly relaxed, like his limbs are made of silly straws. The younger woman is always smiling, her mouth a wall of metal braces and lip gloss. I imagine they sleep …

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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