Tuesday, August 18, 2009

gypsy beads

I was watching him while holding her hand. Her hand was tiny and cool to the touch. Her body was tiny. I could crush it if I wanted to.

He was sporting a mustache. As a joke I guess. But something about it was wickedly hot. I stared at him and then she laughed. Her giggle caught my attention. And then she kissed my cheek, giggling in my ear. You smell so good, she told me. I grinned.

Monday, August 17, 2009


The cold air followed me inside. He was the first thing I noticed. The icy air became a flame. Cowboy boots, blue jeans and stubble on a godly face. I came in to order hot chocolate but now the thought of sugar made me sick. I suddenly wanted salt. Salty face. Salty prickly facial hair stabbing my lips and my tongue. So I stood there, stupidly. We’d only met once. I knew his name and wanted to say it but I didn’t, I just stared at him, hoping he wouldn’t look up. Glasses clanked, other people laughed, cappuccino machines whirred and I listened to him type. May I help you, came from somewhere, a kid screamed for no reason and I took a deep breath. Can I get a mug of whip cream? Oh God, why did I ask that. But she didn’t bat an eye.

I stared at him the entire time I waited for my ridiculous order. I could smell chocolate so I imagined him eating chocolate. I imagined him naked. And my scarf started to soak up the sweat around my neck.

He looked up at me. I smiled. He smiled and tilted his head in that, I-know-you kind of way. Hi, he said.

Friday, August 14, 2009

the stepladder

She steadied me on the stepladder. Her hands were a vice and my lower torso stayed fast in her grip. I was impressed at her shameless embrace. She never shied away, she never cowered. I convinced myself there was a hunger in the way she held me. I always fancied myself nimble and balanced. But not this time, this time I needed someone else.

I noticed her laughter was brighter, her voice melodic, her smile more genuine, as long as her hands were touching me. I purposely let the current wash through me into her fingers. She is enjoying this. And strangely enough, so am I.


The pattern on the floor looks like a circus. The carpet designed to camouflage any accidental drops. There are no windows. Only clicking, dinging, and sighs hang in the air. There are three other faces at the table but confidence worn on only one. Not the vain, arrogant kind but the there’s-actually-a-spine-in-my-back and it connects to a leg and a foot that can truly kick your *** kind of self-assurance. Self assured and winning like a mother ******. The fastest flash of a Mona Lisa smile is chased by another huge bet. And the dealer, a tiny Zeus, releases cards with lightning quickness. No one can beat him, no one can outwit him. He is a counter and as the last sip of his drink spills down his throat, the others watch. They watch the chips, stacked in a miniature cityscape, slide into his shadow.

rosalie's wedding

The rain spilled onto my windshield. I was running late because I forgot my wallet and went back home to retrieve it. The clock was on the dash, staring at me, the rear view mirror was above me, beckoning me and the stereo was broken, infuriating me. But I drove on. In fifteen minutes she’ll marry. A complete idiot will have her hand, her everything.

Somehow I arrived on time and found my seat in the crowd. Ridiculously enough the wedding was outside and the seats were wet, as were the trees, the ground, the air itself. I mindlessly flirted with the guy seated in front of me. And afterward he kept turning around to continue but I always looked the other way.

At some point she appeared. A tiny perfect doll in a white dress. I felt nothing. She was were she wanted to be, apparently, and I just watched. Maybe I had a quick flashback of the two of us, alone, laughing, but it faded. The idiot was crying as he said his vows but she was solid, as women always are, her smoky little voice a soft caress in the humid air. I hadn’t heard that voice in over a year. And to hear it now, saying those words…

Later on she would talk to me, midst dozens of friends and relatives, hungry for her attention. And she would smile and laugh and hug me. Her face was still the same beautiful portrait it had always been. Yet the dress seemed out of place. But only to me.

Soon after, I left the party. The night was wet and full of music. And I walked, by lamp-lit pathway, to my car. I smelled the magnolias along the way. Maybe I would see her again, accidentally run into her some day, somewhere. She’ll be smiling as always and so will I. We’ll chat and then say goodbye. And her face, it will still be the same beautiful portrait it’s always been.