Friday, May 8, 2009

A man with hands, a woman with a scar, Part III

This is part 3 of a 4-part mini-series.  Please read the first part here before continuing.  Please do not link to any part of this mini-series or email anyone a link to it.

I order a round of drinks.  She pays.  I don't stop her.  "Doesn't it bother you that I pay?"  No, I think it's proper.  We don't know each other that well.  "I think you know me, but I know nothing about you."  I don't mind questions.  She asks me some, and I give her short, succinct answers.  She's frustrated because I always finish with a new twist on her question back at her, which she spends time answering and entering new tangents.

I need to hit the head.  "I do, too."  We go together, her in front, looking back at me once, twice.  We get to the hallway leading to the bathroom and she looks back again.  I'm 2 steps closer and I grab her hand, push her against the wall and kiss her.  She kisses back and puts her hand on my ass.  She moans.  I turn into the men's room, catching her perplexity in the mirror in front of me as the door closes.

I'm out before her.  She comes out, with new lipstick on and some more eye shadow and her hair is shaken up a bit.  Sexier.  Much, much sexier.  I like messy hair, the kind you see when a woman comes out of a surprise rain shower, when she wakes up next to you, after a night of dancing in a sweaty club.  She grabs my hand and squeezes it before she lets go.  We get back to the table, and a new round of drinks that I pick up with the $20 in my pocket.

She talks more, but now she's sitting right next to me.  She has her hand on my elbow, on my knee, on my shoulder, on my neck.  I smile at her inside jokes, at her goofs.  I frown at her tragedies.  It's getting semi-late for a worknight, almost 10:45pm.  I ask her if she needs to get up early.  She does, but she has an easy day at work and was already planning on taking the day off using comp time if the weather was nice.  "I can get you home if you need to sleep."  She yawns, then laughs that I knew before she did that she was tired.

"Ok.  I've been up since 5."  Me, too.  I'm on 10 hours of sleep in the past 3 days total.  She's amazed at that, since I am completely awake.  We finish our round, and I stand up.  She's walking closer to me now, nervous.  I ask her if she's OK.  "I'm fine."  If you prefer, I can catch you a cab, my treat.  "Oh no, that's not it at all."  Of course I know this, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't wrong.  "I'm not like this at all."  Like what?   "So forward.  With information, with sharing, with all that.  I'm much more private."  There's no need to worry.  "Will you write about it?"  Not the details.  "I can tell you anything, and you'll know what not to write?"  Of course.  I do it professionally.  "Read people's minds and put them completely at ease?"  No, but I want you at ease.

"I'm completely comfortable around you.  I know nothing about you, not even your last name, and I feel like we've known each other forever."  Like a brother.  She's silent, staring at me outside of my car door which I can't open with her leaning on it.  "No.  Like a... like a lover?"  I understand.  I kiss her, and she's waiting for it when I do.  I waited a moment too long, but it is completely fine.  I pull away but she holds my hair by the root close to her face.  "Will you come over?"  Tonight?  "Yes," she says, now looking down at her feet.  Not if you're that uncertain about it.

She looks up at me again.  "No, that's not what I mean." She stumbles her words.  Don't be nervous around me.  "I'm not nervous.  I'm just not very aggressive."  I know.  You want to be more aggressive in life, not just here.  "I do.  I think my fear holds me back."  You're afraid because you've been scarred.  She's staring at me when I say it.  "I can't go there."  You don't have to, ever.  "Is it obvious?"  Not at all.  It's not a sexual scar or physical abuse.  "How do you know that?"  I know hurt and pain when I see it.  "I used to be very overweight.  You can write about that."  I know that, too.  "How?"  I know these things, I pick up clues.  "I still feel it coming on sometimes.  You look at my face, not my body, and I wonder if you don't like what you see."  I kiss her again, more passionately this time.  She is still kissing me when I break the embrace.  This girl is going to break me tonight.

She locks her eyes to mine.  "Will you cover over, tonight?"  Yes.  I'd like that.  "So you do like things" she laughs as she finally lets me open her door.  I get in the car, and we drive.  "Do you remember where I live?"  Yes.  "Do you have perfect memory?"  I'm quiet for a moment, she picks up on it.  No.  "Do you forget things?"  More than anyone can ever understand.  "Is that why you write?"  If I don't, it's gone quickly.  "You write for you."  My left eye wells up, but she doesn't notice.  I do.  "Do your readers know this?"  They will now.

I drive, and she talks more about when she was fat.  "I wasn't terribly obese or anything, but I was made fun of."  We all were.  "Even you?"  Look at me.  "What do you mean?" she asks, looking at me.  My broken nose, my busted teeth, my lisp.  "I didn't notice any of that."  You looked at my nose when you first saw me.  You looked at my teeth when I first smiled.  "Oh.  But that's not who you are."  Really?   "No, not at all.  You're amazing.  I feel like I can't compete.  Most guys I date are so beneath me that..."  They don't have a chance.  "Exactly.  I feel like I don't have a chance."  I'm taking you home.  "And there?"  We'll talk.  "And?"  I don't really know.  "Do you want to do more?"  All of life is an intercourse with others.  What we do with each other is about what we need from each other.  Talking, crying, fighting, ignoring, sex, dating, job interviews.  It's all the same.  "No it isn't."  Think about it.  Why do we interact with other people?

I'm talking more to her than I have in a very long time.  Some people reading this will be very, very mad at me.  Or st Stace.  Or at themselves.  "I guess it makes sense.  We need something.  We're selfish."  Me most of all.  "What do you need from me?"  I stay quiet.  "You haven't tried anything with me that made me uncomfortable.  Most guys do in an hour.  What is it you want with me?"  I laugh and say I want to see how the story continues.  "Or does it end?"  My story continues, your story continues, our story together effects us no matter what.  "If we sleep together and never see each other, how does it effect anything?"  I learn.  You learn.  We remember, or I try to.  People may read it and they may get something.

"From a one night stand?"  Why do you keep bringing up sex?  Maybe we'll play video games.  "I don't have any.  Ralph got them."  And?  "I don't know.  I have this strange feeling about this entire night."  That's OK.  She doesn't answer the question.  Instead, she talks about her virginity and how she had problems losing it in high school because she was fat.

She didn't lose weight for sex.  She lost it because she realized that eating wasn't as important as talking about things with others.  "This is why you amaze me.  If I met you in middle school, who knows what an effect it would have on me."  I've done nothing but listened.  "Would you have listened if I was fat?"  Of course.  "Would you have considered sleeping with me if I was fat?"  Why wouldn't I?  "Would you have talked to me for hours in a bar if I was fat?"  I don't understand the point of the questions.

"I know guys like me."  Because you get hit on often.  "Sure.  I don't know if you like me."  That's a hard question to ask, because I don't know you for long enough.  I like being with you, right now, right here.  "That's enough, I guess.  But I can't read you."  I told you you can ask me anything.  "Am I pretty?"  Stunning.  We arrive at her place.  I find a parking space right in front.

"Are you going to come up?"  Only if you want.  If you're comfortable.  "Of course I am.  You're making me crazy because I can't read you."  So ask me the questions you're afraid to ask.  I have nothing to hide, nothing I'm embarassed about.  "Do you want to sleep with me?"  Yes.  "Tonight?"   Yes.  "Are you going to?"  I don't know.  "Do you know how crazy that is?  How do you ever have sex if you don't pursue it, if you don't show a woman a sign of interest?"  I don't know how to do those things.  I am here.  I am fully vulnerable because I don't hide anything, I just don't put it out there.

We walk to her door.  "I just want to tell you that I don't do this."  We haven't done anything.  Make tea, let's watch a movie.  "I mean it.  You're kidding there, but I don't do this."  I'm not kidding.  Make tea, let's watch a movie.  "You'll leave disappointed."  No I won't.  I don't pursue anything but what happens.  "Ever?"  Never.  "That's a lie."  It's the truth.  And you know it is.

We walk in.  She takes my jacket and I take hers and we hang them up.  She points to a nice couch in what looks to be the entire Pier1 collection.  I go and sit.  She goes to the kitchen, grabs a kettle and fills it with water.  I am watching her but I am absorbing every detail in her room.  A missing book.  A DVD tray that is open and empty beneath the TV.  "I'm making tea." she says, "Pick a movie."

To be finished in Part IV.  Last smoke break.


Andy said...

Messy hair, hm? it made me laugh, for sure.

ChicagoSane said...

Bingo :)