Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kiss Series: "a twilight moment"

By misha.

"What are you reading?"

He was older. Handsome in a way that only came with age. She looked down at the cover of the book in her hands, as if she never even knew it was there. Chick lit. He nodded, like he understood the need to just escape for a minute. To forget your own silly little problems and take on somebody else's. He smiled as his eyes invited her to make the next move. To make this conversation. To give him permission to extend that conversation over a drink. To make this what they shared a knowing smile about when other's asked how they met.

But all she did was smile and turn back to her escapism. She couldn't commit to that future smile because she had already made plans to drink with another boy. Wine plans. And even though it was past the time they were supposed to meet, she was enjoying this concrete excuse for a park. The gentle strum of instruments being tuned for the evening concert. The passing glances that kept her from feeling alone and invisible in a city so easy to be just that. It all made her feel nice, but now she was ready to see the boy. They were supposed to meet at seven. Was she supposed to call him?

"I thought I had been stood up. Get over here and help me drink this bottle of wine."

She felt relieved. He had been waiting on her. She wasn't waiting alone. She walked three blocks up and three blocks over and dipped herself into the Bourgeoisie Pig. He was sitting at a table by the door. All gangly, scruffy hair, and stained. He was leaning over the table. Talking to a group of girls sitting on velvet sofas. A half full glass sat in front of him, next to a bottle, next to another empty glass. Her glass. She sat down. He turned and smiled at her. Set about finishing his conversation with the other girls. She waited patiently. Waited to have him all to herself. Waited for him to fill her glass.

"I had this realization last night. That most of my life bores me. I called you, because you're the most interesting person I know."
"Flattery will get you no where with me."

She could see in his eyes that he really believed that. Too bad it wasn't really true. She had learned that simple lesson a long time ago. Flattery gets you everywhere. Everyone wants to be accepted. But she loved the idea that he thought he meant it. She loved how much he believed his own beliefs. And she hadn't intended to flatter. It was the simple truth. She was bored, and she wanted him to be the opposite of that.

"J has to catch up. We're already a bottle in."

They had run into J while she was outside wondering what it would be like to kiss an ashtray. The boy was on his second cigarette when J and one of his ex's crossed the street to them. They all stood on Mcdougal and volleyed back and forth the awkwardness caused by including the ex into the equation. She wondered if the ex knew about J's crush on her when they had first met in Paris and the ex wasn't an ex. She wondered if the boy knew of J's crush on her when J first introduced them at the park she had just left. She wondered if the boy knew about J's crush at all.

"He told me you asked about my performance in bed."

The ex was gone. They traded the tiny intimate table for the more accommodating velvet sofas. They were playing on a familiar equation now. The one they had solved so many times before. Her, the boy, and their mutual friend J. The guy in the middle. The guy spilling intimate secrets on both sides. Things she had only really said to make J uncomfortable about being the net in the middle of their tennis match. Now the boy was getting the wrong idea, but he kept filling her glass, drowning the guilt that came with leading someone on.

"Let's walk over the Brooklyn bridge."

She took J's hand now too. She didn't want him to feel alone. She had been holding the boy's since they left the Bourgeoisie Pig. There they were. Three walking down an empty street. She felt like she was floating, but knew that was just the wine. She had floated her way through Paris for six months, so she was familiar with the feeling. She swung her boy's hands back and forth. Imagined them conquering the steel bridge as a three. But she hadn't floated all the way into the clouds yet. She knew she would never convince them. Unlike her, they had obligations. The boy was house sitting. He had to feed the cats.

"Let's climb to the top of the monkey bars."

She found herself in the courtyard of an apartment building she couldn't afford. On top of a set of monkey bars that reminded her of when she used to be able to fly in grade school. The rusted chains of the swings creaked mixing with J's low attempt at a sexy voice. A swinger talking to his girlfriend. She laid back against the cold bars. Let the boy pull her back up into a kiss. They were all smiles. Like two children in the playground. Like two twenty-something's after four bottles of wine.

"This is nice."

She never wanted to leave the top of that jungle gym. Sitting. And flirting. And kissing. And touching. It felt like the way twilight sounds. That moment really didn't change anything though, and she knew she couldn't stretch a moment into forever. He was the most interesting person she knew, but it still wasn't enough. Descending that jungle gym was like falling from grace. Back on the ground it was just like any other night. Back on the ground she wasn't floating anymore. Not like four bottles in. Not like her grade school self. Not like the way she wished he made her feel all the time.

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