We’re sitting across from each other this morning on the public train. It’s 7:15am. I’m right on time. Her face is right in front of mine, but I look into the far distance of the train. My eyes make a ghostly connection with her eyes for a moment.
I tell myself it’s okay to look at her before she turns away from my glance. Her left hand reaches into her bag—-newspaper or book.
Neither of those two emerge from her big, white canvas tote bag. I smell oatmeal and cinnamon. I’m sure she’s a very healthy woman.
Her plastic spoon takes a big portion of oatmeal with black specks. I smile at her and she proceeds to eat her breakfast. The music from my player is loud in my ears so I can’t hear her chew, but I do notice that she’s chewing with a lot of animation—-almost like chewing gum.
I don’t find mastication a turn off, but my mind begins to become irritated. I’ve never become this way while seeing somebody chew. I don’t know how to process this except by pretend reading my book. I even move my eyes from left to right, periodically getting stuck on a word in a paragraph because I see her in my mind chewing.
My watch reads 7:28am. I have eight more stops and exactly twenty-five more minutes on this train. The train stops and opens its doors. I quickly jump out of my seat to allow an older gentleman with a cain to sit. The woman smiles at me right before I get up…the older gentleman tells me thanks—-I repeat those words back to him.
Smooth or rough? He asked while digging into his pant pocket for the rock.
I’m not entirely sure if I know how to answer that yet. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to wait two days.
Yes. Maybe even three. My mind, like your’s, can be awful fickle.
Not my mind. I never veer, never.
They talked like this all the time together. It was comedic, honest, but most of the time, asinine. Simon played a small role in Francine’s college play during the 90’s. It was almost a drama and almost a comedy. Francine thought it was a complete love story and she had the leading role.
Break a leg tonight…and remember, breathe. He said back then before the opening night.
This is probably the nicest, sunniest day that I can remember. I’m glad I took the day off. It’s nice not to have to be in the office all day.
Thanks for working so hard for us. And thanks for taking the day off to be with me.
Never a problem, never.
Green Light Decisions
She stopped at the corner of the street to wait for the next green light. Her legs were slender and nestled in furry rain boots. Several cars drove close enough to impolitely splash road water at her feet and other patrons of the sidewalk—-she was ready though. Her natural and quick reflexes were what made her a star college athlete years ago. Even her college volleyball coach praised her for catlike reflexes that made her one of the best that ever stepped on the court.
“I had to improve my defense by being quick since I wasn’t going to be tall,” she said to her daughter. They sat on the couch last night flipping through photo albums of her playing different sports in high school and college.
A sudden monsoon reminded her to pull on her jacket hood and to release her umbrella. She made sure the radius of the umbrella didn’t meet anyone’s eye level. One summer, while she travelled through Hong Kong after college, many times did umbrellas poke her face. The people there didn’t mean to do it. The circumstance of being short and having short arms made walking down the street a deadly game of duck and cover.
One more car reached the corner and made a speedy turn, hugging the curb and scraping the hubcap of the front tire. Everyone stepped back immediately. A man in a black suit and black raincoat threw his fist in the air in protest and sharply pointed his middle finger at that car.
She noticed how hot his coffee in the other hand was right when the middle finger went straight up—-piercing some raindrops. Her mind was made up right then—turn back the other way and grab some coffee because she wasn’t going to leave the office again for the day.
Whips and Chains
I went to see a friend the other day. My fear was that she was already in a relationship. Of course there was no need to wonder about infidelity. She was at my wedding four years ago. My ex. The worst case scenario played through my mind all night. I even had a dream about her.
“We were in college together and she was freaky,” I said to my coworker.
“What do you mean? She liked anal or something?” My coworker asked. She was curious and mostly gossipy. I thought it would be harmless to let a bit of me go.
“Yeah, she was into everything. Whips and chains…whips and chains,” I said. I walked away from the lunchroom and figured I had dropped enough to keep her coming back for more later.
“When are you suppose to meet up with her?” She asked. I heard her, but I just kept walking toward my office. No need to get into current or past specifics.
I turned back to see a silhouette of her shape saunter down the hall. I liked her for her incredibly young and naive body. I also liked her collection of high heels for each day of the week.
The calendar on my wall had a huge circle around next Friday. It was the return of the ex. My mind quickly escaped into dream world fantasy. The ex was in a bathtub, lights were on, and bubbles were everywhere. Her smooth round bottom was poking out directly in my face. Everything was in slow-motion. I had a thing for blondes back then, and her skin was perfectly glowing next to the bubbles—-shiny.
My body helped itself to the warm water and her body.
“It’s not that hot…I like the water to be warmer,” I said to my ex.
“Don’t worry about it,” She said. Her face was covered in bubbles.
I moved my hands all over her ass, relishing in this euphoric feeling. I had crossed the line with my ex and I was enjoying it.
My mind comes back to reality momentarily because of an email. My coworker wants to grab coffee tomorrow morning. I know she wants to talk more about “whips and chains” because she’s hinting desperately to me in this message.
I play with my wedding ring. I make it spin around my finger a few times because I like the smoothness of the motion.
“Ok, let’s get in early at the crack of dawn,” I say. I’m hoping she responds playfully.
“I’m sure you’re used to cracking something. LOL!” She replies.
I do love flirting.
Pocketknife and Cans
Mr. Bradley wanted to open the can of peas with his pocket knife—-something he’d been given almost sixty years ago by his father.
“Open that up grandpa,” yelled Fisher. The seven-year old looked up at his grandfather’s wrinkled, worn down hands.
The prying sound of metal opening made Fisher squirm. Casey, on the other hand, loved screeching sounds like that—-including fingernails on chalkboard.
“Now open the can of corn, grandpa,” Casey asked. She held the can out for grandpa to grab and then quickly grabbed her younger brother’s hand for comfort.
They both giggled as Mr. Bradley wiped the sweat from his forehead and repositioned his hands to open the can of corn.
Mr. Bradley looked at the sun, understood it was a bit after noon time. There was little shade that the Redwood trees were able to cast. He looked at both of his grandchildren and smiled back.
Silence is the Road
Kim still felt warm from the fast food dinner they just had an hour ago.
“I wished there were more vegetarian places out here on the road. I always feel a bit more dirty after going through a place like that,” Kim said. She looked at her soft drink and put it back in the cup holder in the dashboard.
The road in front of Steven had just dimmed into complete darkness. The bit of natural light was from the crescent-shaped moon. Semi-trucks zipped by in the opposite direction. He imagined crashing head-on into one of those machines. Obliterate their lives with one quick turn of the wheel—-slight nudge from his muscles would turn four years together into a nightmare for a trauma rescue team. Worse than that, a completely gutted and wrecked assembly of friends and family would have to bring there bodies together for a funeral. Kim’s family is spread out in the east coast while Steven’s is from the Northwest in Seattle. These people would come together just for one disappointing event and never meet again—-no babies, no future to discuss.
“Steven, I wished we could just talk about the possibility of abortion. We’re not ready to be parents, at least not right now…maybe in two or three years,” Kim said. She turned directly to face him.
Still having emergency teams, ambulance sirens, and funeral service flashes, Steven came back to the moment to feel her glare.
“I’m not tired yet. I think I can drive for another two or three hours,” Steven said.
“That’s not what I requested.” Kim looked away into the horizon.
“I think it’ll be fine. We won’t even start having a family until I’m settled down at work. My boss thinks I can get that promotion—-he said I had potential.” Steven’s grip on the wheel loosened up.
“I’m not talking about that…” Kim looked at him one more time before falling asleep.
Another semi-truck streaked by before leaving the rest of the drive in silence.
Down the Road
It wasn’t a secret that Steven wanted to dance around the issue. Kim was set in her direction. 80 miles an hour going south on the highway. On their way to Steven’s house where he grew up for twenty years. He was thinking about all the girls he had brought home when Kim brought up the idea of abortion.
“Why can’t we just have a great weekend…not think about this and enjoy the time we have with my folks,” Steven said. He had both hands on the steering wheel—-ten and two, positions that were familiar to him only when he was tired or emotional.
“I can’t believe that you’d even want to put off talking about this,” Kim said. She had one hand on her hip—in the car seat nonetheless.
He wanted to drive faster, but the car wouldn’t allow him. Darkness was going to fall over the sky soon. He felt his stomach growl.
“Want to get dinner on the road? I could go for a hamburger,” He said. He rubbed his stomach as he imagined french fries with a cola to wash it all down.
“Gas…you get crazy gas,” Kim said. Shaking her head furiously and in all directions. She wanted back into the abortion conversation.
He rolled down the window a little bit to smell the fresh air. Summer in the dessert made things smell a little more Western—-cowboys and horses. They both liked it enough to stop talking for a moment and just smell…
Table Manners (redux)
I was up to no good. Devilish qualities at work. Too unreal and shocking as to what I’m about to reveal.
One hour ago…I had dinner with a blowjob underneath my table. Full scale, no joke. Her hands were on my ankles—holding me in place. My hand was on my fork having dinner, smiling impulsively. She wasn’t a prostitute. She was a soccer mom.
Seven hours ago…I wanted to have dinner at the new seafood restaurant around the corner from work. Loads of people had been making reservations each night. My coworkers gave it great reviews.
Six hours ago…I put a public ad online for a platonic dinner with a woman—-paid by me. The only caveat was that the respondent needed to forward a picture along with answer to my list of random questions. I spent about forty-five minutes building these random questions up. Preferred color choice, day-time activities lest likely to participate in, prone to abandonment issues, social drug user, and STD free. The last one was important just for personal matters and of course, peace of mind.
Four hours ago…Dana from Human Resources wanted to grab a late lunch and drink with me. She was a twenty-something brunette who wanted a long-term relationship, but was happy with a fling. I didn’t buy it. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have bothered to ask me out to lunch on occasions when I paid no mind to her email requests. Fail…I said to myself.
I had spent most of the billable day perusing the “not so platonic” section of the local website. Desperate people show their genitals and tits. Confident people show a picture of themselves. Makes perfect sense.
Three hours ago…Picture of the next woman that sent me a response got my attention. Of course the platonic part of the dinner was still attached, but one never knew where a night of conversation and drinking could lead. Being a bachelor in the city of San Francisco was a luxury most men in other big cities didn’t have. With the ratio of women to men being seven to one, I had a lot of chances to impress my female counter parts.
Two hours ago…We met very close to the restaurant and flirted outside. Instant chemistry. She knew I was a working stiff and was content to find that I was decently attractive. It does help to always where suits, but I always had extra pairs of jeans and comfortable clothing in my office. She smelled like roses and coffee infused together. I would’ve guessed twenty-seven years old by the way she was carrying on about commuting time and traffic.
One and one half hour ago…The meal was pleasant. Flirtatious comments throughout the meal, and even before that at the bar in the restaurant. We had order two drinks each with a sidecart of booze. Extra kick to libidos. From there, I did engage in more serious conversation, but without knowing too much. She asked about my recent sexual activities. I was more than happy to lie to her. And then at dinner, a fact of her life slipped out.
“My kid plays by that park,” she said. Her eyes sort of glazed over the comment before she took another drink—-fifth one.
She excused herself from the table to freshen up.
And when she came back, I was eating my seafood and steak by myself, holding tightly to my fork and knife, grinning all the through my last few bites.
Sabbath Brings Gifts
It’s really not like me to worry too much about somebody or even think of somebody that much—-not even my sister who lives halfway around the country and more. Down under, Australia. I can relax my mind because she’s been taken care of by her exuberantly rich husband. The dot-com days made him the man he is today.
I contemplated smoking medical marijuana to get some sleep. My friend has the license and acts as my mule. My mind kept on wandering off to Adrianne. So as to not send a hyperbole of thoughts into my mind, I stayed away from the “magic” marijuana—-at least that’s the label of this kind of strand of Cannibus.
Last Sunday, this woman kept me up, sexually. I met her downtown, three blocks from work. I believed that she was with a group of friends. The scene unfolded naturally. Eyes connected. Me, checking her out occasionally, She, glancing over intermittently, always with a dash of coyness in that smile. Shoulder length brunette—-believed to me my type. My coworkers left. Her friends were sent packing for the night. We both came to the agreement that there was attraction.
“Why do I get the feeling things are going to end nicely tonight,” I said. I had hoped that by being forward, she would sense my prowess nature, sleek confidence, and booming success in my career.
“I think after this. We need to settle into a bit of darker liquor,” she said. Her hand lured the female bartender over. They seemed to be flirtatious to each other on my behalf.
“Any single malt over 30 years old. We’ll have it,” she said. Brimming with utter confidence, she paid for the drinks and walked over to the jukebox.
I knew my Monday morning was going to be a nightmare in the office, but I went with it. Payment, I thought for working on a Sunday, meeting with clients all day that had a dearth of humor.
I deserved this…
That’s what I said to myself before getting off my stool to follow Adrianne to the jukebox.
What happened between that moment and Monday morning at five o’clock in the morning apparently was lost between the both of us. She got dressed, walked out the door, and left an extremely lasting impression on my mind.
That was 4 four days ago. It’s now Friday. I’m hoping to work again on Sunday.
It was the tiny imperfections on which he lingered. An index finger tracing the pigmented sun spot forming next to her left eye and her bent nose. The mole on her collar bone jutted through any shirt she wore, and he noticed it was now sprouting a long, straight, dark hair. His hands repeatedly measured her asymmetrical hips through the confines of her jeans as they waited in line for movies or as he pulled her in for a long kiss. This menagerie of flaws was like a magnet, pulling his eye as though it survived on the end of a hook, calling out to his tactile fixation with a silent siren’s song. They were compelling and obsessive, like if he could just get his fill, he might be able to release them. But constantly in a state of yen, he indulged again and again, fearful that he might one day rub them away with his calloused thumb.
The one perfect quality she did possess was the sound of her voice. It was deep, not throaty, but like the hum of a cello, clear, resonant, and she never spoke louder than a mezzo-piano. It was beautiful, and he often had her read aloud to him, one ear pressed against her chest, so as to hear both the true sound of her voice and the hollow echo within her chest. It was melody and harmony in perfect synchronicity. It colored any poetry, smutty romance novel chapter or newspaper editorial with the baritone hues of muted bass clef.