You’ve made yourself comfortable in my head and I never really had a say. I see images of you come and go, always leaving me a little out of breath. Your eyes I usually remember first when you are not here but crave to be alone. And when you’re gone, I wish I wasn’t so shallow as to always revere your beauty first, but it is your inner wealth I love the most. Although I’m not even sure if that’s the truth, because from your eyes, your smile, my thoughts always drift off to the whole of you: your freckles, your mind, your laugh. I wish I could say that’s where I linger, but in my thoughts I’m always quick to explore your scars, dents and curves. And unlike before I do not wish to be repaid for giving you pleasure for it is your happiness I seek above all else.
So there’s a mannequin in our closet at work. She has no head and wooden legs. Her body is white, her curves are womanly, not too skinny, just right. I want to take her home I’ve decided today. She Looks so lonely there, undressed, exposed to us in a way. How pretty my dresses would look on her. How much I’d like to invite her to a dance. That’s what I think when I see her. Now call me crazy, I don’t care.
And there she sat on her couch, slightly depressed in the aftermath of so much action. She hadn’t expected to get so emotionally involved. A women’s march, not her first and yet… So many familiar faces and new ones, too. Men, women and those still undecided at that. Dogs, little ones, flags and so many signs expressing what she felt. She didn’t have a sign at first, had gone there unprepared, overwhelmed by the crowd and cheers. So much energy without the hatred, just hope in her heart from the words surrounding her, the smiles on people’s faces. She had taken a sign after all, offered to her by a girl half her age. So many generations united, so many things to say but her voice had been relentless, stuck in her throat. Tears had come instead. Why she had cried, she still didn’t know as she now sat on her couch, her heart still elated while her mind was battling with the news of the day.
So this is how it starts, my year. Two days of Italian food, French wine and a swift shopping trip to spend the money I don’t have after Christmas. It’s the same every year. Over-indulgence in December, sobering up in January. Only this year I have a hard time cutting back on my spending although I know I’ll make less. But that’s compensation for you, psychology 101: the weather is cold outside and I’ve rarely seen the sun. At least I have my writing, triggered by my muse. I’m surprised she’s still with me though, I rarely sleep these days. I’m glad she isn’t as moody as I tend to be this winter. Hibernating is what I should do or finally book that flight to LA. It’s a lot less chilly there and I miss the place, miss the friends I barely see. But then that requires the kind of money I should safe. Besides, I’ve rarely seen my friends here. So maybe a month off will do me good. Being at home, reading, catching up on shows I’ve missed in recent years. I must admit, I’d prefer doing that in SoCal, where the sun is likely to shine more often than where I am. Where I know I’d go for a walk every day, where I do not bump into police officers frisking people in the metro, patrolling the streets that used to feel safe only a short few years ago. That’s why I’m so feisty, I guess, today. The spectacle of three dark-haired youngsters, surrounded by officers whose hands were glued to their firearms, ready to protect themselves at any minute, it left me strangely affected on the boys’ behalf and ours. My heart was torn as my train left the station, my mind helpless. But it was then that I realized, I’m not yet completely jaded.
Her hair was brunette and curly, her eyes cheerfully intense. Her lips were full and red, graced with a kooky yet bewitching smile. Her voice was lost to him in the crowd until a laugh bubbled up, a sound defying her svelte, delicate form, reaching his ears from across the room, topped with a charming snicker-snort. Her cheeks blushed, her eyes coy upon meeting his. He flashed her a smile, she lowered her gaze, sipped at her drink, flickered her eyes and turned her head away from him who caressed her with attention.
He loved watching her, her dress simple with her embroidered initials, her petticoat full, accentuating her tiny waist as she swayed her hips, unconsciously arousing him by enjoying a melody she seemed too young to know so well. Tapping his finger on a glass of Bourbon, he followed her rhythm, longing to swirl her around in his arms on the dance floor and rock her hips against his own. The glow on her face betrayed her joy, attracting more of his admiration as his eyes drank in a side of her she rarely granted him to see.
When he comes home, she’s half asleep on an empty couch. Her favorite show runs on TV, she hardly hears his keys turn in the lock. Shoes in hand, he’s on his toes, careful not to wake her up. He hangs his coat, grabs her glass and finishes a sandwich she has left for him. Resting next to her, he gently pulls her head onto his lap. He seems exhausted, melancholy in that way of his. She is too sleepy to open her eyes and ask how late it is.
“Is that when Perry loses his case?” He points the glass towards the screen. She nods her head and mumbles a yes. He loves the show, knows all her favorite scenes. She loves his scent surrounding her again, the silence that’s only comfortable with him. She feels his fingers drawing lines and circles on her skin. Perry’s voice a familiar soundtrack to their novelty routine. His fingers toy with her hair, her cheek, the lobe of her ear. “I missed you.” She feels he means much more than that. Her heart is pounding loudly in her chest. She knows she loves him, can’t bring herself to say the words. She pulls him down, her kiss is tender, resting her case with a gasp instead.
She is leaning against the door frame as her eyes scan the room. Postcards on the walls, a painting of a lighthouse on an ocean shore. No evidence of the people in his life. He is sitting at the kitchen table, skimming the morning paper, a cup of coffee in his hands. His face looks scruffy, he hasn’t shaved, his eyes alert, a playful smile turning into a frown at the corner of his mouth. It is strange for her to see him so early in the morning. His kitchen is organized like so many things in his life. Sandy colors, blueish tones – it’s like taking a trip to the sea up north. He can’t hide his origin.
“Breakfast?” He looks up from his paper and points to a pan of scrambled eggs. She nods, although it’s too early for her to take a bite. For him she doesn’t mind getting up at 6 a.m. He smiles, sees the lines around her eyes and hands his lover his cup of coffee. “Good morning, baby.”
She stifles a yawn, it tells him enough. He didn’t mean to wake her up. She nods her head again, reluctant to tell him that his sheets were cold and empty, that she missed his presence and his touch. Like him, she doesn’t talk much in the morning but welcomes his embrace. He doesn’t mind, enjoys his paper and her head leaning against his chest. It’s 6:30 when he gets up to leave.
“Go back to bed,” he laughs and locks his coffee-soaked lips with hers, sleepy and soft. She closes her eyes and makes him stay five minutes longer, her body pressed against his, her arms flung around his neck. 6:35, he has to go, his voice is low, he almost whispers. Another kiss, his arms still tugged around her waist, another minute and off he goes, leaving that taste in her mouth for more of him.