On a couch in his house, he plays YouTube videos that seem to capture the way he’s feeling.
I’m left deciphering the meanings, the unsaid, and the “Oh, did you hear that line?”
I try to remember all the song titles so that I can look them up later—so that I can get to know him better. But the wine plays tricks on my memory, so I lean against him, close my eyes, and inhale.
I’m not ready to share Neil Young with him. The scar of me sharing that too soon is still present and raw.
I imagine one day when we’re in bed naked, and we don’t have anywhere to go, I’ll say, “Hey, listen to this.” And he will.
Maybe he’ll even listen to it some time when I’m not there, and he’ll say how much he loved “Harvest Moon,” and then I’ll begin to fall in love.
He has eyes that I’m assuming are beautiful—but I can’t be certain.
I want to tell him that I’m sorry I’m colorblind, because I’m sure someone told him before, and he holds on to that compliment. I wish, in ways I don’t understand, that I could have been the first one to say it.
One day, when I have the nerve, I’m going to tell him I love the way I can hear him smile when he’s laying behind me, and I kiss the arm he has pillowing my head.
I keep my insecurity in a lockbox on the left side of my brain, because I am f*cked up after what I went through.
Is it okay to ask someone new to carry the baggage? Even just a few minutes? It’s so heavy.
I tell him that I almost walked away instead of actually walking away. Not leaving is the bravest thing I’ve ever done.
He can’t unravel the compliment.
He tells me that I’m pretty in a tone that I try hard to depend upon—and he’s the easiest thing I’ve depended on in months. When I lay on his chest, his heart is calm, but more than that, it’s present. It’s a boat on a lake, tied with a frayed, sun-bleached rope, to a dock someone’s great-grandfather built when he was teaching his children to backfloat, ears just below the surface.
The silence is as brilliant as the sky. Steady, and with purpose.
Driving in the car after eating breakfast at the diner, he pushes play on a mixed disc in his CD player. He skips over the first track and track two starts. It’s hard, loud, and fast. It’s not at all ideal for a post-sex breakfast. I prepare to digest the bagel in the car with my heart all a-flutter, and his hand on my thigh.
We talk about High Fidelity and how I’ve always had a crush on Rob. His love of music and his bitter resentment for those who don’t love it as much make me smile in soft, warm spots. We drive in silence and I begin to feel excitement to get to my car, knowing that the next song up is Bob Dylan’s, “I Want You.” It’s my “Maybe this Won’t Hurt Mix #52.”
His hands are apologies that no one has bothered to give me before, and I want to tell him that terrifies me, but I also want to memorize how it feels.
There are nuances only fingers can make and his are the type I’ve never heard before.
I imagine his fingers are Beethoven’s and of my flesh the “Moonlight Sonata” is born and I want to ask him if he knows it—but I am speechless.
Author: Jacqueline L Kirkpatrick
Editor: Lieselle Davidson