Saturday, February 23, 2013

the perfect everything

The second bar we went to had red lights and portraits of angry dogs, which on some level puts people in the mood. I wasn't drunk, but it's not like I needed to be drunk to be okay in this social context. It was so loud that I couldn't have really spoken anyway. The band played another poorly derivative sad song replete with too many guitars and slightly ahead of the beat drums.

"Want to dance?" I squeaked. I pushed my glasses up my nose. Then I fidgeted, taking them off, rubbing my scarf with them, and then placed them on top of my head so he could see my eyes. I don't know if my eyes are my best feature but I think they convey the most vulnerability, which is probably my only attribute.
"No. I don't dance," he said.

I just smiled at him. Whether or not he was dancing with me, my heart was clearly dancing in my chest. He gave me a quick dimple heavy grin and looked above my head. He smiled and nodded at a friend across the bar. I reached for him, aching to be held. He rubbed my lower back with one strong confident hand absentmindedly and took a sip from his beer. I leaned into him, fitting the top of my head under his chin, and looked up. 

"Do you want to get out of here?" I asked. My voice was so high and annoying. I coughed. Think about Scarlett Johanson! I told myself. Deep and sultry. Think cleavage but for your voice.
"Joe just got here. You really want to leave?" He said.
"Um, sorry,  I meant, like no, but maybe later maybe go back to your place together..."
"Nevermind," I said. "I'm uh easy going."
"Because that's what easy going people say."
"Yeah. No. Sorry."

He left me at the bar for awhile and talked to a couple of his friends. I replayed different scenes from Pride and Prejudice in my head and fiddled with my hair, or in other words, was awesome. After a while, he slung his messenger bag over his shoulders and stood up. He looked at me over his shoulder and beckoned his head. His black hair slid over his eyebrows with the confident toss. He smiled a little bit with just his lips, raising one eyebrow.

I hurriedly pushed the two books I was reading into my purse, grabbed my wallet from where I had dropped it clumsily on the floor, like an adult, and hopped up to follow him. He was looking down at his phone and slowly walking out the door of the bar. I jogged to catch up at him and he didn't say anything. I reached for his hand. 

Stammering, I added, "Just-to-be-clear-I-was-inviting-myself-over-to-have-um-you-know-like-sexual-intercourse." 
"Gross! Dummy," he said. He kissed the top of my head. I loved how tall he was. He was like the perfect height, the perfect everything.

We got to the bus stop and waited in silence for a minute. I reveled in how much I liked this guy, maybe loved him. I reminded myself not to say anything like that in bed. When we got to his apartment he unlocked the door and let himself in first. I made a note that that was a thing guys who were into equality probably did. He was probably a super big feminist  I followed him in. Once inside, I ran to him and threw my arms around his neck and tried to kiss him.

"Wait here a sec. I need to go clean my room," he said.
"Buddy, I don't care if it's messy," I said, kissing his neck.
"I do. I just... I have to put some stuff away, okay? Stuff I don't need you to see..." 

He pried my arms away and went into a room, closing the door behind him. It shut hard and I jumped a little, even though I was expecting it. I walked around his living room. The shelves were filled with various stacks of books, videogames, and movies, haphazardly organized. The top shelves where I couldn't reach were lined action figures, little robots, and various toys. I pulled a book from the shelf. It was Eugene Mirman's book... not that this detail is important. I just don't want you to think I was trying to put on any airs here. Like I coulda grabbed that Dostoevsky book, but that'd be like an intellectual push up bra, right?

After about twenty minutes, the bedroom door opened. He came back out. I shut the book and hopped off the couch, twirling toward him with a giddy grin.

"Heeeeey-" I stopped short and immediately dropped the flute-like trill from my voice. "Wait what's wrong?"

He was looking over my shoulder, above me. He looked scared and confused. His eyes were wide, red rimmed, and twitching. Tiny droplets of tears streamed from the corner of his beautiful ocean blue eyes. He didn't say anything. He stared hard away from me.

I ran to him and threw my arms around him. "Oh my god what... are you okay?"
"I just... I don't know what I'm doing with ...anything..." he said, his voice high and shaky.

I stood on my tippy toes so I could try to caress his head. He stayed motionless like a really big tree. It was so hard to hold someone who was taller and didn't want to be held. "C'mere," I said. I tried to lead him to the couch and he reluctantly obliged.

"What's... what happened?" I said. I realized I was trembling. He wasn't. 
"I don't know... I can't do this." He wouldn't look at me. He started crying again.
I sat on his lap. "Can't do what?" I dragged his arms around my waist, linking his hands together.
"This... I'm sorry. I don't know. I think I just need to be alone tonight," he said.
"Wait what? I'm sorry. Did I do something wrong?" I ran my fingers gently through his hair.
He wiped tears from his eyes. "Can you go?"
"Do you um not want to um have sex first?" I asked.
"Um, maybe a little bit of kissing?" I kissed his lips but he didn't kiss me back. I wiped a tear from his cheek. He brushed my hand away.
"Sorry. I'm sorry if I made you mad. I'm really... sorry."
"You did nothing. I just need to be alone."
"Can I do anything?" I was crying now too. "I want to help. I'm so sorry. I feel awful." I kissed his hand.
 "You know, buddy," I said softly. "We're friends. You can talk to me about whatever is... going on. If you want to... I mean. I'm here for you. You can tell me anything."
"I don't want to."
"I know."

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