I want to lie on the grass. I need to be connected to something that isn’t people buzzing, or the untangling of old loves in written form, both analytical and emotional — twenty-three pages long. To something that isn’t death, or tension, or burdens that don’t belong to me, but that I’ll carry strong and true.
Is this how Holden felt? Is this how a mental break begins? One moment you’re in a museum and the next you must lie on the grass. (No matter if 6,787.5 dogs have urinated on that grass before your head meets it.) The clouds are strewn across the sky like brain matter and the buildings reflect a sunset that I cannot see because they’re in the damn way. The moon is almost full, but not quite, and that is the most annoying type. I want it to commit to being full, or return to his small sliver, my favorite moon.
I remember how it feels to be naked for no reason other than that our bodies fit together and we both have flesh and are not reptiles and it is late afternoon. And we both have hearts and hurts and horniness that rule us to reproduce, but we will take every motion to escape because we don’t even know each other’s last names.
Shoes that stick. A couch that lurks from the wall. Strands of hair wrapped around fingers, long and they get stuck, pulling harder. Stacks of slaps — backhanded smacks on the chair with the missing foot rest. A complete disregard for gelled hair and glasses that get crunched, bent under our weight, yours and mine together, and all at once harsh and more than certain. Red cheeks, smoking cigarettes in our underwear. I’ll insist we wear party hats, too, and stand on the balcony. It feels like forgetting Him.
It feels like letting a southern gentleman in my bed on a Sunday morning and being cranky because I am hungry. It feels like sleeping under dirty sheets.
It feels like a man asking, “What do you think about me kissing you?” And I don’t know. Not knowing is enough. Floral faded in the dark on a couch, in a room with no bed. And in the view of neighbors who are eating dinner, or making dinner, or sitting silent. Or watching. Or all. It feels like eye stares at me with tiny pupils, table top under my dress, a mess of mouths and lips and bodies and wet. It feels like leaving before it’s too late. After that fierce knock at my chest. And another knock — a pound, this time, and the only attendant is hiding beneath the front desk.
It’s not the Cheetos in the pantry. It’s not the George I danced with all night. It’s not the lesbian bar. The free drinks. The compliments of my dress. My back. It’s me now, eleven minutes later. An eleven-minute walk home from the bar, stumbling and alone. It’s me now, naked. My dress lost somewhere between the bedroom and the hallway and I think I’ve locked myself in the bathroom. I think no one can hear me.
Please? I beg. I just want Him to sleep with me. I just want Him here. I just want to feel his body fold into mine. I just miss Him. I just want this one time. I will just leave my keys. I’ll just leave them right there. Just if he change’s his mind.
It feels like no one is home and it’s Sunday and there is a breeze through white drapes and a dark room. This is what it feels like to have a hunger so deep for Him to curl around your back like the perfect crescent moon that you cry until you can’t breath on the edge of the bed for no reason other than that he is not there.
“Do you miss Him?” She asks me from the bench. And I try to say, “Yes.” But I can’t. I just need to lie on the grass and smash the leftover burrito in my backpack with my head.
Another friend arrives, one that is going to break up with her boyfriend that night. I sit on the bench now. It’s dark now. The moon lights up the clouds now. She paces now. She stops and stares at the sky with her arms behind her head now. She puts her hands on her eyes now. How can she do this? She can’t do this. What will she say? Where will they meet? I offer everything I can and more, even though I’ve forgotten my jacket and it’s San Francisco.
She turns around quickly, “Was Amy Winehouse Jewish?” She wants to know.
I laugh. No matter what it feels like. It’s still there. Like a five-inch splinter, lost layers and layers under the skin of my tenderest chest part, grazing. Him. Him. Him. Him. Him.