Friday Night Write #15 : Closer Than This

I never intended to let her get so close. To let her past all my defenses. Past the image I let everyone see. But I had. I looked at her. Asleep. On the sofa. Wearing nothing but this lacy black lingerie. My pillow stuck under her head. My blanket keeping her warm.

I was both terrified and thrilled. I wanted her to stay, and I wanted to never see her again. So, I just stood there and stared at her, watching her sleep. Wishing I could remember that moment all my life.

I didn’t understand at all how she wound up on my sofa all night. She’d called me, and asked to come over. She’d done that for years. I never knew when she’d call. But I always made time for her. So, I’d told her it was OK. We’d gone to eat dinner. If you can call Subway sandwiches dinner. Then, we’d walked all over the local Wal-Mart store. All 130,000 square feet of it.

I have to admit, it was not easy to stand there while she looked at women’s lingerie. Didn’t help me any when she held up that black lace one in front of herself. “Oh, this is pretty,” she’d said. And then she’d asked me, “What do you think? Do you like this one?”
I’d frozen solid. Couldn’t blink my eyes. Couldn’t twitch my fingers. Couldn’t talk. She’d laughed, and kept it.

We’d gone to the electronics department. And she’d found a movie she wanted to watch. “I’ve never see it. I missed it when it was in theaters.” She showed it to me. Some silly love story, chick-flick movie. The kind you only watch when a girl drags you to it, and makes you. She kept that too.

When we finished shopping, we returned to my place. She put that movie on. “Watch it with me.” How could I refuse? We sat down on the sofa and before I knew what was going on, she had pulled my arm over her shoulders, and then snuggled in against me.
I don’t remember the movie. I know we watched it all. But I have no idea what happened it in.

Sometime during the movie, she got up, went to the bathroom, and changed into that black lace. She came back, put her feet up on the sofa, and stretched out, putting her head in my lap. She’d pulled my arm around her. Right under her breasts.

When the movie ended, I realized she was asleep, and I didn’t want to wake her up. So, I let her sleep. With her head in my lap. After a while, she woke up. “Can I just stay here tonight?”

She could have asked me anything. I’d have said yes.

So, there she was. On my sofa. Under my blanket. Her head on my pillow. And me, standing there, watching her, wondering how she got so close to me. And if she knew how close she was.

The 9th Friday Night Write : Somewhere Down That Crazy River

I watch people, you know. Yeah. I do. I watch everything they do. It’s something I have to do. Even though it’s really hard sometimes. That’s why I visited Nick’s at least once a week. Almost always late on Friday night. To watch. Groups of friends. Couples. And to wish. Just once. I understood them. I was like them.

Like that group at the table along the windows. Eight people. Eight friends. Laughing. Drinking. Eating chips and dip. Sharing stories. How’s that work? How do they know what to say? How to behave? When to laugh? When to be quiet? When to talk? I watch everything. I’ve turned my mind into a recorder, recording everything I see. So I can go over it. Take it apart. Analyze every motion. Every smile. Every word. Every laugh. Every look. Everything. How do they know what to do? How do they know when? I’ve never been able to figure that out.

Sometimes I think it’s useless. Like some part of me is missing. A part they all have. So I always end up watching. And never understanding. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a tiny life raft. In the ocean. With no fresh water to drink. Water, water everywhere. And not a drop to drink. People, people everywhere. And not one I understand.

There’s a couple in a booth along the wall. Holding hands. He leans forward every now and then, and kisses her. Right on the lips. In public. Everyone can see. She sits right next to him. His arm around her shoulders. Both smiling. Talking. Laughing. Flirting. Isn’t that what it’s called? Flirting? I think that’s what it’s called. I asked a girl once. What is flirting. She just grinned. And put her hand on my arm, and did that “push him away” kind of move. “Oh, you know,” was all she said.

But I don’t know. Is it flirting or something more? Will they walk separate ways when they leave Nick’s tonight? Will they go home to separate houses? Or will they get in the same car? I don’t know. I can’t tell. And I feel like everyone at Nick’s knows what’s going on with them.

Except for me.

There’s the five guys, sitting at the bar. One drinking. The others not. What’s that all about? I watch them. It’s like the one drinking is telling all the stories. Doing all the talking. And the others are there listening. Nodding their heads. “Yeah, man. That just sucks.” Did something happen to the one? Something bad? And the others are there, just being his friends? Or are they there, celebrating something? Getting a friend totally blitzed. I don’t know. I can’t tell. All I can do is watch. And wonder.

All I can do is watch.

And wonder.

And wish I was like them.