March 5, 2011

when we weren't young



"Does it hurt?"
I flexed my fingers and propped myself on my elbows. "No. Why would it?"
I turned over onto my stomach. You closed your eyes and dug into your pockets. I knew what you were looking for before you found it. "Do you absolutely need to smoke right now?"

"No, I guess not."
"Then, maybe don't?"
Your hands appeared again, empty, and you placed them behind your head. You didn't say anything, so neither did I. It stayed that way for maybe twenty minutes or fifteen. I wasn't tired.

I listened to your breathing. It sounded like you were pretend-sleeping. I knew better to believe a regular nicotine/caffeine user could drift asleep just by prolonged sedentary silence. The same song repeated, meaning it has been at least the length of one round of whatever this album was. My limbs were tingling asleep.
Eight years ago I wouldn't have minded playing dead with you. I'm getting too old for this. I curled around and sat up. The blood in my head oozed back into upright consciousness. You didn't even budge.  I dug through your jacket pocket, slung over a kitchen chair. Your personal effects include a cell phone and a pack of loose tobacco (no lighter or matches, naturally). I took your phone and chucked the tobacco. It's a dirty habit, but I looked through your text messages. Not that there was a point. There's never anything of interest. I don't even recognize any of these names. But I like reading the conversations as if it was my social life involved. My wrist ached and I guess that serves me right.

I tossed your phone on your chest and that seemed to rouse you. "You can't sleep here. And I looked through your phone."
"Oh. Okay. I'm not sleeping. And shame on you."
"You can look at mine if you want."
"No thanks. I don't wanna read all your sexy sexts."
"But they're... so sexty."
"I like when you're grumpy at me."
"Okay, thanks?"
"You're funny."
"Yes..."

You opened one eye and smirked at me. I hate when you're smug. 
It's surprisingly exhausting to know you and it hasn't even been for very long, but I think I've had it. You may be the first person who makes me realize how much energy and patience I don't have for other individuals with imposing wit and tenuous emotions. And all you have to do is lay there, consuming the attention of every atom in the room. It's easier to realize this when I admit that I don't actually like you that much. Only sometimes and always for the wrong reasons. I mostly just like that you like me. I like the way you smell-- it's a non-scent. Clean and unoffensive but most definitely male. It's very calming. I like that you know when I'm going to say no but you ask anyway. I like that we don't have to talk and we don't have to touch. It's easy to be around you because it's like being around no one. I don't want anything from you. You have the most inconsequential presence. So why am I so tired?

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