October 4, 2012
and it's 3:16 AM
After I left, there were two things to consider. One was a a bobby pin I was never going to get back. I forgot it on the bureau for the maid to find. Or worse, anyone else before her who would trespass (good-natured as they were) that red Do Not Disturb tag hanging off the doorknob. It would lead straight back to me. It was too early for concern but not too late for later.
A few hours earlier I stood outside his three-star hotel, discreetly shivering in my sweater. I listened to his in-articulations that seemed to make things clearer to me with every stuttering lull. It was the first time I had asked a man what his situation was as I eyed the wedding band on his left hand. I was not confused, I already knew. I sluggishly mapped my path home in my head, but I let him go on.
"It just wouldn't be practical," I digressed. "You know neither of us would sleep. We'll be too stressed out."
"You're right," he agreed. "I would be too nervous to sleep."
Until now I had only scriptures and vague perceptions of how those kind of vows bended and bowed to our humanity, what was permitted and what was not. I could not ignore when he told me that he had no one to call to fetch him from the airport.
I could not ignore a sort of giddy loneliness when he said he could not remember the last time he felt this happy. It might have been the tequila but I suspected other convictions were at the helm. Whether they were mine, I couldn't tell. Happy was maybe the wrong word.
We fell asleep on the largest bed I'd ever seen. White blue flashes behind my eyelids from whatever movie was playing on HBO kept me awake. Or was it those convictions? I probably need to discard my preconceptions of innocence and guilt if I want to get any rest whatsoever. One of them scratches at the door. The other shifts beneath the covers.
I stayed on my side, not certain what that really was. If not for what was reaching, I could have claimed much more than the naive truth that it was just a bit of indulgence. Indulging loneliness is a house of mirrors though. It's the inescapable reflection of your own pale-turning fears.
I know they would be soothed soon enough. Sooner if his flight was not delayed. The more deliberate his silence to my well-wishes would confirm the things I was past being afraid of. I slept through it. Maybe he dreamt of decisions in a drift.
Neither of us could stay and it doesn't matter to me if that's sad or just the way things are-- the facts will question themselves, hovering on a sleepy moment in the morning when I had forgotten them. He traced it on the skin of my back. You tend to remember those illegible pleas. It marks the moment. That you had one at all.
The whole thing thrives off its ephemera. How it loomed like fog, deftly compensating any reproach I could possibly consider. That was the second thing.