-every three years-
*by someone that tries to record
most of his “…truth ~ (pause.) ~ and lies”*
(frankie leone, just a man)
*every three years she makes a mistake with a man. thirty-six pages have evaporated off the calendar.
she’s on the other side of an uncrowded bar on north 9th street. i watch her run her eyes across me.
looking around i realize most of the women here stopped making mistakes with men in high school.
the clock smirks with intact inhibitions. it shares the early hour.*
*my friend’s drinking. sticking to his m-o he’s over-shot the mark. his androgynous face is inches from my ear. the volume of his voice is past the border of comfort. a thin arm wraps around my shoulders.
i’ve never had rigid boundaries. disregarding this proximity isn’t difficult.
he speaks. i listen. “don’t let the boyishness throw you a curve ball. you can see she’s got a lot going on even if she isn’t plugging it into amps at the garden. don’t think i’m lying. definitely don’t think it’s a hopeless cause.
“a couple guys have felt those lips.”*
*“you’re not a midget. you and i could dance.”
she laughs warmly. my out-of-place bluntness makes her uncomfortable.
“yeah, i’ve always been awkwardly tall too. it makes dancing with most people comical. it’s no tragedy. i’m terminally a white girl on the dance-floor.”
we’re standing close to each other. my eyes half-smile into hers.
“the caucasian cop out gets over-abused. it’s a handicap overcome with a sex-driven beat. a touch of apathy breaks it down. add recklessness and it crumbles.
“someone else’s hand in your back pocket doesn’t hurt either.”
her smile continues. even though it sounds like i’m almost joking she seems interested.
“ok. help me stay alive in brooklyn. how do i know if my crumpets and tea are turning to guava juice and soul food?”
she plays along, and well. however, she hasn’t mastered rolling the dice with confidence. unlike mine her discomfort’s displayed honestly on her features.
my eyes don’t fade. i wink, blow on the dice, and roll again.
the music’s loud. not too loud. my body moves close to hers. i speak into her ear anyways.
“hypothetical situation: we’re dancing. hip-hop’s playing. this place is full of white people originally from the suburbs.
“everyone should gawk in disgusted judgment. if we feel disinterest we’re still sipping high-balls on the golf-course.
“want to take a ride on the j train away from manhattan?”
smiling and laughing she nods with eyes locked into mine. something with fun mistakes in the bass courses through the speakers. it helps me bite my lower lip.
impure thoughts project themselves through pores of my scarred and illustrated skin. it’s satisfying she doesn’t seem to want to leave my theater.
my wrists are sore from manual labor. my calloused hands find their way to her hips. i pull her against me completely.
she’s been honest. her movements brawl the beat.
eventually she submits. her hips allow my hands to guide her to its will.
our movement intensifies and her gaze escapes the windows to my soul. for once this doesn’t spark self-consciousness. i believe she wants back inside.
we move. it becomes clear to me, and i conjecture her too, where our subway ride on the dance floor is taking us. the room reeks of sweat and forgetfulness.
we grip our wallets in a neighborhood of our minds with no tourists.
i smile and lift her arms onto my shoulders and around my neck. she reacts with shy laughter. my hands grip her hips firmly. in moments it isn’t a laughing matter.
my fingers curl around the back of her neck drawing her ear close to my lips. i speak with deliberateness, “i heard you only mess around with men once every three years.”
her nervous laughter makes more brush strokes on the air between us. i continue, “how long’s it been?”
my palm’s on her neck off-center. my thumb’s resting lightly on her chin. the music plays with intent.
i move. she moves. our lips move onto each others.*
*eventually the song ends. that’s what they do. there are more words, “i’m not going to leave with you tonight.”
my half-smile does what it can, “i’m into exactly what we’ve had.”
“you seem like you do this a lot.”
“i don’t know what you mean.”
i know what she means. she explains what i already know. half-disputing i give my version of my truth.
she seems satisfied.
“this is uncomfortable. i’m used to seducing straight girls. i don’t like having no control. you have it all.”
“you’re right. you don’t. you’re wrong though. i don’t either. neither do they,” i gesture at the masses of dancing strangers, “some just think they do.”
it’s hours past midnight. the clock’s irritated. glaring at me, it ticks angrily at my work day starting at nine am. i put my tail between my legs.
i explain then move closer to whisper. it’s my experience things mean more said this way.
“i know this probably won’t happen again. i dug that we rose above the caucausian cop-out after midnight together. please, let’s try not to be awkward if we see each other again.”
in silence we stare at each other for a few moments. point-blank.
i finish, “good night.”
we move our lips onto each others. our lips separate.
that’s what they do.*
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