drunk on lights
you get a chance to see him. it is late when you go over. smile at each other as the elevator quickly moves upwards. the red color on the button catches your eye. eyes to the floor. his shoes and then his socks. checkered slip ons. they get you, pulling you in with ideas that he is different. special. a bell rings and the doors open. the place is kind of empty, but he offers you tea. he lights a candle. and then incense. pours water from the brita. asks you what kind of music you want to listen to.
"Is jimmy hendrix ok?
i tell him yes. sounds of the guitar are present and his nervous laughter. eyes that avoid and then come back around again. he covers himself in clouds of smoke. constantly high and looking to get higher. i suppose it is his medicine. stressful job. demanding schedule. and now me. an almost stranger, almost friend. almost something else. i can't blame him. i have mine, too. his grows from the ground. mine comes in an orange bottle. we are happily medicated, comfortably numb. we stare out of the sliding glass door windows. a view of the city, sparkling underneath the glow of the moon. he offers me wine. i politely decline. before we know it, we are drunk on lights.
and each other. buzzed by presence. warmth. body to body, we are getting closer. physical proximity. moments of non verbal communication. he is slightly afraid, slightly un numbed and it is charming. closer and closer we inch. mouth to mouth, almost. he asks if it's ok. if my time away from men is truly over. and then its on. and he is rough. hungry. he is swallowing me. lightly drowning. i let him take me under. suspension. without air. its own kind of high. under water. out of the corner of my eyes i see the lights. the very ones my father told me to watch out for. i let them ground me back into the moment. this man boy putting me back into my body. making sure my dress stays down. clothes on. blankets of safety.
we sleep side by side, me wrapped up in his arms. we only kiss and then sleep. and in the morning we repeat it. him testing the boundaries of my clothing. a pink flowered dress. he tries to lift it up. i pull it down. we do it again, going in circles. our time together is innocent. there is sweetness in his eyes. not stoned yet. i like him better this way. i try to get up, but he pulls me back. i like to be wanted. here and other places. find pleasure in the way he grabs me. holds me. giving me meaning. the meaning i have been trying to assign myself.
"he made me feel like a woman," i tell a friend.
she questions my comment, reminding me that it is i who creates those feelings and i agree. yes, all of the work i have done. acceptance. coming into this skin. allowing it to be. but there is the way in which he touched me. a chemical transfusion through fingertips. through liquid. saliva induced alchemy. he is a lover of women. so many kinds. and with him, i feel good. like a woman. and i know what that feels like mostly because i know what it doesn't feel like. i understand what it means to be in the presence of someone who doesn't appreciate. who doesn't love the female form. making me feel less than with their gaze. their breath. memories. invisible marks on my skin.
i want to stay here for a little longer. linger against the sheets. the sun starting to peek in through the window. he buries his face into my neck. soft whispers. secrets in my ear. i turn and tickle him. swats my hand and tells me to stop. i like torturing him. play fighting. my alarm goes off, reminding me that my car is waiting to be moved. the meter is running and our time is up.
"let me walk you downstairs," he tells me.
he grabs a joint and puts on his shoes. rubbing his face like a sleepy puppy, we make our way outside. into the light. warmth and moving bodies. a city that has awakened. he points to his favorite tea shop on the corner. tells me his favorite tea and how he likes it.
"with almond milk. gotta keep it LA."
the joint sizzles at the end. little bits of red sparking, crackling. tea & marijuana, breakfast of champions. when we get to the place where i left my car, it is gone. i didn't listen to my intuition telling me to move the car at 7 am instead of 9. my desire for what was comfortable became greater than my inner knowing. choosing the external over the internal, once again.
"fuck. they towed my car," i say to him.
grey smoke swirls around his face. i pace and huff and puff.
"woah, ms meditation is losing her chill," he laughs.
the tow will cost me $500. he doesn't seem like he feels bad. is slightly concerned when i ask him to call me an uber. the rate has doubled. the tow yard is not very far. am i expecting too much?
"if you had told me it was your witch powers telling you to get up, i would have let you go."
he does give me something- a giant purple hickey on my neck. i notice it when i use the bathroom during yoga. my hair is up, turban on. i catch it in the mirror while washing my hands. i wonder if anyone has noticed. hair goes down, wrapping it around my neck like a lovesick teenager. for the next few days i will use concealer to cover it. i will pay the ticket. i will wait for him to text me. we talk in stretched out instances. it isn't what i want so i keep on wanting more. i should know better. i do know better. but i don't act like i do. he begins to ignore me. i reach. grabbing. he calls. he is starting to think i'm a little crazy. i drink too much. i think he thinks i'm crazy. eventually he disappears like the best of them do.
photo: emily faulstich