tales of a girl in the city

février 16, 2005


...On Saturday there was no need to pretend to want to talk to anyone else. Fear and nerves and a want for deadened senses had already made me drink too much to care. No pride. Screw propriety. I wanted to talk to you. Into your ear I said all sorts of things. I think I told you I've been lonely. I berated you for not finishing your movie. I asked about your job. You broke up with Emma finally last weekend. I should really give you my phone number in the Bronx. My stomach brushed against your legs. The world was spinning by and all I could do was lean my face into yours, listen to the way having me close made your breath stop. Don't. You make me so nervous. And then, later, asking me how long it would take us to get home to my house. I don't have any place to stay.

Looking at you, drunk and hungry and so lonely that I could already feel the space in my bed where you would not be, I saw your face and wanted to touch it, lick it, kiss eyelids and eyebrows and my teeth on your chest and my fingers in your hair. My body is driven by memories of you; rain-kissing on the street and the taxi driver who stopped to make fun of us, grinding hips against you in the dark of a bar Let's join in the dancing, your rooftop that morning, clad only in my red boots and your blanket. These thoughts make chess pieces of my fingers, I touch your leg, your hand, lay my head on your shoulder. For a moment I give in to the scent of you; your smell opens all the books in my memory and I read through them again. How Much I Want You.

I need to go.

Please stay with me. Please stay and talk to me.

And if I do stay?

For a second I flash to images of us going home to my new house. You on the train with me, in the flourescent light, both of us drunk and sleepy. How the glare would make us look foolish. I would see you next to me and think of the look on your face when you turn your back on me, the way your eyes gloss when you decide to retreat into yourself. I would look down at my hands and hate myself for needing so much to touch you. The screech of the doors opening and shutting would hurt our ears. There would be gum on the train floor and paper bags in the hands of the tired people around us.

There is a bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan near Columbia University. On my twenty-second birthday, I walked out of it and looked back into the window to see a boy seated there, wearing white, blue, black. He stared at his hands, down at the beer he held. Please stay with me. Please stay and talk to me.

He sits there for hours. He leaves eventually, drops himself into a bed. His own. Someone else's, maybe.

Meanwhile, I have already left the neighborhood, crouched on a curb somewhere and sobbed, or thrown up. Fallen into a sleep deepened by Too Much To Drink.

Far way, there is an apartment on a small, residential street. On the second floor of a brownstone. It is wooden and dark and there are velvet pillows on the green sofa. I dragged that sofa from the garbage. I imagined that the pillows would look great on such a bright, minty background, and they did.

There is not room for you in this new space. I do not want images in my brain of you on this bed, in these new rooms, naked in front of this refrigerator, in the doorway wearing white, blue, black.
Those belong elsewhere. I am both happy and sad to say.