August 21, 2012
today i read that writing is brave. so this is me, trying to be brave.
"tell me all about it," he prodded.
"the whole thing?"
"the whole thing." i loved the way he'd said it, letting himself become absorbed in me.
i'd told him of my love, for my devotion to charles dickens, my fascination with miss havisham, how i'd always loved little nell. my adoration for wilkins micawber seeped through my words as i gushed over david copperfield. i gave too many details and spoke too fast, i'm sure.
"did you get it all?" i asked, resting my hands on the iron bar before me.
"i think so," he said. he placed his hand on my lower back. i felt myself shiver as the rest of me went blank. somehow, all at once, my mind was full of empty, something i didn't understand. it was a contradiction of the strangest components. all i could think about was luke daines of stars hollow, unusual mother-daughter relationships, massive amounts of fresh-brewed coffee, and a dairy queen commercial that stated, 'everyone deserves soft serve'. he'd made a move--his first one--and my brain had painted a shade of television tendencies in pop-culture pink slime on its walls.
"anna karenina!" i shouted.
"i'm sorry?" his hand remained and he moved closer.
"you love tolstoy," i gulped. a long pause followed, "you do, don't you?"
"definitely not," a harder gulp. i was ruining it.
"must have been someone else."
"i guess so," he looked up, examining the sky. "have you ever noticed how everything in the world has a symbol?" i didn't understand. my head tilted, and the fear disappeared.
"do tell." my breath slowed.
"everything," he turned, pulling me to the ground, "relates back to something. it's all about symbolism, don't you think?" my eyebrows rose. i lobbied for an answer. i knew what he meant; i had always thought the same. listening intently, i was captivated by his logic, thirsty for the things he said, quenched by the way he said them. he was full of something that wasn't the same as my empty. we lay on the grass side by side in silence, untouching. he changed the subject. "i bet you're ticklish."
and then, it happened.
the one thing i begged would never happen, happened. the line i hated. it wasn't that i was opposed to being tickled. i was, but that wasn't the point. the point was that it was proven now. proven to be less. less than holding hands in front of my parents. this, this was less than wrapped in blankets at school football games. less than the effort i'd planned to make to attend the games this year. i wasn't worth an introduction to strangers, not even a mentioned name. i was a forgotten conversation--one we'd had weeks ago about how i hated that line, and the action that followed. something about it was artificial. i was slowly getting it, just now. the foreigner could take my jabs, but didn't follow the conversation, making said jabs irrelevant and telling of the fact that we spoke different languages.
"don't..." i started, fighting my temptation to not resist. i was a double negative; i was a mess.
"don't... what?" he placed a hand on my waist and kissed my cheek. i wanted to fight, wanted to care less. i said nothing. the kisses were sweet and stung hard. they moved to various parts of my face. a mess of conjugations and improper slippings of the tongue. i closed my eyes, trying to make the thought go away. this wasn't going to be improper or a slip. it was going to be the real deal, one hell of a deal.
"well, are you? ticklish?" i swallowed, and boldly sat up, "if you don't tell me, i'll find out without you," to avoid what came next, what would, indeed, solidify the inevitable, i pulled him in, fingers through his hair, and i took his lips, myself. it should have been a sign. everything was a sign, a lesson i'd learned just minutes ago. for me, it was a bold move. to him, another cavalier saturday night.
later, he blamed me for the kiss. he told me how he wanted to remain close, how he wanted to spend more time with me. he liked the way i spoke, he said, the way i housed such passion. he liked it when we would kiss, but refused to learn my language.
i blamed him for ruining the saturdays i had planned to have many more of, and for teaching me that the less i give a damn, the happier i'll be.