I left her apartment and lit a cigarette. She hates smokers. I’m going to McDonalds. We drank too much. Probably said too much. The twenties are the time to lie in bed with strangers. I don’t know why. But that’s what she wants me to do.
I think I smoked the cigarette to spite her because I like her. Her! A co-worker, four years older than I. Someone I used to joke about behind her back. Now I force a laugh when other people make the jokes. I’d rather make the jokes again. But I want to be nice to her. Unusual. Grossing me out. Where is my jerky exterior that keeps all the potential soul-suckers out? She wants me to be ten years older. Even two. This isn’t going to last. But I am cute.
It’s purely a chemistry thing. We make each other laugh. She thinks I like her just because she’s older. She may be right. But I have that uncomfortable crushing sensation that occurs when you continually think about one person ad infinitum when you know you need to stop. The only distractions I can come up with involve her lips. My mind is generally like a horror house with no entrance, anyway, but now the rooms seem smaller and the walls are plastered with photos of her laughing at me. In one, she’s shaking her head like a mother whose son did something cute and foolish. I can only like girls (women) that I also look up to. It becomes a problem.
She told me I kiss like I’m older. She said she was feeling very conflicted when I did so (I’m “too young”). She moaned my name when I fingered her. I was buzzing like a transformer. She’s older and pretty; of course it’s an ego trip. Power surge, baby. Black out. Ain’t bucking the hum this time.
We huddled in her bed for a few hours in the morning. Rather intimate. No kissing. Lonely people. Scared. This becomes a lot more difficult after that first heartbreak. I’d imagine by her age she’s had more than one. I’m scared of what I know she could do to me. I got really into the Dismemberment Plan after the last one.
I have to see her in the office and act like none of this happened. Laugh at the jokes people make about her. Maybe I won’t. I’ll stop in her office and chat instead. Ask her out to lunch? That’s probably pushing it too far. I want her to miss me. Does she miss me? Am I desperate? Are men supposed to be this way?
Where is the thin, pretty brunette girl who wears black glasses and black jeans? Why can’t I like that girl? She’s sweet, maybe a year or two younger than I am, and sincere. She has no family issues. She is eager to fall in love. She looks up to me. I’ve had my chance at that and it never interests me. Instead, I flirt via email, and then gchat with my editor. We work together. We can never be together. She is looking to get married. It’s a waste of time and seems like it’s nothing more than a distraction from our insanely boring office job. Then a hurricane, storm-of-the-century-type-situation hits New York and the next thing you know we’re drunk and she’s in my lap. I’m telling her how beautiful she is and how it’s great to find someone who has her shit together. She likes me but I’m too young. But I don’t comprehend that kind of rejection. It only computes for me when I haven’t left my apartment on a weekend in three months, I have a beard and I realize I’m depressed and it’s because of a girl who doesn’t like me. Let’s not get back to that place, ok bud?
I’m on the track in a towering, nightmare version of Olympic stadium. I’m talking lava fountains and storm trooper dudes guarding the entrances. Maybe a lion is eating someone near the long jump pit. The lights are on and the seats are filled with spectators. I’m on the track running, full sprint with my heart in my hands, blood splattering everywhere, but especially on my face. The crowd is hollering. They want to see souls squashed. She’s at the finish line looking scared, and I’m dying to hand off the pumping thing to her, regardless of the fact that she’s viciously shaking her head, screaming “No!” in horror (and maybe anger) and wearing heels that are perfect for both stomping and puncturing soft tissue material. But damn I want to get back in her bed.