I asked you for your hand, pulled you down onto the bed, made you sleep. I had to work. When you put your hand in mine, I felt on my fingers the hard curves of your calluses. But on my palm all I felt were your daily rituals of cream and moisturizer. You were so soft.
I can’t ignore them, the calluses. You told me they were from years of gripping the handles on your bicycle. And I wasn’t pretty either. All my fingertips were heavy from the years I spent pressing into my violin.
Your definition of a good day was one where you were alone, cradled in your thoughts. Silence was comforting. But it was comfort I couldn’t afford sometimes. I understood, on some level, your need. We are not that different, you and I. Sometimes, you’re just more evolved.
You told me you are not attractive. I told you everything I found attractive about you. You told me you are not attractive. We defined beauty. Or rather, we found definitions of beauty. I wondered if you secretly agreed with any of them. I wondered if you secretly thought you were beautiful.
Whenever I step into a room, my eyes immediately gravitate towards its most optative aspect. So naturally I found you. Your hair was well past your shoulder blades. Your eyes were vacant in a way I was familiar with because I see a similar pair in the mirror sometimes.
Anyways, we had popsicles. I spilled some on my clothes because it was melting. But really, it’s because I am an idiot.
There was a roll of tissue on the table; you were leaning on it. Your legs were crossed. Isn’t it funny how I latch on to the details as if they were lifelines? Most of the time you sat cross-legged.
I asked you to pass a couple sheets over. You were unprepared for my question. I could tell. The room was red. Undoubtedly your thoughts were going off on something completely unrelated. But you complied, and quickly — embarrassingly — I do my best to get rid of the stickiness.
Ha-ha. Didn’t that just sound like a little boy who got a little over-excited because it was his first time and she was so beautiful? I distinctly remember your laugh when I told you I finished fast. Granted, I was talking about ice cream. But maybe that just makes everything a little more ironic.
On multiple occasions, I tell you how everything is related. Case and point: finishing fast on ice cream, and their inevitable spin-offs in the sexual direction.
It was the afternoon of a hot day; we sat on the grass. The sun peeked from the tips of the tall buildings in the distance. I used my backpack to shade myself from its blatant glare. I failed. So I closed my eyes and read to you. You were absentmindedly pinching off blades of grass because my earlier comment struck a chord in you.
“Have you ever had any one night stands?” you asked.
You remember what I told you. I was in the midst of an infatuation with someone else. Likewise, I remember what you told me. Your lips danced across words I rarely heard outside of television. I did my best to sound like my usual erudite self. I think I had you fooled. Maybe.
But come, what is this nonsense? Life is random and you know it. When the meeting was over, and I wondered who you were, I saw you in the hall. You were shoulder to shoulder with some guy, dressed to go out. You might have seen me. In the second our eyes collided I imagined you condescending. You looked amused. That’s one of your words.
We are the same, in so many ways. I know the way you think. In my head, we are having moments we will never have. It is a false satisfaction. But it’s better than nothing.
Do we even have anything? You define relationship so loosely. I understand it is liberating in a sense. But at the same time it makes everything just a little more ephemeral. This might all be in my head. Or worse, that it’s real only on paper. You know how I am stuck sometimes.
I do stupid things. You of all people know I stupid I can be. I see you busy somewhere and all I can think of is you. But when you’re right in front of me I don’t know what to think. Maybe I should just take everyone’s advice and stop thinking.
But what’s it matter if it’s not meant to be? Like I said, life is random. You could just as easily have never been here. I could just as easily have not held your hand. Fine. I should just tell you everything is fine.
You’re in a library somewhere. You’re standing on the platform of the metro because it’s starting to snow somewhere. You talk to me only when you want to. Don’t you think that’s just a little callous? Whenever I’m with you, you’re anxious because I’ll leave you. But most of the time, you don’t give me a chance to stay.
The moments I imagine play in my head over and over like an iTunes library without repeat. When my thumb grazed over the calluses of your hands I felt a tenderness I reserved… for you.