Tag Archives: beer

The Dysfunctional Diners

18 May

Sometimes at work, I like to wait on dysfunctional families. And when I say “I like to wait on dysfunctional families” what I mean is “I really hate waiting on dysfunctional families in most circumstances, but when it is literally SO SLOW that I’m lucky to make 35 dollars, I like waiting on dysfunctional families because it gives me a source of entertainment.” Yesterday was one such day.

Outside of the bar area of the steakhouse, there is this little antique phone hanging on the wall above two chairs and a small cocktail table. Most people walk by the phone and don’t even acknowledge its existence. Sometimes people will say “Oh what a cute little phone!” and that’s the end of it. And then sometimes, but ONLY sometimes, will a family of four walk into the bar, only to have the younger of the two sons break away and say, “LOOK AT THAT PHONE MOM! ITS ANCIENT!” and the mom will screech and get out her iPad to take a photo of the kid climbing onto the chairs and putting his shoes on the table just to reach the phone, yank it off of the wall, and take a picture.

Already I knew… this was it. This family was going to be my source of entertainment for the night.

Now in order to fully let you understand what I was dealing with, I need to describe these people.

Over-Worked Father: Dressed in an Ohio State T-shirt with a receding hairline and a forehead that looked like it was made of turtle skin. (Tight, yet very wrinkly and malleable.) He looked like he had been forced to listen to the My Little Pony theme song (the 80’s version, not today’s version) on repeat for six years prior to entering this upscale steakhouse. He looked angry. He looked aggressive. He looked defeated.
Enabling Mother: Wearing a t-shirt covered by what I could only imagine was a jacket made from llama shavings. She had puffy blonde hair, but her inch-and-a-half roots were black and growing out. She was not excited to be in the steakhouse. She reminded me of the mom on American Beauty…. smiling, trying desperately to keep everyone together when everyone would much rather be three states apart in each direction. Seeing her smile actually made me sad.
Satan: Satan is the older of the two brothers. Wearing swim trunks and a gray t shirt, Satan literally did not smile ONCE in the two hours he was seated at this steakhouse. Literally, Not. Once.
Sid: I have named the younger of the brothers Sid because he literally was Sid from Toy Story.

Sid-toy-story

Literally. This face. That voice.

So after Sid climbs onto the cocktail table to violently claim the antique phone, and after Enabling Mother takes the picture, the four of them sit down at a table. Already I can hear the muffled anger coming from their direction. Satan throwing his arms into the air and violently sighing, pushing so much air out of his lungs that Enabling Mother’s fluffy hair actually billows a bit from sitting across from him.

My coworker Lucas looks at the table, then looks at me.

Lucas: Have fun.
Me: Jesus take the wheel.

I grab four beverage napkins, and approach the table. I start to give myself a pep talk… I am smiling! I am happy! Maybe I can help this family stop fighting and make their meal really awesome, so they’ll leave happier than when they came in! I am an amazing employee and I can do this! There is a reason our company calls their employees “Stars!” AND I AM THAT REASON!!!

I inhale to greet them, and-
Enabling Mother: Will you two just SIT DOWN?
Satan: (Speak-yelling at Over-Worked Father in such a disrespectful tone I was surprised that no one physically assaulted him) YOU TOLD ME I COULDN’T BRING MY HEADPHONES TO DINNER AND NOW HE HAS HIS! (motions to Sid)
Sid: (Headphones in, playing a game on his smartphone that is larger and more high tech than my own phone. He is 8. He is not only completely unaware of this conversation, but also of me standing there beside him, beaming.)
Over-Worked Father: What were you going to use them for, anyway? Hm?
Satan: I ALREADY TOLD YOU. I was gonna watch YOUTUBE VIDEOS.
Over-Worked Father: And you? (looks at Sid) Hey!
Sid:
Over-Worked Father: HEY!
Sid:
Over-Worked Father: (gestures) SID!
Sid: (Looks up only because Over-Worked Father waved his arms)
Over-Worked Father: SID WHAT ARE YOU USING THE HEADPHONES FOR!?
Sid: (Takes out one, ONE, of the ear buds. He sighs.) I’m playing a game. DOY!
(Heightened silence while Over-Worked Father seems to be deciding which sound he hates more. Game VS YouTube. Finally he looks at Sid with eyebrows raised.)
Over-Worked Father: Sid? (As if to say… C’mon, Give your brother the headphones.)
Sid: (Already has the earbud back in and is playing his game. He is unaware of everything.)

Keep in mind I am STILL standing at the table, smiling, just watching all of this. Beaming. Smiling like this is the sweetest conversation I have ever heard in my entire life, as if this earbud saga is the most heartwarming tale of selfless love to ever touch my little cocktail waitress heart.

Enabling Mother: (Looks up at me with a huge smile.) Well… We aren’t spoiled, ARE WE? Ha ha ha HAHA! …Ha… um.

Silence. I am still standing there smiling, waiting to see if there will be ay other protests or interruptions before I speak. There are none.

Me: SO! How IS everyone today? Just wonderful? Fantastic! My name is Carolyn and I’ll be serving you today!
Family: Blank stares from everyone except for Sid, who is playing his game and not looking at anyone. Satan is giving me a look of pure evil and hatred.
Satan: FINE! Well I’M JUST GOING TO WATCH YOUTUBE AND YOU ARE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT!!!!!!!
Enabling mother puts her hands over her eyes. Over-Worked Father stares at a crumb on the floor.
Me: GREAT! May I start you all off with something to drink? Maybe some beer? (I shoot this at Over-Worked Father. He looks at me like I am his only key to salvation.)
Over-Worked Father: I’ll take a Sam Adams.
Enabling Mother: I need wine. A nice, dry red wine.
Me: But of course. And for you sir? (Talking to Satan)
Satan still has his arms crossed and is giving me the look of poison.
Me: MAYBE A KIDDIE COCKTAIL!!!
Satan: (Jaw drops to reveal uneven bottom teeth.)
Enabling Mother: Just a round of waters for them.
Me: Of course! I’ll be right back!

I can’t handle this. I can’t do it. I have never wanted to punch a child so much in my entire life. If I go back over to that table and Satan is still giving me that look, I will be FORCED to asked if there is ANYTHING I can do to make his dining experience more to his liking… I will ask him why he is so angry, and I WILL do it with a smile, and I WILL do everything in my power to make him stop looking like such a miserable little garbage can.

I deliver the waters, making sure to smile at Satan the entire time.
Me: So, does anyone have any questions about the menu?
Silence. Dead, still, silence. For a moment I wonder if I’m invisible. I wonder if I actually asked the question out loud, or if I just thought I did… Maybe I’M the awkward one here, just showing up to their table not saying anything at all…
Over-Worked Father: (To Satan) NO, actually I am POSITIVE that a potato is a vegetable.
Satan: NO IT ISN’T. A POTATO IS NOT A VEGETABLE.
Over-Worked Father: Yes. It is.
Satan: NO. It ISN’T.
Enabling Mother: It’s a starch.
Satan: SEE DAD? SEE DAD I TOLD YOU A POTATO IS NOT A VEGETABLE.
(Over-Worked Father looks at his wife as if she is literally the dumbest person in the world. In just one look, I can tell that he is so disgusted at how his life has played out- that he has actually CHOSEN this woman to be his life partner, that he CHOSE to procreate with her above literally EVERYONE ELSE in the whole world, that his next words erupt from his mouth with such resentment and hatred I’m afraid the next topic of conversation will be custody rights. Custody Rights where both parents fight about who HAS to keep them.)
Over-Worked Father: Just because it is a starch doesn’t mean it isn’t a vegetable.
Me: (Beaming!)
Enabling Mother: Whatever. Either way, you need to eat healthier.
Over-Worked Father: I am on vacation, I will eat however I please.
Enabling Mother: (Finishing a gulp of wine) Oh, you’re on vacation? You’re at a work function. Please.

I actually witness Over-Worked Father picking and choosing his battles. He looks at the menu. And I am still standing there, waiting for someone to answer my question.

Over-Worked Father: Satan? What do you want to eat?
Satan: I already TOLD YOU, I want WINGS.
Over-Worked Father: (Death stare. I suddenly realize where Satan has learned his facial expressions.) They don’t have those here. Get the kids fillet. It’ll be the best thing you ever eat.
Satan: I don’t WANT IT.
Enabling Mother: Okay, you know what? They don’t have wings! Okay, fine, nothing. He will have nothing. I am going to have the french onion soup and the wedge salad.
Me: Very good!
Enabling Mother: Sid?
Sid: (Playing his game)
Me: (Beaming at Sid)
Enabling Mother: (Punches him on the arm.) HEY! Mac n’ cheese?
Sid: (Barely responds. I think I may have heard him say “Mm.”)
Enabling Mother: Mac N’ Cheese for him.
Over-Worked Father: I am going to have the Salmon. GOD I’m at a steakhouse and I’m getting SALMON.
Me: Actually our salmon is phenomenal. You won’t be disappointed.
Enabling Mother: (Ignoring me) Make sure you ask for the lentils on the side. I won’t eat those.
Over-Worked Father: Whatever, they’re big. I’ll move them away, it’s not a big deal.
Me: (Thinking “Our lentils are actually tiny, but I’m not going to say that for fear of getting stabbed.”)
Enabling Mother: (suddenly sweeter than ever) Satan? Honey, are you’re sure you don’t want anything?
Satan: (Stares at her. Pouting. Mutters-) …Ids Illay.
Enabling Mother: What was that!?
Satan: (Yelling) KIDS FILLET.
Me: (Looking directly at Satan himself) And how would you like that prepared, young sir?!?!
Satan: (Pure evil. Poison is leaking from his eyes.)
Enabling Mother: Medium well.
Me: Fantastic! I’ll get that right in for you, and I’ll also bring some fresh bread and butter for the table.
SID: YUUUUUUMMMMMMM!!!!!
Me: (Wanting desperately to say “Wait- you can hear me! You can SEE me!?” I walk away.)

When I bring the bread to the table, Sid hulks out. He RIPS the earbuds out of his head and lunges for the bread, as if he hasn’t eaten in six weeks. With every inhale it sounds like he’s slurping something- which is quite a miraculous feat because he is ingesting BREAD, and with every exhale there is an audible vocalization of “Mmmm.” It’s a rather disturbing cycle, but no one addresses it. Meanwhile, Satan is sitting in his chair like a frog. The bottoms of his shoes are actually on the seat of the chair, and any time he wants to drink his water, he literally springs up, puts his hands on the table, and bends over to put his mouth on the straw… instead of just picking up the glass and bringing it to his mouth like any other normal person on the planet. No one addresses this either.

When their food finally does come, I watch intently to see what happens. I watch to see if Satan does, indeed, like his KIDS FILLET. He does. Obviously, you’re gonna like the kids fillet, you ungrateful, unwanted, rat-faced collection of disappointments and broken dreams. You’re at one of the best steakhouses in Orlando and you’re eating a 5 oz fillet! And even if it IS prepared medium well, thanks to your insane to the membrane mother, it’s going to be the best thing you eat all week.

So, that’s basically the end of the story. Once the food came everyone kind of shut up and ate, and the only thing that was semi-amusing about them at this point was when Sid grabbed the black dish that held their side item, and screamed, in the EXACT voice of Sid from Toy Story, “IS THIS MADE OUT OF IRON????” Over-Worked Father tipped 20 percent and they all decided to GTFO. I think he was appreciative that I didn’t announce that we had dessert options… instead, I discreetly handed him the dessert menu out of view of his spawn and said, quietly, “In case you’re interested…”

It’s sad, but I’ve come to realize the importance of alcohol mixed with some good food when it comes to dysfunctional families. Usually by the end of the meal I can have people laughing and actually interacting with each other without arguing anymore. And yet, with this family, I was just happy that no one got slapped… by me. I hope the rest of their business trip/vacation(???) fared better than that atrocious meal, but I won’t hold my breath. I bet Sid is still sitting somewhere right now playing his game and slurp-breathing, and Satan is watching YouTube with that disgusted look on his face, Enabling Mother is looking through a magazine at the body and life she’ll never have, and Over-Worked Father is answering emails and wondering where his life went wrong. It’s really sad to think about these families like this once they’re gone, so I try not to. I just bring them their check, and hope for the best. I have to pay my bills, you know.

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The Lock

22 Sep

Day 12 of the 90 in 90 blog challenge.

I am 18, and I am a college freshman. I have just settled in, arranged my room with big pink everythings and waved goodbye to my crying mother and my exhausted father.

Let’s go to this thing, says a girl on our floor.

I have no friends so I say okay yeah let’s go.

Its one of those things that makes you feel pressured to be someone you aren’t. There is loud music and there are bodies and you can feel the heightened expectations slinking through the fake fog on the dance floor. We stop and stare at everyone else trying to have a good time by bumping against a stranger’s bones and muscle and skin. The music is loud. It hurts my chest. We are inhaling each others’ needs and exhaling our own.

I’ve never been the type to stand still so I move a little. Sway my hips a little. My blood is begging to be pumped harder by a nervous heart.

I want to dance I say let’s go dance. They all shift their weight and scratch their elbows.

One of the girls says something to another and they glance at me. She’s weird she says. She thinks I can’t hear.

Someone moves their head and I see his face through the crowd. It’s like a movie but its not because this is my life and I stare. More ponytails and foreheads between us and then he’s back in my vision like a beacon of what-could-be. We both simultaneously move towards the other like magnets. I will look back on this moment later and appreciate that neither of us made the first move, it honestly was mutual.

Hey he says.

Hi.

Let’s dance he says.

Okay.

We dance and it’s like a shaking key fumbling to find a lock. I know we would fit together nicely if we could just calm down. I think of things like this sometimes, think in metaphors on a dance floor. I wonder in this case who is the key. I wonder who is the lock.

We walk outside and August is dying. I am sweaty from the dancing and the girls whispered behind their half curled hands when I left.

It’s warm he says.

I know I say I can’t keep still I feel alive.

Then let’s walk he says.

There is a fountain. I take off my heels and dip my feet inside. He watches my toes contract and asks how anyone does it. I tell him with all beauty there must be pain. He says he thinks I’m poetic. Maybe I am. He asks me about everything and my blood is still racing my hands are still sweating my cheeks are still flushing and it’s all so new so I tell him the true answers to everything he asks. The truth comes out easier when you’re with a stranger who makes life worth living for a few moments. I ask him my questions too and his lips are wet dancing partners of velvet. People walk by and look at us but we don’t care, at least I don’t. I am hot so I lay on the cool cement and he laughs and joins me. His arm does not brush against mine. We look at the stars and hear the fountain water and he says after a while You’re not like other girls.

I think of the ones I came with and how they said she’s weird and say I know.

I like it he says.

Soon people stop walking by and I look at my phone. It’s 3 in the morning.

I’ll walk you back he offers.

I know I say. He likes that.

We get to my dorm and we stop. We both know this is where the magic should end but we feel it spreading out in front of us like a red carpet we just kicked and it just keeps rolling. A crimson path beckoning us to follow. He stands in front of me and I see his arm muscles moving under his skin.

Aren’t you cold he asks.

A little I say.

I don’t have a jacket or I’d give it to you he says and I believe him.

We’re dancing again, an awkward dance of mutual uncertainty. I feel like we are two chess pieces suspended above a board of endless opportunities, lost in the lingering hands of an indecisive player. I wonder who is black. I wonder if I’m a white pawn who can only go one step at a time, or the Queen herself, a million directions and opportunities available at all times. He’d be a bishop I decide, diagonal yet direct. Here we go with the metaphors I think.

I’ll call you. He says the statement like a question.

I’d like that I say Goodnight.

I start to walk away and feel the heat return to my limbs and I suddenly realize that I miss him.

Wait he calls.

I walk back to him and he slowly leans down and gently hesitates. Our lips are touching but he is still hesitating. Velvet asking flesh is this okay is this alright? Flesh flushing fully it’s fine it’s nice. I feel fireworks and butterflies and a million and twelve cliches swirling around in my gut and I squirm. I pull away and his eyes are still closed.

I can work with that, I say when they open again. Velvet parts to show rows of white.

He texts me first and I feel like I’ve won something. It’s not a game but I still feel like I’m winning. We drink beer in his dorm room when I know I shouldn’t. We go to this party and leave early to be alone and just talk. We’re laying in his bed and we talk about God and what it all means. I feel grown up. He gives me his jacket to wear to class when it starts getting cold and my friends raise their eyebrows. I feel so stupid and young. I come home to a rose on my bed and a note that says “These past few weeks have been nothing short of amazing. The dinners, the talks. Thank God I took that dance.” I feel like I’m constantly wrapped in a blanket and I never want to put my feet back on the cold hardwood floor.

We don’t have sex. I like that. I like that so much. I want him and he wants me but we don’t and that’s good. I feel grown up. I feel in control. Weeks and weeks go by and we don’t and I respect myself, respect him, respect us together. I catch myself starting to think of the two of us as an “us.” This scares me but I figure it’s one of those things that you should just let happen.

We’re in his room, sprawled out together and his kisses become quicker with less time in between. Questions and answers all in a trail along my neck and I think this is good. Yes I think in a blurry haze Oh, yes. I feel wanted and happy and safe and secure and I like him. Gosh, I like him so much. I kiss him harder and he is on his back and I kiss his neck I kiss his collar bone and he is silent and I kiss his stomach. Pulses racing, breathing jagged, and fingers searching there are no metaphors in my head now because there is no room, there is only muscle. There is only breath. There are only his eyes locked in mine when I gaze up at him. People say “the heat of the moment” and this must be it, has to be with all of this fire and friction and sudden decisions and satisfied need. I just like him so much.

I do respect you he says later I really do. Like I need to be reminded or something.

Thank you I say.

Don’t thank me for that It’s how it should be.

He goes home for the weekend and I keep myself busy. I don’t like it but I know he wants to. I go running. I do my homework. I wait by my phone but he doesn’t text. That’s okay I tell myself he’s just busy at home. He comes back and something isn’t the same. His eyes look someplace behind me when I talk to him and they are veiled with a secret.

I can’t be serious with anyone he tells me This is great but I’m only a freshman I’m just starting out I don’t want to be tied down because I have to concentrate on school he says Concentrate on God and we moved too fast I need to concentrate on what really matters and what I really want.

What he really wants.

I think back to the “heat of the moment,” to the skin and bones and what he really wanted then. And now I realize maybe I only thought I knew. I feel like I was used but I don’t know why. I feel betrayed and I act like I’m not. I feel cheap and conquered but how can I feel that way when we never had sex?

I decide that he is the lock.

Years go by. A message here, a text there, a phone call, a short dinner to say Hi how are have you been Oh I’ve been great Really Yes Yes I’m fine and you Oh I’m fine too you know just hanging in there. The timing is always off, I’m always with someone else when he is ready or he is busy trying to save someone from themselves while I wait patiently in the darkened wings. I dye my hair black. He gets a tattoo. I don’t like it but what can I say. He buys me a candle that crackles and I listen to it in the afternoon when I skip class for a nap with the window open to let the sound of the rain storm in. The flame flickers and I stare into it as I doze, watching it dance like we did. Bright little blip of passion dancing on the end of a weak and fraying thread.

I am 23, and I am a college graduate. Everything changes. I’m old and young and tired and rejuvenated and ready to start and desperate to rewind. We haven’t spoken and I have forgotten him because I have loved others too deeply, more deeply still. My heart is full and empty with the loss of one life and the gain of another and I get a message.

When do you move he asks Can I see you before you move?

He arrives and I forgot how he sways when he walks. I forgot how his T-shirt clings to his back when he bends over to pick something up. I realize I forgot what he smelled like. We have the whole empty day just begging to be filled with activities. We stand awkwardly between our two cars with the space of four years of experiences stretched out between us.

You drive I tell him I like it when the guy drives. He smiles.

We go to lunch at this restaurant on the river. It looks out over the skyline and he tells me good call. We’re in the shade and it’s perfect because we’re not hot.

Do you want a beer he asks I’m going to get one.

Sure I’ll have a beer.

We are both legal now. I think it’s weird to be a grown up with someone who you’ve never really been grown up with before.

We talk and talk and talk and talk and we get more beers. We both get food and we eat and drink and he looks at me in the eyes a lot. I feel uncomfortable when he looks at me like that. It’s like he’s reaching over and touching my face with the tips of his fingers and whispering something poisonous but he’s not, he’s just looking at me in my eyes. I blush and look down at my hands a lot. We drink more.

I go to the bathroom because I have to pee and the alcohol is making everything warm and my eyelids are plush and heavy. I look under the stalls and my two feet are the only ones. I look at myself in the mirror. I ask my reflection out loud What are you feeling? Do you think you’re feeling anything? I notice that I can’t taste my mouth when I’m washing my hands.

We leave and go to a park. There’s a fountain hidden in some trees and it’s my favorite spot so I take him to it. He talks about his family and a fly lands on his knee. He doesn’t brush it away because he’s still looking at me that way and doesn’t feel it. I pick up a pebble in the fountain and rub it between my fingers. It’s smooth and wet and I toss it over my shoulder. I don’t know why I do that.

Let’s lay down I say I’m sick of sitting on this rock.

Backs in the the itchy grass and I’m trying to keep my dress pulled down in a modest way. He doesn’t look at my legs but just keeps looking in my eyes. He hasn’t touched me yet. Arms haven’t brushed together, hasn’t put his hand on my lower back as we go through a doorway. I like the way he’s looking and not touching. I always liked that. I’m remembering slowly what I always liked as we lay in the grass under the magnolia tree with the fountain gurgling its encouragement from the shade and us not touching. I realize we are laying on our backs by a fountain like the night we met and I decide not to mention that.

We go play mini golf. He says it’s the date we never got to have before. It’s one of those very cool places where teenagers feel older and parents feel younger. It’s all indoors, black light golf with glowing balls. He pays for everything. We go in and I’m not horrible at it. He wins. At hole number 13 he wraps his arms around me from behind and “helps” me line up my shot. He rocks us back and forth like a pendulum and says it’s all in the hips and I laugh.

We leave and it’s dinner time and he asks Are you hungry?

I could eat.

I could too.

He opens the car door for me. Boys don’t do that anymore and I know it’s a silly gesture but it’s not an empty one. At least I think he means it. We go to Olive Garden. He offers to get some wine but I don’t want any. Are you sure he asks and I look in his eyes and smile. I always feel guilty when I know the guy is paying and I can’t help that. We have a quiet dinner together. We make fun of the couple beside us.

They’re on a first date he says It’s the awkward silence of a first date.

No they’ve been dating for a while, they’re just fighting right now See how her foot is crossed and is touching his leg under the table without them even noticing anymore?

You’re good at this he says And we never had any awkward silences did we We talked so easily the first night I met you Four hours worth he says four hours!

It’s getting later and I don’t know what he plans to do. He could drive home tonight or I could offer him a place to stay. His home is hours away and it’s late and he’s paid for everything. He’s made me laugh and I keep looking at him when he takes a bite and isn’t looking back.

My friend has an apartment we could stay at I say Its late and if you’re tired I don’t want you driving.

I brought an extra shirt he says and grins as if he shouldn’t be grinning I didn’t know but I hoped he says I hoped.

We leave and he leaves a big tip. I like that. He puts his hand on my shoulder blades while we leave and his fingers are confident. We buy a bottle of wine on the way home. I grab two chairs and two blankets and we go on the porch.

The crickets are chanting together a strange rhythm and the lake is so still it’s almost spooky. It’s not water at all but a sheet of dark blue glass meant for reflecting the moon and evergreen branches. I drape my legs over his and wrap up in one of the blankets.

It’s beautiful I say the lake it’s nice This whole day was nice I say.

We sit there and I feel content. I am happy to sit here and listen to the crickets and have my legs draped over him and us just being quiet and just listening to the world as if we are not in it. Years happened between us but here we are again and this is just nice.

I never forgot you he says quietly with his hands twirling the knotted hair in the back of my neck. I concentrate on that feeling. I always had you in the back of my mind he says You aren’t like other girls I told you that at the beginning and I meant it I’ve been with other people and so have you but I always thought of you I was so stupid I liked you so much but I was young and I ran when I should of held onto you I like holding you he says.

His hands are moving. I don’t know how it happens but it doesn’t happen the way it did before. There is no question, no hesitation this time as he puts my face between his hands and kisses me fully and deeply and greedily. His mouth grabs for mine too hard. I want the hesitation, the uncertainty but that is no longer here. Not now that I guess he knows what he wants.

What he really wants.

I wait for the fireworks and the feeling of my blood being pumped faster like it did before but that does not happen. I kiss back and I wait but nothing happens. His hands move harder and grab and feel and explore, as if they have been wearing frozen wool gloves for four years and are only now remembering the feel of sun warmed silk. His breath and tongue and hands and muscle and I kiss back and wait and his spine shaking under my fingertips and his little noises that escape his throat and I’m silent and I wait and I wait and nothing happens. His hands touch the strip of skin exposed in the back of my dress and he’s feeling my legs and I’m glad I shaved but I wait and I wait and still there is only waiting.

I want you he says in between kissing me and feeling me. He is smiling and pulling me down and I’m confused. The day has been wonderful and I looked in the mirror and I asked myself what am I feeling. I remembered everything it is about him that I liked. But this is forceful, and different, and needed but needed for who?

He was always the lock, the one who needed a gentle pry of encouragement. The one who clamped up suddenly got jammed and refused to open. But now I feel him reaching for parts of me that I know I don’t want to share with him but I don’t understand why not. I cannot tell who is the lock and who is the key and our chess board has been overturned because someone changed the rules of this game and black becomes white and white becomes gray and I’m caught somewhere in the in between. He is moving every direction but that’s not right I think he can’t be the Queen because I  thought I was and if I’m not that must mean I am a pawn and I am no pawn. No, I think suddenly. I am no pawn.

Would you have sex with me if I wanted I ask quietly because I am wondering and I am confused Right now would you?

Yes he murmurs without a moment of hesitation Oh, yes.

He is so passionate and greedy and I cannot return these advances so we we kiss a little but then I become little spoon.  He calms down and nuzzles his nose in my hair and I stare at a notch in the paint on the wall and I fall asleep after he does.

The sun comes through the windows and I open my eyes and he says can I ask you something.

Sure.

Why do I never hear from you?

I say I don’t know. I say it’s because I’m moving. The truth is getting harder and harder to tell him now and I hate that feeling.

Can we talk more he asks can I come visit again before you move I’d like that he says.

When we say goodbye he lingers. I hate goodbyes and he is putting his hands on my arms and rubbing his fingers there and looking into my eyes. I let him kiss me goodbye again and his tongue works into my mouth. I do not understand why I cannot let my head loll back and drink in the feeling.

And then he pulls away and I am left on the sidewalk waving goodbye. I go back inside and I see the mess of wine glasses and tangled blankets and it smells of him but I don’t bother with that yet. I go out on the porch and breathe.

I try to think about other things but all I can do is replay the night before… Yes I hear him murmur in my memory Oh, yes.

The landscape blurs and I don’t know why but I’m crying. Stop crying this is stupid but there it is, I am. I realize I don’t care who is the lock and who is the key anymore. I don’t care if we were good together and I don’t care if deep down I always wondered what if. Now I see that people can change and you can never go back, and sometimes that hurts more than never having a second chance. The sun is too bright and it’s humid and I’m sweating.

So I watch the geese land on the waves of dirty green water that seemed so calm and so smooth last night.