Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day Six: Small Comforts

Free-associating. Late.

And Power Girl is out dancing at a dive bar (In the car: "Now, what do you do, Third Friend, if someone asks to buy you a drink?" "I giggle and say nothing!" "No, you ask for something nice and give it to me if you don't want it!"), Hairline Boy is asleep in the next room and I am bumping slowly, slowly down dial-up road. That is to say, when I want to video-chat in my schoolgirl skirt with yet another musician, it has to be done in the parking lot of the coffee shop down the road - but that's tomorrow's post.

The first night I spent here, I slept alone. And then the next night Hairline Boy and I talked into the night, both of us a little wounded right now, and I asked him to share his bed given up to me. He said, "All I can do is sleep." I said, "I know."

He is faithful, as faithful to his distant girlfriend as he is to the choices and ideas that have kept him at a lower level of success than makes him happy. He is constant as penury, honest as paper plates, truthful as sloppy guitar playing. He is kind, universally so, even when kindness lays his heart on the table for the cleaver, ends his relationship, breaks up the band. He is exactly the sort of man who believes the woman he left his partner for when she says, "No, we can't openly see each other right away, and I have to see this other guy as a cover..."

He doesn't want anything from me. We flirt - a very little. His eyes sparkle when he looks at me. And each night we hold each other a little less tightly, grading down from drowning outside our depth to now, merely close. I still wake each time I roll over, surprised to find him there. His hands behave, his mouth stays shut, his heart is uncovered, but not in that way.

And that is why I advise when I know it will not be taken, that is why my expertise in his field is unwasted even if unreceived, that is why I pay him with two checks to be certain he will pay himself. Custom for me is payment in kind, base currency, the attitude of prayer, and that custom is unwelcome here.

I ask him, "Do you not have kitchen things due to circumstance or because you don't want them?" I think I will get him some knives, or nice glasses.

He says, "Like what?"

I say, "Like plates."

No, he does not want kitchen things. I can't give him what he wants. My usual band-aids are all wrong, don't cover a burn unless you have to. His wounds are drying out. I use my hands to wipe his face in the night, thumbs gently taking the tears from his eye sockets, asking if I can kiss his cheek with closed lips.

I can't fix it. I can't fix anything. So I change in the bathroom and come to bed in t-shirt and leggings, lie in his arms and wish him more like me, me more like him.

1 comment:

Randysrandy said...