“I’m losing my mind. I didn’t even say bye to one of my roommates. I just took off. I don’t even remember living in Florida. I’m tired of traveling. I am broke. I’m…”
“Your eyes are the color of honey. Did you know that?”
“The stylist told me they were greenish,” I smiled.
“I like your hair.”
“It suits you. It’s you.”
“I think so too.”
“Aren’t you going to say thank you?”
"Now let me finish reading."
"I didn't know you read so much."
"I read more than you. I just don't write."
When I was little, I had this image of a young man standing in the field. He wore jeans. Not vintage store jeans. Not H & M jeans. He just wore jeans, whatever kind of jeans they were. Light jeans. And he wore a white T shirt. Not a Hanes T-Shirt. Not a J-Crew T-Shirt. Just a T-shirt, the color of white colored with the specks of dust that flew up from the earth. I remember this image clearly. I always thought it funny that the man of my dreams (literally) would be wearing the plainest thing in the world.
I never saw his face. I only saw him looking out into open space. I only saw him looking on.
“I always bought them things, I guess,” I said uncomfortably. “I would see something I thought they would like or look nice in. Can we talk about something else? OK. Fine. Sometimes I bought them practical things. Sometimes magazines. Sometimes little inside jokes. I never cared how much it was.”
“…And now that you’ve met me, you’re broke.”
“Well, I’m not—yeah. I’m broke.”
“There’s a $2 taco truck close by. Wanna go on a date?”
“That’s not a date.”
“It’s dinner. And I like you.”
“Well, when you put it that way…”
I like that we have a first moment. Fuck Tinder. We had a real moment. We saw eachother. At the same time. I would never have guessed your eyes would stop on me, but they did. And I wanted to look away, I wanted to be shy, but I couldn’t move. I think I might have smiled. I know you did. Did you know that the smile is the first thing I look for in a guy? Did you know that? You smiled like you knew. I liked how your friends tried to get your attention. I liked how you didn’t give a damn about what they were saying. I liked that you blushed when they waved their hands in front of you, turned and saw me, and nodded in understanding. I liked your smile.
“Your dad stays in town though?”
“He loves you.”
“Men make as many mistakes as anyone.”
“Hurt anyway, huh? You know…I’m gonna make mistakes.”
“Well, with that attitude—.”
“Nah, I’m serious. I can’t promise you I won’t. But you know your dad’s always there for you. That’s respectable.”
“I’ll always be there for you too. Do you believe me?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“No trust left anymore?”
“The last two guys I dated told me not to ever trust a man.”
“That’s because they didn’t trust themselves. You can trust a man.”
“If he’s the right one.”
“How do I know?”
“Look at me.”
“Take my hand.”
“Do you feel what I feel?”
“I don’t know what you feel.”
“I feel… I would bet everything I have on what I feel right now.”
“I already made that bet once with someone. I thought we were gonna get married. You know what? I lost.”
“I’m trying to be romantic dammit.”
“I’m trying to be…smarter.”
“Why don’t you just be you?”
He looked at everyone. He watched everyone. Even when he seemed to be minding his own business, I could just tell that he knew what everyone in the room was up to. He had a gifted intuition. What I loved was that he was equally interested in everyone. He wasn’t kinder to the people he thought could help him the most. He wasn’t nicer to the people that might be religious or rich or from the same college. To him, everyone was a human. Everyone was made up from as much stardust as the next person. Every life was important, and everyone he encountered felt that way with him… I don’t think he did anything to make each and every person feel special and equally important, I think he really just felt that way… And when you really feel one way… Others just know.
“My mom told me once, after the divorce, to find someone that loves you more than you love him.”
“You asking me what I think about that?” He asked. He was lying down on his back, studying the ceiling.
“Well, I don’t think it matters.”
“It doesn’t matter?”
“I think if someone loves someone then all that matters is that they love that someone.”
“So…if you loved me, but I didn’t love you back. That doesn’t matter?”
“It’s tragic, for sure. But me loving you is complete in itself. Me loving you, just on its own…It’s still kind of magical, isn’t it? What do you always say? It’s that pixie dust shit. If you feel it, if you believe it, then so what to everything else.”
I don’t know when it started. Time always blurs when you fall in… Well, when you’re having a good time with a…companion. But when he left me, he would touch me almost like a blind person. Soft. Slow. And after a kiss, his thumbs would linger on my lips while his finger tickled my neck. He never kissed me in front of people, but when we were alone…When the night covered us in the moon’s shadow, he found my lips like he had been searching for them all day.
“These feelings won’t go away.”
“You don’t know that, so you shouldn’t say that.”
“I thought you told me to say what I feel when I feel it,” he said.
“I did… And I do believe that. Just…”
“I need to be…single. You know, Me time. I was just regaining my independence…”
“Then be single.”
“We don’t have to date. You don’t have to be my girlfriend.”
“But these feelings won’t go away.”
“And I’m still going to kiss you when no one’s looking.”
He kissed me on my lips. His thumbs on my mouth were the last thing I felt. And he turned around and walked away. He was dressed up today—if you could all it that. He was wearing a plaid shirt over his plain white T. Maybe that was because it was a colder day. He walked with a gentle sway, the way fields do in the wind. I tilted my head to the side staring at him. The sun shone on his hair at just the right angle, and suddenly I realized he looked kind of like a cowboy.