Thursday, December 04, 2008

December, 1997

I woke up crying.
A smear of dry, salty tears clung to my lashes and stung my half-closed eyes. Squinting at my surroundings through a cloudy aqueous film, I felt as if I was surfacing from an underwater cartoon. The walls of the room were a deep Persian blue. In dawn’s half-light, shadows seeped across them to form what looked like pools of deep water inside a reef.
Objects in the room sharpened. Electric guitars and a double bass were propped up in the corners. Skateboards leaned at different angles against the walls between a couple of motorbike helmets on the floor. Jeans, smelly converse shoes, studded leather chokers and t-shirts lay folded on shelves. My clothes were draped over a chair. I never brought anything else with me, or left anything there.
The scent of frangipanis hung in the air. Beside me, sheer curtains covering an open window wafted in and out, as if inhaling the warm, perfumed breeze. Still, I felt as if all the air was being sucked out of my chest.
He lay next to me, still asleep. White sheets covered him evenly, as if someone draped them over his body like a shroud after we’d made love. My side of the bed was tangled and crumpled from another restless night. His arm was linked with mine, long fingers splayed over my skin. His fingertips were slightly flattened, as if he was born pressing them against something. The early light made his tan darker, and the black ink of his tattoos a dense indigo.
As he awoke, he began to smile, then stopped when he saw my face.
“Why are you crying?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I said.
He sighed loudly, as if conceding defeat.

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