when I shut my eyes..

The drive across the country wasn’t so bad. It’s kind of like what I hear childbirth described as. Once it’s over, you forget how bad it was and are only so happy to be experiencing the new life. I feel bad about smoking the 3 packs of cigarette’s, but they went down so smooth against the cool desert breeze with the music that can only come as strong against the wind. The crystal stars were so clear, stacked on each other for miles, it didn’t matter that my body was numb and emotions shell shocked from the open road.
       I am here, and things look good. I am living in loft comparatively small to the house I am used to. The side stairs are made out of aged wood that looks like it would immediately splinter, but are as smoothly glazed as the bottom of a ship to touch. Glossy black nails in the staircase lead up to the king size mattress on the floor and perfectly large rectangular window looking over the hill. There is a white lamp with one thin black circle on the shade and lying next to it the Great Gatsby and a glass of bubbly water from two days ago. Three sweaters hang on top of each other in the corner and a pair of worn leather boots sit underneath them laying on their side propped against an old trunk. From the stairs you can see a skewed picture of the view below; A small dark wooden table with a mason jar full of peonies, behind it a black corduroy corner couch facing the fireplace with a TV mounted inside the stone above it. A low table sits in front of the overstuffed couch holding five coffee table books full of interesting pictures and beautiful short stories about castles and fashion. In the kitchen there is a large black refrigerator with an island in the middle of the room holding a sink with a long spout. It curves high in the air and the water pressure hits your hands like a garden hose. Against the wall there is a red coffee pot and a toaster that sings the Waltz when the toast is done. I always thought it would annoy me, but who can’t stomach the Waltz four times a week? I try to cook often and keep as much fresh fruit in the house as possible. My bananas always seem to spoil, so I am sticking to apples and lemons. The lemons grow outside the bathroom window so I smell citrus during my morning shower in the big glass box. It feels sneaky in a weird way that I can see through the glass in to the mirror, and I always wonder if someone is watching because I can see myself. There is smear of leftover cotton from one of the towels on the mirror and a Cosmopolitan sits half open between the hamper and toilet paper rack. I was reading up on lotions that make you get a summer glow. Since I drive a Jeep Wrangler now, I have tan lines on my legs from shorts and am considering a more serious sunscreen so I don't look like a hobo by the pool.

     I was invited to a show tonight by this guy I met the other day and am debating on what to wear, there are four pairs of jeans laid out on my bed and I am now sitting in a little skirt the billows out like a party dress.  The tan lines are fixed on my legs from some amazing brown lotion that smells like coconuts and tanning bed. I think I am going to go with my black heals. Red Lipstick? What do you think? When I tilted my chin to the side I thought I looked like a high fashion model and hope that I can get a vodka soda as soon as I walk in the door so I can lull in to the music. I like feeling it in my bones, shutting my eyes and letting it all sink in. I think it’s easier to shut your eyes in public for long periods of time after a drink.

  I am standing in the middle of the dance floor now and there is no sign of the guy who invited me. I feel stupid because he called and everything, we talked and confirmed. I am wearing a skirt and heals, and even fake kissed my hand just to make sure I remember what it felt like to kiss. At least I have my vodka soda, I am three sips deep and I can already feel my tongue going a little numb. I think I knew the bartender and I think there is only a splash of soda in this cup. Should I stay for the show?  I am checking my phone for the seventh time. Well the curtain is opening and I am somehow in the middle of the floor. It would be rude to make a scene, so I might as well stay for one song. Shit. Holy shit. It’s him. The guy is walking out on stage right now and he’s looking at me smiling. I am consciously trying to keep my mouth from falling wide open, I think it did initially drop but thankfully I gained my composure through the first song. “ You must be Kate.” A voice behind me says coolly. I am having a conversation with one of his friends now and sipping another drink compliments of my other friend, who I referred to as “babe” the bartender. I wonder at what point in my adult life will it turn creepy when I address someone as babe? Either way, I am having easy conversation with Graham, Jared’s roommate. A lyric about love is catching my attention and I am blushing as he sees me look up just as he says it again. I am swaying back and forth nervously now because his glare from the stage is becoming more evident to the rest of the audience and I am deathly afraid he is going to do something insane like call me on stage.  Don’t get me wrong, he can pull me up on stage and put a ring on my finger in front of twenty thousand adoring jealous girls, but everybody knows a run of the mill serenade is for seven year olds.

    Jared has humble eyes and amazing hair. He also has a sexy mouth that became increasingly sexier when juxtaposed against the silver microphone. The funny thing about not knowing someone is that, in your mind, they are the only person that exists around them. People become God’s, and their parents or younger siblings seem like alien facts that shouldn’t or even needn’t exist about them. It is probably my selfish human desire for not wanting them to be able to exist without me. Or maybe I want to imagine everyone without a roommate. Oh wow. The vodka is definitely getting to me. OK. Back in reality the show is over. Graham seems to be on a mission to keep me posted up by the bar and will not let me out of a conversation about surfing in the Palisades. The lights just turned on, and I felt the first ache from my heels shoot up my right knee. I know exactly what Graham is doing, and I am thanking God for his mission. A purse is forming on my lips because I just saw two of his band mate’s walk out and say goodbye to Jared who is obviously behind the curtain. Like some rehearsed cue, Graham is excusing himself to the bathroom as my head turned away toward the curtain. As I turn back to Graham, he is walking away, and Jared is walking out from behind the curtain. I feel ridiculous right now because it looks like I have been by myself waiting for him, what the hell.  “Hey!” He is giving me a big hug. “ Thanks for coming.” He pauses, “Are you hungry?” He has both of his hands on my shoulders with his head titled to the side. I wonder if he is examining my glassy eyes or my countenance. I am smiling “ Yeah, I could eat.” “ Cool, let’s go to Mel’s? Let me run and grab my guitar really quick and I’ll drive us down.”  In this second I am so happy I took a cab and don’t have to worry about getting my car out of valet. It would have totally ruined this perfect moment even though he probably is just another broke musician.

“ That’s pretty much it. We went to eat. Had good conversation, we were silly it didn’t get too serious. I still don’t even know where he is from.”

“What do you mean that’s all? What happened when he dropped you off?” Whitney yanked her elbows off the table and threw her hands out in the air.

I couldn’t hold back my huge smile. “ We kissed”

“Where did you kiss?” Whitney’s eyes went wide and she titled her chin to the side with a smile.

“At my front door!” I sat back and took a sip of my coffee rolling my eyes.

“ He did not get in, and it didn’t seem like he was even trying anyways.”

As the words spilled out my face flushed and my shoulders went stiff.

The moment of silence broke as Whitney looked at my sympathetically.

“You like him huh?”

Wearing 2 bracelets that fell down my arm as I propped my fist on my chin and over my mouth I muttered a small “yes” through my fingers.


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