Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Graceful Truth: Part VI



Have you ever been to Disneyland, or a theme park where you have to wait in line for an undetermined amount of time waiting and waiting for your moment to sit in the hot seat for maybe three minutes? That’s what I feel like right now. I am sitting in my seat clutching glass seven of champagne trying my best to sip it as slowly as possible while my legs shake out a rhythm of crazed nerves.
After Kellan walked away from my table at the elbow of the elderly gentleman I immediately started to keep a closer eye on him. I told myself it was because I wanted to be ready when he asked me to dance, but the truth was that after his lips brushed against my skin I couldn’t seem to stop my eyes from devouring him. Perhaps it was half creepy stalker of me, but I chalked it up to just feeling prepared when we would be in closer proximity.
Three slower waltz songs pass through the air followed by an upbeat jazzy number and a more pop spastic hit that I forgot I used to secretly like.  My knees shake and tremble the entire time as my stomach does an endless number of back flips every time Kellan happens to catch my stalker eyes. He smiles at me, and waves, he makes silly faces at me from across the room. It takes me about 30 full minutes to realize he is watching me as much as I am watching him, and not just that but he is eye flirting with me. That’s a thing I swear it, I felt the blazing metaphorical heat against my skin every time he glance my way.
By song ten I was starting to think he forgot about me. He had danced once with his sister, once with each of the three bridesmaids, and once with an older woman that kept her hands quite close to the top of his ass. He had to keep pulling her hands upward but they continually slipped back down to fondle him like an old pervy woman is allowed to do.
Song twelve (yes I am counting alright!) and I am drinking water. I know, but its bubbly water and I need some actual hydration. I close my eyes to regain some composure because by this time I am at a loss of what to do. It’s been a while since I have seen him, but not that long that I don’t remember him.
There was a weekend about two years ago that he was actually able to meet me in my neck of the woods. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year and had been off and on friends after the break up for almost two years. Things were comfortable for us, easy, like drinking a nice cool glass of lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. It just made sense and there was never a reason not to.
He met me at a restaurant in Downtown LA and the last thing I expected was a clean shaven god of a man to walk up to me and smile like he had known me for years. “Hey beautiful.” He said it like we had just talked earlier that day, when I hadn’t really talked to him in several months.
It was him, but he was the clean cut dressed up gorgeous version of him. When we dated he had his clean pretty moments, but that evening he had hit the nail directly on the head. My mouth watered and my knees trembled just looking at him.
It wasn’t fair how easily he was able to instigate these wobbly feeling inside me. The second his hand touched my cheek that night I had been a goner. The entire weekend was a blur of skin, sweat, drinks, and giggles. Then it was over and we were back to being distant friends and somewhat inconsistent pen pals.
That night assaulted my lonely mind whenever I had trouble falling to sleep, or in moments like these when I was surrounded by loving couples but I had nothing to show off. Watching him offer his hand to yet another young blonde woman while I waited for him on the side lines felt like a punch in the gut.
Sometimes though, especially in these moments, I feel like I deserve what’s being chucked in my lap. I pushed him away and told him to leave. I made the decision to date another guy right after him, I also made the decision to move away and distance myself from him. It’s my fault, and mine alone that he has other avenues to walk down instead of the one aiming toward me. I know I want something with him, I see that now and it’s impossible to deny it, but I can’t ask him for it. The second my mouth opened it would just be a running stream of nonsense and word vomit anyways. The Champagne has done its job, I am a buzzed up bubbly mess.
I stood up on wobbly legs and headed out toward the front of the tent where the evening air kissed my skin with freshness. It's cool, but not overly cold. In my green silk dress the evening actually felt beyond perfect. I really craved a cigarette, I wanted something sharp and biting to whip my sense back into shape. Every limb in my body was filled to the brim with bubbles and Brut, I needed a punch of nicotine to right my world again, and I hadn’t smoked in over three years.
“Still crave the menthol? Or do you prefer the classy American Spirits like most LA smokers do?” His voice was like melted chocolate over my senses; drugging, dark, and deeply sensual.
“Menthol always,” I responded easily, as though his words and tone had no effect on me whatsoever.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a fresh box of Marlboro Menthol's smacking his palm with the ease of experience before offering me first pick. I plucked one from its pristine placement and brought the filter to my lips before I remembered that I had no lighter.
“I’ve got ya.” His hands slipped up toward mine cupping my wrist to keep me steady before snapping the flame at the end of the cigarette.
Silence enveloped the space between us making my mind relax into comfort. It felt wonderful, the kiss of our past slid between us in a whirl of memories we didn’t need to voice aloud. But of course I ruined it, it is what I do best really.
“So how is your girlfriend?”
He chuckled softly casting a sideways glance in my direction before he flared up his own cigarette. “It isn’t obvious? You’ve been watching me all night, I thought you would have caught on sweetheart.”
My head whipped his direction so fast that my cigarette almost flew out from between my lips. “What happened?” I asked shyly, like he didn’t know the meaning behind my question. ARE YOU SINGLE!? PLEASE GOD TELL ME YOU ARE SINGLE AND WANT ME!
“We had our differences and we ended it.” Simple. Honest. Told me absolutely nothing.
“Oh.” I took another hefty drag on my cancer stick and flicked the ends several times more than necessary as I took in his words. No wonder he was dancing with every blonde woman in the vicinity, he always had a preference to them. Always made me wonder what he saw in my dark red straighter than straight strands.
Music sifted out to our silent spot in bubbling waves and I unconsciously began to sway. Kellan noticed. He turned toward me plucking the cigarette from between my fingers and flicked it into the ash tray before his hand slipped around my waist pulling me in close for a slow soft dance. We didn’t really move all that much, we more swayed to the tune, but our bodies pressed into each other like old lovers. My head drooped toward his shoulder allowing our cheeks to kiss side by side. I felt his lips rustle through the layering of my hair before he planted a tender kiss on my temple.
“I’ve missed this,” he whispered softly.
I pulled slightly away from him needing to see his eyes to know if what he spoke was truth or just in the moment words, but his eyes gushed with emotion and I was immediately drowning in their tenderness. “I’ve missed you too.”
His subtle smirk sparked a fire in my belly before he gently nudged my nose with his pulling me closer as the music spun around us in a wave of magical wonder.
Disgusting right? Makes you want to puke a little? I know, I warned you didn’t I? Love makes everything sound so perfectly sweet, so unendingly romantic, so doused in confection sugar that you would get diabetes just thinking about it. But I was in it, I was lost once again. He had me, yanked me under and I didn’t care that I couldn’t breathe. This is why love is disgusting, he could have slit my throat with his own hand and I would have said, “It’s ok, I still love you,” on my last dying breathe.
God, I disgust myself. Screw the champagne, where the hell is the whiskey?