Her hair, so long, black, full, blows like she's in a shampoo commercial every time I see her. I wonder if she knows that I'm listening to her. If she can tell I breathe in the soft melody her voice makes as she enunciates each syllable of her poem with such precision as she tries to memorize its essence. Does she even know that I exist? She's wearing those earrings again, the ones that bring out the brown in her penetrating eyes. It's something about the combination of turquoise and hot pink that makes her face absorb light and reflect only magnificent radiance. Not the shine that oily skin shows, but a sort of glowing that biblical entities possess. Damn it! She just caught me looking. Now she's gonna think I'mma weirdo. Ok ok ok ok ok, she's walking over here. Be cool Nieya, just be cool. You're an attractive, well educated, beautiful sister. Just be cool and talk to her. No, I should just get up and leave. At least that way I don't have to face her. But a close up would be lovely, just to see those lips and the way they.......
"Excuse me? Hi. My name is Z. I'm so sorry to bother you. You look really engrossed in your work."
"I'm actually just people watching, tryna get material for my next book."
"Oh, you're a writer?"
"Well, I've neva been called one to my face." We both laugh. Good. I made a funny and she liked it. This is very good.
"Well, I was actually coming over here because the place is really crowded tonight and I've noticed you here before sooooo....I was just wondering if this seat is taken? Are you waiting for someone? I know you normally are here with a few people and I didn't know......"
Wow! She noticed what I normally did???? How rockin' is that? So she does know that I exist. I was so busy noticing her existence I missed the crowd filling in. Must be getting closer to show time. Just be cool....
"Oh. No, not tonight. I'm flying solo. Apparently my best friend is in the process of standing me up right now, as we speak. Have a seat right here." I pull out the chair for her and motion for the waitress to come over. Gotta remember not to be too aggressive. I don't want her to suspect...
"So what are you working on?" she asks while craning her neck toward my laptop. I lower the screen like it contains the secrets of life and the fate of the world rests in hiding its contents. The fate of my sanity definitely rests on it because the only "people" I've been watching are her and our five adopted children.
"Oh, these are just notes on what I see people doing, you know, to make my writing more realistic; stuff like facial expressions, body language, colors. Anything that you normally wouldn't notice on a conscious level but may subliminally tell you something about the person you see." Like the way your tongue slides out of your mouth and slightly to the right whenever you like a line from one of the poets. Or, how white your teeth are just before you drink your mocha frappacino. Or... Thank God the waitress is coming. I think I'm starting to stare too hard.
I ask her if she wants something and she orders exactly what I knew she would: a mocha frappacino. It's amazing the details you pick up without even trying. I order an orange tea and we make small talk while we wait for our drinks. She said she was really nervous tonight because she was performing for the first time. Of course I thought she would be great. She excused herself and went to the restroom. Just as she got up and walked away, my right hand man enters, well right hand woman, Belle. Her name is French for beauty, a name that definitely describes exactly what she is.
I've known Belle since I was six years old and each day she just gets more and more beautiful. Her locks are thick, yet well-kept and always intricately designed. She somehow managed to get those thick snakes into four fishtail braids, each one ending near the small of her back. She has on her signature browns, greens, and other earth colors splashed with pink. I don't know how she does it, but this girl manages to match pink with everything. She says the color pink resonates love. So, she wears it everyday "to show the world how being in love makes you beautiful." Blah blah blah. Whateva. I say the girl just likes freaking pink and she doesn't need to justify why she must wear it 365 days a year for me or anyone else. As usual, she doesn't have on matching earrings. What is that anyway? It looks like she has on one pink flower and another green and brown flower with pink rhinestones. Something’s really wrong with her. I think she may have an obsession or something....
"It's about time you got your cranking ass here. I thought you weren't coming so I gave your seat away."
"What? You think I would miss your debut?"
My debut??? Oh crap. I forgot all about that. I can't go on now. Not after sitting with her......not after sitting with Z. I wonder what the "Z" stands for. As I'm trying to figure out a way outta this, I notice Z making her way back to the table.
"Belle, you gotta find somewhere else to sit, boo. The girl I keep telling you about, her name is Z and I sorta gave her your seat because I thought you weren't coming."
"Oooo chile. So you gonna make your move today or what? You have been talking about this girl for weeks. I got me a seat right here."
That's just like Belle, stealin' people's chairs, and her natural looking ass don't eva get caught because nobody eva suspects the ankh-wearing, lock-baring sista to do any wrong.
"Girllll, you're terrible. Those people are gonna come back here and raise hell. Oh. Here she comes. Please please please don't embarrass me. K?"
She holds up two fingers and puts her hand across her chest. "Scouts honor."
Z sits down and I introduce her to Belle. We all talk about the performances tonight while Belle and I try to assure Z that she'll be just fine. Then she does it. She embarrasses me. Scouts honor my ass.
"You know my girl Nieya is performing for the first time tonight, too. She's just about the only person in here that really has talent, so as long as you don't go on after her you're safe."
If looks could kill.....Argh! I swear I'mma rip each one of those chunky ass locks out of her hair, follicle by follicle. Z looks at me and starts to laugh.
"I didn't know you were performing tonight. Why didn't you tell me?"
Before I could so much as lift my teeth to open my mouth to speak, Belle cuts in saying, "Girl, the chile probably forgot. That's why I had to make sure I came. She's so damn forgetful. And a procrastinator, too. I brought a copy of the poem just in case she forgot the words because she probably waited until the last minute to even memorize the damn poem."
They both burst out laughing. I'm not even smiling. As I twirl one of my curls at the base of my neck, I decide that the next time I make our Sunday morning breakfast I'm putting onions in her omelet. Z starts to look at me, smiling, blushing at her new revelation of my memory's inability to hold pertinent information, my lack of time management and ..... is that gazing? Did her eyes just gloss over and burn into me, not look at me? Come on Nieya. Get it together. This girl is not even...
"Don't worry--Nieya, right?" She looks at me with that look that would normally mean that she wants to say it right now so she won't get it wrong later. Under these circumstances, however, I'm not so sure.
"Yeah. You got it right." Damn it. Did I just do that aggressive thing again? I hope she didn't catch that down-up look with the suck-the-bottom-lip action. She just chuckles lightly. I think she did but the chuckle is definitely a good sign.
"Well, Nieya, don't trip. This is my first time here at Blossom's Cafe but I've performed in a lot of places and it's not as hard as you think. You gain the courage once you're up there, probably because you're too scared to appear scared."
She's trying to console me. How cute is she right now? "Thanks Z. By the way, what does the "Z" stand for?"
"Zasha. I don't like it. Seems kinda ghetto to me. You know my mother must've wanted to be different, naming me Tasha with a Z."
We all laugh, Belle's laugh outlasting us both in length and decibels. She probably agrees with her, she's so freaking bourgeois. She hates my name but Nieya is beautiful if you ask me. I am kinda partial though.
The lights and music lowers to signal the patrons that the show is starting. Z gets up and says she'll be right back. Belle and I wait for the MC to introduce the first performer of the night.
"Ladies and gentleman, please take your seats. Our show is about to begin. For those that don’t know the rules, let me break them down for you. Rule number one, we don’t clap hear. We snap. Everybody knows how to snap right?”
“Yeah!” the crowd screams in unison while demonstrating their snapping talents.
“Alright then. Rule number two, everybody that comes to this stage gets at least fifteen snaps. Now I know most of you can’t count so just keep snapping until the poet or singer leaves the stage.” Some of the crowd laughs, but most of us just shake our heads since we’ve heard this same joke about four times more than we would’ve cared to. “Last, but definitely not least, rule number three is just to enjoy yourself and make sure to come through again. Alright, yall ready for some music to your ears!?!”
“Alright, yall. Welcome to the stage Akokonan."
Thunderous applause welcomes little Miss Z to the stage. Akokonan? She knows West African? I hope she lives up to her name and is merciful and nourishing to me...
"Thank you. Peace and blessings to you all. This is my first time performing here, so please be gentle. I call this one 'You Don't Know.'"
She bows her head and then begins to lift it up slowly, her eyes slanted, sexy, seductive. Damn, she's so exquisitely designed. She stands for a moment on the slightly elevated stage illuminated by the surrounding candles and dimly lit lamps. The room darkens and a spotlight is beamed on her, her curvaceous silhouette emphasized by the large white screen behind her. A soft jazz beat creeps into café’s patrons’ ears and the screen behind her becomes a montage of colors and pictures of snow-covered mountains, clean-swept deserts, and gardens of lilacs. As her lips part, she runs her tongue along the ridges of her teeth as she scans over the crowded cafe, her eyes landing directly on me with some subtle meaning. Attraction I hope, even a ting of lust would suffice.
"You might not know, but I'm diggin' you deep
I see you on my eyelids when I'm tryna sleep
You don’t know it but I'm watching you
Come get to know me, what's stopping you?
Is it my confidence or the sway in my gait
That forces your fear and spontaneity to debate?
Or maybe my plumpness in back and in front?
Is it because my speech is a lil bit blunt?..."
As she speaks, my mind races. A million thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, desires, all of them revolving around her words. Is what she saying truly meant for me?? Well, she is looking at me but that doesn't mean anything. Maybe she just found a spot that's near my face and decided to focus on that instead of the nervous tingle in her stomach or maybe she just finds comfort in knowing that she knows someone here...Argh! I'm driving myself crazy with this! I need to let this go. Just focus. She isn't talking about me. She couldn't possibly be. I didn't even feel anything on my gaydar. What am I saying!?! I don't believe in the silly notion that gay people can tell, just by looking, another person's sexuality and I refuse to fall into that mess now. I have to focus. I don't want her to come back over here and find out that I was so engrossed in my own thoughts that I wasn't paying attention to her performance and she'll know because I won't have anything to say and she'll think I'm some pseudo-intellectual that just comes to places like this to seem smart. Focus Nieya, focus dammit!
"...As I step outta these clothes with just a little pep
I hope that with you my secret is kept."
As snaps fill the room, I realize that I missed a huge chunk of her poem, but that ending...that ending says enough for me. She knows what I normally do and who I'm normally here with so maybe it's me that doesn't know. Man, I'm being a fool. This chick is just not gay. It's impossible. She just doesn't seem gay at all, not that "gay" has some overt way of showing itself......I'm just saying she just seems like she loves the penis and ain't neva letting it go.
"Shorty was deep and I love that ending. It made me think she was talking to someone in here."
Belle's voice interrupts my thoughts and I notice that she was looking at me with the look she always gets before she does something stupid.
"No Belle. Please do not ask her."
"Ask me what?"
Z crept right up on me. She could have at least whistled or tripped or something. I didn't even hear her thank the crowd. Ok relax. I'll just act like I didn't hear her and then I'll walk away politely.
"Nieya, what shouldn't Belle ask me?"
"She was gonna ask you..."
"I was gonna ask you who you wrote the poem about. Is it someone that's in here?"
I. CANT. BELIEVE. HER. I am so not EVEN cooking omelets the next time I cook. She betta bring a spoon 'cause we'll be eating milk and cereal. I should just rip out one of those damn flowers she got in her ears and...
"Yeah, the person is in the club but I would rather not say who it is. I'll just say that they are performing tonight and we'll all get to see them."
Why is she being so elusive? And why won't she specify gender? Is she trying to make me go crazy with suspense or is it all just a coincidence? Maybe she just assumes we both think it's a man. Or maybe she wants me to know that it is me. I mean why else would she want to come over here and sit with me? I swear I hope I'm not reading too much into this.
The MC makes her way back on stage and commends "Akokonan" for a splendid performance as a newbie. Then the words I dread to hear drip from her tongue.
"Next up, we have another newbie to the stage. Let's give Zaza some love everybody."
The room fills with applause and I stand trying to decide if I should run for the door or to the stage. They're both in the same direction so if halfway there I chicken out, I can just make a run for it. As I'm walking away, Z mouths the words "good luck", temporarily causing me a moment of paralysis. Belle snaps me from my trance by offering me the copy of my poem she'd brought along. I quickly tell her no. If I change my mind I don't want anyone to see me with the papers. The smarties in the room might figure me out and make an already horrible moment worse.
I push my curls from my face and straighten out my peach shirt as I make my way to the stage. I have on my Abercrombie & Fitch jeans today, the 36" seam ones. I have on these 3" stilettos and the pants legs are still long on my 5’6” frame. I take my time and let a young man walk ahead of me because if I trip, I'm not getting up. I'll just lay there and pretend to be unconscious. Maybe I should just faint now...
As I climb the steps, I realize that Z still has her eyes on me. Belle is talking to her but she just continues to look at me, watch me, analyze my every move. Like something about the way I walk can make or break my chances with her. Nieya, what chances are you talking about, girl??? There you go jumping the gun, about to make an ass outta yourself if you think that goddess of a woman is attracted to you. Someone with perfect almond brown skin and dazzling hazel eyes is not giving you a chance. Especially if she isn't even gay. You need to relax and stop thinking about her 5'5" frame. Focus on your poetry right now, Nieya.
"Peace and blessings everyone. I call this one 'The Gardener's Hole.'
As much as I try to fight it
I can't hide it
Deep into the hole diggin' you has left
No one's in here but me
Or maybe you are here
Lurking in the shadows
Come stand in the light with me
Light of truth
Of love unconditional
Still diggin' you
Deeper and deeper each day
Until I find the most fertile spot to plant this seed
This seed has to be planted deeply in you
As well as me
This seed will grow into our future tree
With passion fruits
And your sweet nectar will drip from their centers..."
Damn this is exhilarating! I feel like every hair on my body is doing the tango. Zasha's still watching me. She is so beautiful. Her full lips curl into that sexy smile again and suddenly I’m overcome with the urge to let the room know that this poem is about her. Tell’em how I want to show her what she's been missing since I haven't been in her life. But I don't want to offend her, don't want to steer her away...
"So don't worry that I'm moving at this pace
We need all this space
'Cause I've fallen deep in this hole called love with you."
They loved it! Some people were even standing and clapping. I hope Z notices that. I wonder if she liked it. Well there's only one way to find out. I thank everyone before I leave the stage and forge my way through a maze of chairs, compliments and a few not so nice comments. It doesn’t matter. I just need to get back to my seat.
On my way back to the table, I check Belle winking at me. Another good sign. Then again, this is Belle. If that little Badu wanna-be said anything to Z...I swear I will tell her husband about that time in college when her and my roommate "explored" their sexual differences.
I start to ease my way up on Z, just to see what they are talking about. Unfortunately, I'm not stealthy enough. She turns just as I get into hearing range.
"Wow! Nieya, that was great. Belle was right. I'm glad I didn't go on after you."
She compliments me throughout the night, comparing my style to the next few artists after me. She tells me how she never tried to write a poem that didn't have a rhyme scheme. I tell her how I prefer not to be placed into a confined definition of poetry. We talk about the history of spoken word, the demise of true hip-hop, the slow emergence of neo-soul, and how ain’t nothing “neo” about soul. We talk of our favorite artist, both visual and oral. We talk about our similarities. We talk of our future....as friends of course. Somewhere in there, Belle leaves, something about it being too late. We barely even notice. We are so wrapped up in talk of Anthony Bowden and the Bible Belt that we forget all about the time, the place, the poets.
And then, it happens. The conversation that always comes up when two people run out of intellectual things to converse about. The personal questions that always make me uncomfortable because I don't want to lie about myself, about my life, about my "personal preferences" as the politically correct say. I don't want to scare her away. But I'm too damn old to still be in the closet. I came out to everyone, at work, at home, everywhere, when I was 18. That was eight years ago. I'm not going back to those uncomfortable days. The days when I had to think before I spoke. The days when pronoun exchanges were an art craft to me. The days when I lied to myself and thought it was just a passing phase.
"So, where's your boyfriend? How come he didn't come here to hear your poem?" Z asks me this with a straight face. There was no way to read her thoughts. I wait a few seconds before I answer, hoping she would give me some kind of hint, clue, nonverbal communication, anything. Something to tell whether she already knows the answer or not. She gives me nothing.
"I don't have a boyfriend. What about you? You come here tonight alone on purpose or did you get stood up?" I look at her hard, my eyes unblinking, my face expressionless. I have to keep my face still, emotionless. Can't let her know how much the answer means to me. I just can't. I sit here and twirl that same fallen curl at the base of my neck. I need to hear this answer. I need it more than I need oxygen right now. A lack of either one would surely be the death of me.
"Hummmm," she sighs, gives me a look that shows there's more to this answer than she is about to say. She looks at something that isn't there, maybe a time that isn't now. "No, I don't have a boyfriend, and, yes, I did come here alone on purpose."
She looks at me. NO. She gazes at me. Again. This is the second time she has done this tonight. Is she flirting with me? Does she know? She might. I come in here with my girls all the time, and by girls I mean my gay male friends. I am what society calls a fag hag. She might have caught on. I mean those are the people she normally sees me with when she notices me. She's looking at me how Nala was looking at Simba in The Lion King. With lust. With intensity. I don't want her to lust after me. I don't want to be an experiment. Unless she already knows that she'll want more. I don't want to give her just a little.
I realize after a couple of seconds that I've been staring at her. And she's staring at me, too. Our eyes are connected through some invisible force. I don't want to be the first to pull away. The first to speak. My aura is filling up with her energy. I don't want to interrupt the flow of everything. I want to overflow with her intensity, her sensuality, her entirety.
It isn't until applause fills the room that the mysterious force weakens, giving us the strength to look away. We both sorta smile, and she takes in a deep breath, does that down-up look and bites her bottom lip as she turns away. What to do? What to do? All of my experience is telling me not to do anything. I've learned the hard way not to read into signals, even if they are clear as cellophane. We join the audience in applauding all of the poets, singers, and instrumentalist of the night. I try to figure out what to do as the moment of truth slowly creeps up behind me. I feel its presence, its breath on my neck, hot and hurried.
"So what's on your agenda for the rest of the night?" There. I said it. I've taken the first step towards finding out what the look behind her eyes meant. The first step towards the end of my curiosity about her life.
She looks at me with a soft smirk, a flirty smirk. Well, at least that's what it looks like. Is that what it is? A soft, flirty smirk? Probably not. Maybe she's just tired. Your eyes tend to lower and obtain some fierceness whenever you get tired, right? Right. Oh God. Now I'm talking to myself and answering myself. Yep it's official. I am insane.
"Nothing. Are you about to go home? How close do you live? Maybe we could go to your place and talk some more. I haven't been out in such a long time. It would be fun to just relax, drink some wine, you know, just chill. So what do you say? Let's grab some Chinese or pizza or something and chill at your place. Or my place. I live pretty far though. Oh. I'm sorry. Am I imposing? I don't mean to be so pushy, it's just that..."
She's talking like Six from Blossom. Almost as if she doesn't say everything she has to say in the next two seconds, she'll forget what it was she wanted to say.
"Calm down. Don't worry about it, Z. Of course you can come over for drinks. I don't eat Chinese or pizza or any other fast food, but we could get something from Hooters. It's right around the corner. You like buffalo wings?"
"Love'em. Hooters, though? Why in the world do you know about Hooters wings? I thought I was the only woman that went to Hooters."
"Well, now you know that you're not, and knowing's half the battle."
"So you quote G.I. Joe now?" she asks me as she laughs at my cartoon knowledge.
We both grab our coats and head out of the door. As we walk to Hooters, I tell her I live a few blocks from Hooters and she decides to leave her car at the cafe. We talk about the weather and the night’s breeze. We tell each other about high school, college, our favorite food, favorite drinks. We discuss our views on politics, the controversy in the most recent elections. She tells me how she gave up on her dream to become a world renowned poet. I tell her how hard it was for me to become a locally known writer.
The more personal the conversation, the more I realize my attraction has transformed from a physical form to a more prominent mental state. I no longer want to undress her body. I want to see through her skin into her soul. I want to know every inch of her life, every millimeter of her mind. Then the questions come again. The personal questions.
"So, Nieya, why don't you have a boyfriend?" she asks me as we walk toward my house. She never turns to look at me as she has done most of the night when she's asked me a question. She never glances, never even peeks. She just stares straight ahead, almost like she's walking alone. Like my answer is weighing her down by hanging in the air. Well, here goes.
"Well, Z. I don't have a boyfriend because I'm not interested in having one. I'm just not interested." There. I said it. Well, sort of said it. Hopefully, she'll ask the "why" question again.
"I feel the same way. I've been single for about seven months now, just exploring the world, getting to know myself. How long have you been single?"
"For about eight months. Looks like I've got you beat. Well here we are."
“I thought we were going to Hooters?”
Dammit, Nieya! How could you forget to take the girl to Hooters??? You have to walk right past it to get to your house. Ok ok ok…gotta recover quick or I’ll look like a liar. “Oh, my fault. I just was so interested in our conversation, I completely forgot. I’m so sorry. It’s only a block or two from here. Do you want to walk back?”
“No, it’s fine. I’m not that hungry anymore. I forgot myself until we got here.”
Great. She’s cool. She doesn’t think I’mma weirdo. Whew. That was too close. I try to calm my nerves as we go into my house and continue our conversation, with me substituting pronouns like "her" and "she" with words like "they" and "them." Someone walking in might have assumed I was some sort of polygamist.
We talk and drink for the next two hours, eventually lying on my lavender palatial carpet. The conversation starts to get manipulated by the Mama's Gun our ears swallow hungrily and the Shiraz we pour down our throats. The slow beats and soft melodies loosen our conversation; massage it until it becomes an unstructured mass of comments and rhetorical questions.
"Do you ever question yourself, Nieya? Do you ever wonder if what you think you know about yourself may not be the truth?"
"What do you mean?"
She turns slowly, giving me that Nala look again. She parts her lips, runs her tongue along the ridges of her teeth, her eyes burrow their way to my truths, my secrets. I want to take her face and kiss her lips softly right then, but I am a creature of caution. I wait. Patiently I wait for her to make her intentions blatant, not so subtle.
"I mean do you ever find yourself being attracted to people that you know you shouldn't be attracted to?"
She looks past me again, like she is trying to find the answers in the floor beneath my head. I still wait. Patiently I wait for her intentions to scream at me.
"Yeah. Just about everyday."
"What about when you know you shouldn’t? What about when it goes against everything that you’ve been taught? What if you know it’s wrong? How do stop yourself from being in love with someone that you shouldn’t?"
Damn. I don't think I can wait anymore. I reach up and place my hand on the space just below the hairline on her neck, my fingers slightly buried in the thickness of her long tresses. I pull her face toward me. She closes her eyes. I close mine. The next thing I know my face is moist. I feel like I'm drowning in wine.
She pushes me away and stands up like my floor caught on fire. She's yelling something but I can't hear what she is saying. I see her lips moving, I see her finger pointing, I feel the fire behind her words, but I don't know what words she's saying. I know the meaning behind her reaction though. Apparently, I mistook this aluminum foil for cellophane.
I find out the next day from Belle that she's straight. Just like my instincts told me. Talk about a day late and a dollar short. I find out that within that big chunk of her poem that I missed, she specifies gender, quite a few times. I'm told that the reason she wanted a secret to be kept was because the person that the poem was for was sitting behind us, listening to our entire conversation. It was the best friend of her ex-boyfriend from seven months ago. He performed that night, too. Ironically, he wrote a poem about his best friend and how he would keep their secret. Of course I missed that because I was talking to "Akokonan."
“Are you alright, girl?” Belle asks.
I say nothing. Can’t. Don’t know what to say. I finally force out an, “I’ll hit you lata,” before rudely hanging up on my tardy informant.
I lie on the couch for another fifteen minutes staring at the ceiling. I watch it as it transforms into a blurry mass of whiteness through my teardrops. I just don’t get it. All the signs were there. She gave me “the look.” I’m not crazy. I may be a bit naïve at times, but I am not crazy. Zasha was attracted to me. I just don’t understand what scared her off.
The worst part isn’t that she left. The worst part is that once again, I feel alone. I’m so tired of being led on and strung along. I don’t need this drama anymore. I’m just gonna let this meeting-a-girl thing chill for a while. I finally gather enough strength to get off of the couch and go into my home office. I need to write. I grab my laptop and plug its power cord into the socket near the balcony door. After setting up the laptop on the balcony, I turn it on. While I wait for the system to boot up, I go into the kitchen, grab a Corona and head back out onto the balcony. Halfway across the living room, someone knocks on the door. I stop and think about whether I should answer or not. I decide not to and head to the balcony.
I drink my Corona and ask myself a million questions, try to figure out the exact moment when I could have done something different. Try and pinpoint the exact second that I should have let her go home. I can’t figure it out and it frustrates me. So I drink more. How could I have been so stupid? Sip. I’m so tired of this happening to me. Sip. I’m not pursuing any more females. No matter how obvious the attraction, I just can’t I can’t keep going through this. Gulp. I start typing and pour my thoughts and emotions out onto the page. Just as I get into my flow, my Corona is done. I’m not drunk enough so I get up and head back to the kitchen and hear that someone is still knocking on the door. I still don’t want to answer it. I go into the kitchen and grab another Corona. As I walk back onto the balcony, I hear someone sobbing on the other side of my door. I creep to the peephole and look out. It’s Zasha.
Now I am faced with two options. I could open the door and console her. If I do this, then maybe I can find out what happened. Why she left? Was she really feeling what I thought she was feeling? Or I could just walk out onto my balcony and pretend that I never heard her knocking. I stand there in front of the door, sipping my Corona, playing out each scenario in my mind. I think of all the different things she could say, we could do. I wish for the best, but can only imagine the worst. My thoughts crowd my mind. All I can think of is her. And me. And us together. The trance is finally broken when I lift my bottle to take a sip and it’s empty.
Now slightly buzzing, I go and grab yet another Corona. I walk back to the door and stare through the peephole. I see Zasha sitting there, her cheeks tear-stained, her eyes swollen, from the hours of crying I assume. I sip and stare. Stare and sip. And midway through my Corona, I finally decide what to do. I walk on the balcony, play some Leela James and just keep writing.
Copyright © 2006. Used by permission of author. All Rights Reserved.