Saturday, September 25, 2010
LET ME SLEEP!!!
Alone but not lonely in a rich, dark room, filled with familiar furniture. Thinking June and July thoughts in the cold of February. Sitting in the almost dark of a quiet neighborhood (birds silent, cars parked) using time to think. Touching the buttons of the stereo like he would the spots on that lover, he used his fingers for effect, trying to bring about an emotion or coax a sound to drip around and seal the thoughts of a moment in music.
Quietly sitting, he tried to move now, silently to get some water or a cigarette, no more noisily than a sleek black cat across carpeted floors, or the hum of a light in warm sedate household. Just wanting everything to be right. Manageable. Listening for a pulse, but not trying too much for fear that the rage and anxiety of the past nights would return.
Barefoot across slowly creaking boards, trying to let the world sleep so that he could recite his feeling onto paper before the top began spinning again, blurring the colors and leaving those dark comfortable moments behind never again to be captured.
Like a comfortable head on a down pillow, like a comfortable limp, soft cock nestled in the warm crevice of her curves. Not penetrating, not invading, just content to be there lengthwise against her. Avoiding the erection and rigidity by lying still, savoring the contact, afraid to move and change the arrangement—afraid to awaken the beasts within them both. Not wanting her to move and instigate arousal and something more complicated and writhing, something requiring more effort, more precision. Not wanting. Sunk into cool sheets, his arms draped around her torso, feeling the outlines of her plump breasts’ skin. His chest hairs tingling upon her back. His cheek sunk in to one pillow next to hers. His nose amidst the sweet but salty aroma that lingered in her long, normally clean, but now sweat-smelling hair and scalp. His breath enveloping the moment as it seeps from his lips and nostrils through the strands and around the nape of her neck, making her dream state unhurried, warm and rich, at least from outward appearances. Moving his head out of its resting place (only barely, but still a risk) to slowly take a cool, refreshing drink from a straw in a glass on a nightstand that would lend itself to the middle-of-the-night thirst of the prone, weary lovers.
The ticking of the clock, unheard. The smell of their sexual oozings in the sheets. A leaf blowing across the sidewalk outside the window, scraping, paper-like as the gentle breeze moves it with the delicacy that a lonely song moves a black convertible on a moonlit, desert highway. Only less directed.
That water upon his lips, past his teeth, onto his tongue to his jowls.
It will all be over soon, the stillness of the night and her attention, so he tries to forget that he is immersed in time as soon as he remembers, but the now apparent clock ticks on. Soon she will shudder awake from an inevitable nightmare because she is not happy. She is not sedate. She is not able to linger, through and through. Her pleasure is flighty and on the surface, not spread out like stubborn butter on hot absorbent toast, but scattered crumpled cash next to a mound of credit-card bills. She is unable to let him sink to her core and envelope him, because she hungers form more, different beds, not those moments of detail that she sleeps through now. He understands, calling his allowance of her wandering—generosity.
So, he feels his mind drift through his past to the faces of former kittens who could purrrrr in recognition of his affection, some longer than others, but would then wriggle free, finicky and unsure of their desire or his. Sometimes all it took was a touch. The CD would skip. And then, the sheets would grow cold with the heat having been removed from him and the water glass would no longer be a reservoir of relief but another liquid temperature drop toward the loneliness that apes death for those who call themselves alive.
So at times like this, when he had shirked those longings for close skin and kind words, for mutual breath in unison, he would await the next encounter and promise himself that he would savor its every second, letting it trickle through leaving only memories of blonde, belly down and gentle curves disappearing into musty, moist pink darkness of delight. Dire, damp, then disappearing. He would take another sip, the last sip, and fall off to sleep with the remnants of her aroma still on his pillow. Lingering. Taunting. Like a song that never lasted long enough to relinquish real truth, its echoes fading to a quiet room, carpeted, warm, lonely, but never sufficient.
Telling himself that it was part of a circle, he wanted it to be wide and expansive. Girls like her tightened it around him like a constricting boa of strangulation.
“Don’t please. DON’T,” he would whisper as if gasping in his dreams, but she was gone.
They were gone. Leaving only those memories, somewhat satisfying, but never forever. Cigarettes and ashes not willing to be lit again.
It wasn’t a crime to play them over. Did he want more, or were they enough? Slowly rolling from horizon to treeless horizon and disappearing into thin air, wispy. Where do they go? Never mind. Here’s another. Look at it. Feel it breeze by. It will soon be no more but a filter in a tray. She will die or form a head like many bad ideas bottle up, butting against one another.
Stop the wind. Pull the sheet over the head, but they will inevitable wake up and sneak out quietly through that door that you couldn’t bear to lock. For if you did, they would settle into their mold; into your mold, an no longer would they be able to seep across your pulsing heart; like piranha on heroine, towards the heart of another.
So, let them slip away. Don’t bat an eye. Leaving cold sheets and hope that another comes along before the cool night overtakes the small amounts of warmth left from the last hot, coastal hint of pleasurable steam. Savor the last flickering flames before the melting wax comes back to drown you, leaving only a smoking wick and the smell of what had bee. Fire, mesmerizing, stupefying fire.
And when you awake from your refreshing and piercing dreams, get up and wash your fucking sheets lest you die in the smell of that last hour. Too languid to go get a cup of coffee and hunger for another cloud.
from LICK MY SQUAGGLE NOOSE, CLAM TICK #1
reprinted in THE SUBTERRANEAN QUARTLERLY May, 1994
Brett Lars Underwood