Juan chose not to see me, not to hear me speak and to shut me out of his world. His decisions drive his reality and he chose to not let me be a part of it. But I too have a choice. To speak my piece, to be heard. I concentrate on him and give him a piece of my mind, a place where he occupies my neurotransmitters and manifests himself as my muse. I give him this willingly. I create his presence in my mind and feed off remnants of his creativity, dry fumes from his kiss.
I laid my head on the curve of his guitar and he strummed. I felt the vibrations through my pores, a sweet comfort, a melodic uniting through the vibrations of the guitar strings. We felt the same movements, but we didn’t touch. Before I had sat in his rocking chair, and he on his stool poised above me. I watched the red lights refracting off his cut crystal water glasses. ‘This is what it feels like to be in a sunset’ he said. This is what Edie Sedgewick felt like when she met Bob Dylan, I thought.
We listened to Chet Baker and zoned out, looking for shapes in the prose he had scribbled on the wall. He turned to me and said he’d rather watch me than the wall. I stroked my hair, a nervous habit that most don’t recognize. ‘Is it soft?’ he asked. “Silky”. I offered him a handful and he caressed it, running it over his fingers. I felt almost out of body knowing he was touching me, but I couldn’t register the sensation. I bit my lip as his hand moved to my neck, his fingertips barely touching my skin, sweeping ghostlike across my chin and down my throat. I closed my eyes, my smile contracting and releasing with the rise and fall or my breath. I knew his next move, I had known it since that morning. Maybe his actions were created by my premeditated choices to write him, to go to his apartment. His lips grazed mine and I inhaled his breath, our lips touching but not embraced in kiss. Our noses brushed.
I had given him the power to seduce me the day before, when I had seen him play guitar. I saw his hands move sensually over the guitar strings and I imagined being in his arms, being softly persuaded to make music by the precise plucking of his fingers. He was by no means a conventional portrayal of sexiness, but to me he was potent, even overwhelming. He had his theories well thought-out. We’re all on different parts of the journey and age is irrelevant he said. The universe is inside of me, I thought.
When our grazing lips finally locked in a strong kiss I was stunned like an electric shock ran through me and made my body tense. I sat up and pulled away. I was nervous. My face blushed and I was grateful to the red light for masking my heated cheeks. I smiled. I bit my lip. I was lost in my head, only interrupted by his single nervous laugh. “Is that why you invited me over?” As soon as the words left my mouth I knew I’d blown it for good. There was no point in even trying to explain.
We stared into each others eyes. My pupils were dilated–the only clear view into the brain. But I knew both of us had brains far too intricate, thoughts to internalized too ever be captured in any capacity. My blood was charged and I went home. I couldn’t sleep.
The next morning I received his message. Succinct, to say the least.
I feel negativity, manipulation, and spuriousness. My only wish is that you could find these things are of little use in a world of happiness.
Have a great journey.
I knew it was more than my awkwardness after the kiss, but my girlfriends would console me with that just the same. I knew I’d met someone similar to me, and knowing the thick barricade blocking others from my own delicate sentiments, I could hardly blame another for their quick decisions of what to carry along, and what to leave behind.
I think your judgments came a little quickly but you seem convicted in your every action so I’m not sure I could change your mind if I tried. Sometimes I am negative, I’m not a stranger to manipulation but my biggest fault must be that you only felt or saw those things when you looked in my eyes.
I’m glad our paths met, even for a brief moment. I haven’t stopped writing since we said goodbye. Just a taste of your kiss, inhaling your breath seemed enough to inspire me. I know that feeling is rare, so I regret to say goodbye so soon.
(1) Reader Comment
April 24, 2017
April 21, 2017
April 06, 2017
Judging a creative writing contest is to pretend authority and, even m
Anita! I know someone who wants to work in Chile but as electrician. D
I really enjoyed this story. It made me think about my own predisposit
Thank you, Scott.
I have been living in Santiago for about one year and I can confirm th