Thursday, March 6, 2014

TTU

I leaned down to kiss her and she brushed her oceanic bangs (fringe, hairline, forehead coverings, whatever) away and looked up at me --just her pupils moved. Her eye brows twitched and this was the moment we shared, her blue eyes and my grey, and then I kissed her exposed forehead.

Staring at the TV she shouted, "Thanks for cooking dinner." while I washed and put away the dishes.

She was pregnant. Our apartment was always warm, up on the third floor. Our balcony overlooked the guest parking lot. Our cats crashed about: into the kitchen, out again.

We sat and held hands for a minute before it got uncomfortable for her wrist, so she said, and then she was tired and it was "late."

We traded goodbyes like pairs of twos and threes. I sat for a moment. I sighed. I stood up and got the laundry, folded it neatly and put it all back into a different basket.

I walked into the bathroom and stared at the mirror. Tired, cloudy eyes stared at me, a half grin poking through my beard. I rubbed my hands together. I decided to go for a walk.

Barefoot, the sidewalk was still warm against the soles of my feet, rough. The boughs of the trees whispered softly back at the breeze, and hands in my pockets, I smiled and whispered, too. Words like string, knit like memory blanket.

I stopped on a street corner and watched a car speed by --tinted windshield, huge rims, booming bass. A bottle dropped and shattered in the middle of the street, the shards sparkling across the concrete.

I crossed the street carefully, heel toe, heel toe. Ahead, under another halogen intersection street lamp two people talked, the smaller had a cigarette.

I quickened my pace, the larger one was too close, yelling indistinctly, slurred. The smaller person shrank away, bumped into the lamppost, and I ran: toes heel, toes heel, toes heel. Ten feet from the couple, I announced my presence with the slap of my feet against the ground as I slowed, soles singing, and