Tale: Trapped in a Moment

In that bar with the back entrance, the one up the steps through the alley, we had our moment. I’d never had what I considered “a moment” before, but I’m quite sure what we had was just that.

Your eyes caught mine scanning the room. A jukebox played on random, and a game of pool filled the emptiness that hung in the air between changes. Until then, my eyes knew nothing more than how to meet and retreat...until they got caught in yours. I was easy prey, hooked with the first try. You drew me in slowly, inch by inch. I remember feeling my whole self tilt forward. Feet anchored,I broke, just before falling, head first, to the depths of the wells that were your pupils. 

I stood alone; my palms began to sweat. It got stuffy. Didn’t it? On any other day I’d make my move and head to the bar, order a vodka and sit, my back facing you, hoping at some point in the night one of us would build up a false confidence, enough to get names. But you moved first, snaking through the crowd, and pulled out a crisp dollar to feed the machine. You paid extra to have your song play next. I knew it was yours because it broke the upbeat buzz, made others shift in their seats. You looked my way, eyes with a smile and a nod. “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone…” And with that line, you had me there all night. 

I found you intoxicating, something I didn’t know any man to be capable of. I needed to get closer, to breathe you in. With a lean to the left, fondling a toothpick with your tongue, you stood intimidatingly so. That’s when I made up a trip to the restroom, so I could pass you. And I made up the group of people that were all around us in that moment, because I wanted a reason to brush up against you. And I know you turned to watch me walk by, because I felt the slightest warmth from your mouth reach the back of my neck.

With a trace of your cologne on my shirt, I had a two-minute fantasy in front of the mirror. The wisps of my hair curled from the heat and the glass was fogged with the moisture from my breath; I left it marked with the outline of my lips. I found my confidence, but two minutes too late: you were already gone.

I believe in everything but feelings that are real, which is why I no longer see myself in my reflection anymore, I see her. When the day comes, I put on the same pair of jeans, pin my hair up the same way and even have the last of my perfume on reserve for that same night each year, the 16th of March. I arrive around the same time I did that night, looking like I never left our moment. And I walk up to the jukebox and I play our song and touch the same buttons you touched, because it makes me feel close to you again. Then I wait. With my back turned, hoping this night will be the night I learn your name.

1 comment:

Wendy Irene said...

Loved this Jessie lynn! You totally had me sucked into the moment :) Happy St. Patty's Day!