los angeles lately :: through the trapdoor :: version iii
First, because we are girls,
and then through a trap door.
Down some stairs into a darkened room.
Second, because of a boy.
I spot his face and pretend to not see him. Not for the sake of a game, but because suddenly I can’t feel my legs. And insecurity is a real thing, especially in a city filled with some of the world’s most “beautiful” women.
I'm not one to walk into a room wanting to please or persuade.
I am who I am, and that's what people get.
Yet. The ground seems to move beneath me,
and suddenly there he is and I have nowhere else to be.
I stand there as myself -- it's as honest as I can be.
Even when I eventually use my 2% and lie.
The bar is warm as I lean into it. Asking for a whiskey. Always whiskey. I let my mind wander to faces other than his. I don’t know what he means in that moment, and I don’t need him to know that. I don’t need him to know that it can mean nothing at all. I don’t need to reveal a lack of expectations, contrasted by a depth of curiosity.
But men have a habit of assuming a woman’s thoughts to be in their favor. And flattery is an ugly trait. I try against my entire natural instinct not to speak my mind.
But he asks about my thoughts not once, not even just twice.
I press the edge of my finger up the curve of his back. In that moment he becomes a tangible human being. Solid. Perhaps good. He reaches his hand to mine and my breath is struck out of me. Like a magnetic flicker.
And I wonder how one simple human touch, a hand to a hand, is so much like holding the cosmos in a palm.
The music is loud in my ears, filling them to capacity like the glass he gives me as I take away my hand from the valley of his back to another pool of whiskey.
I’ve stolen glances of his face throughout past days, even though he isn’t mine. Curiosity deepening itself in the back of my mind where I hoard faces of those who I can’t quite figure out – the ones who hurt me, the ones I don’t wish to flatter, the ones whose mouths I’d like to taste if only once.
I steal another glance – this is the one that pulls the trigger.
A trigger I didn’t think would ever be mine to pull, but there it is.
With the swaying view of a crooked bar, filled with crooked people; a wooden wall to lean my body against, a pair of lips to lean against another pair.
He said he reads all of my words, and I call it bullshit because I am not a stupid girl.
He says other things, too, and I can’t get out the questions I wish to ask. God, how many questions I want to ask in the secrecy of just two. The ones that are best in the middle of the night or early in the morning. I have one hundred of them, and more. And that’s the only thing I will kick myself over. Not asking, and not knowing.
First, because we are girls,
and also because I had to see for myself if just once.
Then, through a trapdoor.
A night should always have a trapdoor –
Through the rabbit hole and right into the arms belonging to a handsome face, and a quiet voice that’s like a song that only you or I can hear, even if just once.
I press my face firmly to his, and I wish for time to slow or stop. I wish for one more time.