Thursday, June 12, 2008

There's a Stranger in My Bed

As he arrived, I smiled. He had suffered half an hour of traveling time, without food and cigarettes since lunch. He parked the car, reached for me and smiled. We walked hand in hand to my sacred place as though we always had, always would.

He moved slowly through the house as though trying to recognize something. He stood next to the door for a very long time. Faded blue jeans, white long sleeve shirt with black stripes untuck, I said to him, "You look like a movie star.." He liked that. I've set our places on the low table in front of the living-room. I handed him a glass of red wine, and we sat on the sofa. He liked that too. And so I had dinner with a stranger.

We're comfortable, uncomfortable. We smile more than we talk. We drank the heel of the red wine. He stood up, held his hand out and I placed mine on his. We walked slowly to my room. He sat next to me, looks me full face, then gently turns my face a bit to the right, holding my chin in his hand. "I'd like to go with you to your bed.." He pronounced those words slowly, clearly, as though he's practiced them.

When he sleeps it's with his cheek against my shoulder, an arm anchoring my waist. I lay awake, stroking his hair. There's a stranger in my bed, I said almost audibly. I press my mouth to the top of his head and remember the first time I met him. Here he sleeps next to me, though a stranger with long, skinny legs. But now I must sleep, too. I never thought I'd be heading for these honeyed arms, I think as I press closer to the stranger...

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