I can’t really say what all happened between that time and the next time we saw each other. We chatted a few times on FB chat but as I believe I mentioned in a previous post, that was quite a bit before Facebook started saving chat messages. I can say honestly that I thought about what had happened every day until I saw him again. After all, 2 weeks isn’t exactly that long to go without seeing someone.
Is the poetry read really all that important when it comes to this? I considered the possibility of a skirt, but decided against it because my excuse to my mother was that I was staying the night at Ruben’s house to babysit. I wore a black and red checkered halter top/almost corset type shirt that tied behind the neck with a short sleeve black shirt underneath it so I wouldn’t look like I was showing too much. With that, I also wore a pair of light blue denim capris and my chucks sent to me by my dad as a birthday gift earlier in the year. It was July now and he would be leaving soon for an event held exclusively for poets which would have him gone for a few weeks.
He actually asked permission to sit next to me on the sofa in the café. I said yes, and he complimented a choker I was wearing. I tried not to blush and acted fairly casual as the poetry read commenced. He made fun of my love for My Chemical Romance, a band who I still support almost fully though they aren’t quite as good anymore without their drummer, Bob Bryar. Off on another subject though. Ruben and the other poets did their poetry; I remember reading a poem with a title to the extent of “I Don’t Love You”. I remember reading it and one of the poets who had hosted that particular read (a close friend of Ruben’s) looking over at him after I was done and jokingly saying “Yeah Ruben! She doesn’t love you!” I laughed just as Ruben laughed, but turned red and was unable to think of anything other than how horrifying it had been that he had said that. For a moment I almost thought that he and I were done for.
But alas, we weren’t and when the poetry read ended, we were once again left alone outside waiting for my mother who would never come. I remember the way the city looked; the bank across the street, where I would always look up and wonder what was going on in those offices, the bright lights all around that seemed to make the night look like a dimly lit day. I loved it; this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my career, the rest of my life…
Ruben took me to a park he knew of. It was on the side of the mountain. It was small, had two benches, and an iron fence up where the edge of a somewhat tall cliff stood. I looked down at the house below and imagined myself sitting or even leaning against this fence. I looked out at the city where the lights were like millions of tiny multi-colored (but mostly yellow) dots and wondered how my life in this city would be. I remembered Fritz once calling it a black hole that sucked you in if you weren’t careful. He told me to take my life and run the moment I had a chance because if I didn’t, I never would. There was no way someone could see the city in such a way. It had been what I had dreamed about spending my life in before I had ever actually moved there; it wasn’t too big, just big enough downtown to satisfy one’s ever changing interests, and most importantly, it was my home. Why would anyone want to give that up?
I was reflecting on this as I stared out into the lights, imaging myself being absorbed by them, blanketed in their warmth, their experience, the good and bad and whispering to Ruben how beautiful it was when he pulled me to him and asked to check out my choker. He gently brushed my hair back away from my neck and kissed it, making me sigh as he moved up higher to my mouth. When he kissed me, I took in an image of the two of us standing there in the middle of that tiny over-look park, the lights gleaming behind us. There was something about it that wasn’t simply thrilling, it was beautiful in my eyes, we were beautiful in my eyes. I never wanted to have to let go of that. There was nothing like it, and I must admit, I don’t think there ever really will be.
Ruben sat down on the concrete against the iron gate. “I’m going to be a dirty old man now. Come here little girl and sit in my lap.”
I laughed at him when he said this. But I sat in his lap and kissed him deeply. He tasted like coffee and cigarettes, a taste that was almost sweet to me. I looked at him, held his stubble-bearded face in my hand, ran my fingers through his black slicked back hair. I wanted the moment to last a lifetime. Sometimes in my mind, it did, there was nothing else but that moment. At other times, it almost never existed. I turned away from him as he gently unbuttoned my capris and slid his fingers down into them. He never put his fingers inside me necessarily, only moved them up and down gently, maybe wishful thinking….
He asked me to stand up so he could have a better look at me. “I love that you have your own little style going there.”
I remember the smell of the grass that day, and the way the night seemed to surround us, as if the day would never torment us again and we could stay in this moment forever. But neither of us was that lucky. I knew that what was happening here was wrong, but I didn’t care, I wanted Ruben, fully and affectionately I wanted nothing but him.
There was a slight warm breeze, and words hanging in the air that neither of us cared to notice, we were at peace and nothing at that moment could break it. But I suppose he decided that where we were was not the particular place he wanted to be, so we left. He took my hand; I slipped it out of his hand to adjust. It was odd. To me, holding hands is like a dance, the man should lead; so when I hold someone’s hand, I’m most comfortable with my thumb on the bottom. He wrinkled his brow, grinning at my awkward explanation, but he led me down the hill.
He walked along the sidewalk, talking and staring at the empty street. I remember once being out with friends in the middle of the night and laying out on the middle of the street probably because it was so full of danger yet so void of it all at once. Now, walking with Ruben, I got this same feeling, the feeling to lay out somewhere and connect my body with the road, give it my warmth, something slightly different from the day to day. I’m not sure if I voiced this awkward feeling to Ruben, but I wanted to lie there, or somewhere, anywhere really too just look up at the summer stars and think.
I was thinking about this when I heard him say “duck”. Now, because I knew there were quite a few people who actually owned ducks where we lived (not for any particular reason, I don’t think, after all, it was a pretty dry place), I said “where”. In turn, I was almost hit in the face with a branch. I blushed and laughed a little at this embarrassing moment, but otherwise brushed it off.
We arrived at another park, somewhat different from the one we had just left, a park with a children’s play area. There was a jungle gym in a sand box walled in with a 2 foot tall concrete ring around the entire area. I sat down on the concrete, one leg on either side and leaned back to look up at the sky. Ruben sat opposite to me. I remember looking at him and wishing more than anything that he would kiss me again. But he didn’t.
Instead, he talked to me, simply talked. He talked to me about his son, and about his odd living arrangement with his ex. Apparently, because we were in a recession, no one moved out upon their breakup, but one simply moved into a different room. But because I didn’t want to pry into his private affairs. After all, we had both agreed that what we were doing was simply just for fun, and because I didn’t want to lose what I had hoped would grow, I didn’t want to be angry with him. I wanted to believe that he was being perfectly honest with me. He told me about his son, and what it was like to have him, what it was like to be a father, and how hard he was trying to be there for him. I told him about my parents and how, even when there’s a parent who’s out of the picture, there’s always going to be a little bit of resentment for it, but that it always eventually fades once you begin to really understand your parents as well as yourself.
We ended up talking for well over an hour, but eventually realized we were off on a tangent and finally, he looked at me and asked how we even got on the subject we were on (which I, for one reason or another, have forgotten and would rather not take the time to attempt remembering) and he scooted closer to me. I scooted closer to him, and well, did exactly what I had wished he would’ve done earlier. I remember the fluttering in my heart, my stomach, everywhere that I had gotten when I kissed him, the feeling I wanted back again with an aching desire.
I pressed my body against his, slowly lifting my legs so that he was holding me in his lap, hugging him to me almost as if to push so close together that we’d become one. He pushed my face to the side with his and kissed my neck softly, barely touching my skin to his lips. Obviously he knew that if he left any marks on me, my parents would immediately know that I wasn’t out babysitting with him. But there was something else, something about the fact that he was just barely touching me that made me want him more, made me wish we could be more alone together, made me almost wish he would love me like he sometimes seemed to.
At one point he stopped and stared over at the jungle gym. Before I could ask what he was thinking, he picked me up and carried me over to it, placing me on it I was sitting on it and he was standing, still able to reach my face. I remember hearing him whisper “you know, I really like you”. He said that so many times that night… And I remember how it felt to hear him tell me that, it was almost as good as if he was actually saying he loved me. I felt like I could fly, like I was flying.
What I want more than anything here is to make you, my readers to understand how it felt to be in that position. It was more intense than anything I’d ever felt before in my life, this was the way he made me feel. I never wanted him to leave, and I was sure I wouldn’t be able to handle walking away from him.
He kissed my cheek and whispered to me to lean back. He kissed forehead, my neck, and I think you know where this is going. Ruben unbuttoned my capris, and I remember the feeling of his lips on my stomach, smoothly running down my body. This was our summer, my summer. I remember hearing him whisper to me about how sweet I was, how small… When he was done, he asked if I had ever done it in a park before, I said no. Then he told me he respected me too much to do that to me.
I remember trying so hard to stop him from taking me home, to make him stay with me for just a few more hours, a few more moments, anything to stop the night from ending. Orion’s constellation was glistening in the sky, and I looked up at it, remembering summers before this one, summers before when I had imagined being in love so intensely that I there was little to keep me from drifting off into the stars. This was that intense love.
I kissed him intensely before he left me, kissed him like I would never see him again. And as I watched his car fade into the dust, I called this love; I called this the greatest thing that could ever happen to both our lives…
You know, I think about these things now, and never forget what he said that night. “I respect you too much to do that to you…” No one had ever said something like that to me before. When he said that, I believed it with everything I had in me…
As he was leaving, I told myself that i would never forget this night, never let go of the time I spent with him, even if I moved to the other side of the world. I never wanted to let it go...