Do you see me?

“This is basically like a menu for people.”

She wasn’t wrong.  Dating had become a strange phenomenon.  There wasn’t any spark or meet cute involved anymore.  Now it was similar to the way a couple picks a sperm donor or, as Melody said, the way a person picks their food off of a menu.

“Yeah, but Mel, attraction plays a role things anyway right?  I mean, come on, when you’re seeing someone from across the room, as all the songs say, you’re only noticing them because of their looks right?  So, here you are.  Seeing someone from across the city.”

“Not the same,” she was still a romantic.

“Of course it is,” I wasn’t.

She shook her head in response, “no it isn’t.  Not even close.  You can’t get that feeling from a picture of a person you’ve never known before.  Someone you’ve never seen before.  It’s not the same.”

“Fine, tell me why then.”

She turned towards me with her hands in front of her.  They were pointing at me like arrows and she was attacking my assumption that online dating and meeting someone in the real world for the first time are the same.  She was riding her horse and she was going to die on it in battle.

“So many reasons!”

“Such as?”

“Pictures lie, for starters.  Its a snapshot of a person.  They might be pretty but what if they have a terrible voice.  What if they walk funny.  What if they smell bad?”

I laughed, “so you’re reason why online dating isn’t as good is even more superficial than online dating?  Wow Mel.  Wow.”

“No!”  She laughed and pushed me, “it’s the reality.  The reality of all of your senses telling you that someone is the one.  Or, potentially.  You can watch the way they interact with other people.  You can see the way their smile slowly creeps across their face.  The sound of their laugh, a genuine laugh, when someone says something funny.”

She stopped for a second and dropped her eyes from my face and looked at her shoes.

“The way your body trembles the first time they brush up against you in the slightest way and you catch the scent of them whether its cologne or the soap they use or just their natural smell.”

She paused again and fidgeted.

“You remember those things.  They mean something.  They develop in your head and fester until you become obsessed with them.  You make up fake conversations that you have with them about the first time you noticed them and you pretend they noticed you for the first time then too.  It’s a story you create in your head because the reality is they don’t know you exist and you’re too afraid they won’t care when they find out you do.”

Melody wiped her eyes and sniffled then picked her head up and smiled at me.

“Why would you want to deprive yourself of that by meeting someone online, huh?  Isn’t it grand?  Doesn’t it sound wonderful?”

She tried to laugh it off and turn to the computer.  She clicked through a few profiles.  She found someone who looked nice.  He wasn’t too attractive but he wasn’t someone who spent most of their life in dark hallways either.

“He’ll do I guess.”

“I guess?”  I looked at her with my forehead making all kinds of squiggly lines.

“Yeah I don’t know.  He seems nice.”

“Mel, you don’t want someone who seems nice.  You want someone who seems amazing.  You want-,” I stopped this time.  She picked her head up and looked me in the eyes with tears floating on the brink of escape and I stopped talking just to stare at her.

You don’t always remember the moment you really noticed someone.  You always knew them and who they were and you looked at them hundreds, if not thousands of time, but you never can remember the moment when you first noticed something specific about them.  Like the way they smile or the motion they wave their hand in when they pull their hair behind their ear.

Right then I noticed the way she looked at me with her teary, reddened eyes and I looked back at her and my mind spoke up out of turn and asked if I had ever noticed how beautiful she was when she cried.

I shook my head.  I couldn’t answer.  I couldn’t say out loud that I hadn’t and talk to myself like a psycho, but I did notice.  I saw her looking at me and staring into my eyes and she was so beautiful that I wanted to kiss her.

I didn’t though.  I couldn’t.  I didn’t even know what that was.  Why was I looking at her like that after all of these years of knowing her?  It didn’t make sense.

I shook my head and mumbled something.  She turned away and we decided that online dating would have to wait.  We went out for ice cream instead and sat on a bench until the sun fell and the moon splashed stars across the sky.  We talked and laughed and sat in silence.  It was one of the best days of that summer and I’ll never forget it.  It was the day that I realized I liked her.  It was the day when I truly understood what she meant about online dating.  It was the day I saw how beautiful she was when she cried and when I vowed to never see her cry again.

New eyes

Looking at yourself

through the eyes

of someone new

is sometimes

exactly

what you need

when old eyes

only see

what they’ve wrought.

Red Eyes

I miss disposable cameras.  Nowadays everyone has a cellphone that takes perfect pictures every time.  There’s no quirk to them.  A snapshot in time to file away.  Too perfect to be any good.  Not like the old disposable cameras.

My favorite picture of you was taken with one of those cameras.  You were sitting on the couch in, what was it?  It wasn’t a night gown, you’re too young for one of those.  Only old matronly women wear those, not you.  It was like a long t-shirt.  It was made long, just long enough to not be long enough.

You were sitting on the couch in that long t-shirt.  It had ridden up your thighs though and was showing every inch of every part of your leg that existed.  Damn you’ve got some long legs.  Perfect legs.  I worshiped those legs.

You were laying on the couch with your legs pulled up and all of your skin was showing from underneath that shirt.  The flash caught your blue eyes and made your eyes red.  Your blonde hair was messy and it looked the best it ever had, even more than when you spent hours on it.  But I mostly remember those red eyes.  The way you stared into my soul through those red eyes.

I still have a roll of film of you and I together that I haven’t developed yet.  I hope to see some of those red eyes when I finally do.

I’m stuck

I wish the way you used to look at me was a drug I could overdose on, then I could get lost in the only world I want to be a part of.  The world where your stare was the reason my body could move.  The world where your lips was the reason I could breathe.  The world where you were the reason I lived lives and spoke words.

I wish I could over dose into your stare and never come back.  Don’t ever keep your eyes from me, the withdrawal could destroy me.

Love, sex & your look under moonlight

Your eyes have an orbit.  They’re heavy in gravity and darkness, and your lashes are bridges to the vastness of space.  I’m lost and I don’t want to be found.

Your stares feel warm like the sun.  When it’s gone though it haunts me.  A still picture of you in silence as you look me in the eyes and hold my gaze before turning away.  I can’t tell if a smile dripped from the corner of your lips or not.  It was probably just a memory being re-purposed.

You’re a 70’s girl with a 90’s past.  Your thick eyelashes and dark stares get me high.  I can’t say no, even if I wanted to.

Whenever I hear you I remember how to love someone I almost loved.  I can smirk at the absurdity of love as well and the audacity to look for it.  The spirits in your voice stir up the ghosts and they hold a glass in each other’s honor.  Everyone’s invited.  Past, present and future.

“Do you want to get some coffee?”

“I’m not really into coffee.”

I know that wasn’t the point of you asking, to go out for coffee, but I always felt the need to say it.  I didn’t like coffee.  It was almost a badge of honor in some cases.  Everyone around me gulping it down like fuel at the gas station.  Sloshing the troughs of cream and milk as stir sticks lay wasted on the counter.  Not me.  I’m good.

I’ve always had a natural state of alertness and didn’t feel the need for a morning pick me up.  Of course it comes and goes, and of course I could probably use some kind of pick me up, but I always felt that if I succumbed to the coffee bean devils then I’d become reliant on them.  I’d be a walking Starbucks zombie.

You were staring at me with a perplexed look on your face.  Shit, I did it again.

“Well I mean, like, I don’t really like coffee, but of course we can do something else.  If you want.  If you want coffee we can go get coffee, or like I don’t know, something.  I mean, I could get something.  I’m sure-, well like they have other stuff.  Did you want coffee?  We can do whatever.  It’s-, I’m-, like whatever you want.”

There, that ought to fix it.  Jesus.

She raised her eyebrow at me and stared for a decade or two.  Her lips were together and still.  She had the biggest, rounded eyes I had ever seen.  I believe people often described them as saucers, big and bright and a perfect circle.  While I’m staring back into her stare all I can think of is the moon and if it had a twin that lived alongside it.  Two giant celestial circles floating in the sky staring at me through a blanket of night black hair.

“You can get whatever you want.  You don’t need to get coffee.  It was just a front to talk.  Geez, calm down,” she hardened her stare enough that it was obviously in jest.

“Calm down?  I’ll definitely pass on the coffee then,” I smiled in response.

“Yeah, because you don’t drink it right?  You’re not really into it.  I heard that somewhere,” she said while turning to walk away.

“I can stand it in the right company.”

I followed the moon for coffee as it faded below the horizon.

Little Reminders

The rain.  Whenever it rains and I’m caught in the downpour so much that my hair is drenched and my clothes are soaked through.  And when I finally reach cover and pant from sprinting I can feel the drops of rain run along my forearm, the way your fingers used to before you clasped them in mine and then kissed me.

The night.  It swallowed us like the whale and we sat inside it’s belly on our raft.  Your limbs dangled over toying with the water.  I sat and stared at you as you stared back at me.  The emptiness, when it was only us that were alive and our words were the only ones that were spoken.

Books.  To associate a girl with a book is high praise.  To associate her with all of them is worship.  I can feel you when I’m holding one in my hand.  The way your finger ran down it’s crease made me wish I had pages.  I wanted you to hold me as tightly as you gripped your books.

A mirror.  Your bathroom mirror and your reflection.  Steam splattered across it, covering the parts I desperately wanted and leaving a hazed view of the rest.  Your eyes looking at me through the mirror as I replied with mine.  Your hips pressed into the vanity.  Mine into you.  Our reflection of anticipation.

A desk.  The shape of the L and how we would bend the wrong way along it.  Off of it.  On it.  Across it.  Against it.  Under it.  It knew more about us than any other piece of furniture we owned.  It knew our secrets and only told them when shifting awkwardly towards the wall.

Writing words.  They were all for you.  Every word I wrote was because of the look on your face when you read them.  The tears in your eyes.  The lust on your lips.  The weight of your kiss.  The smile that was spread.  I would write for an eternity if it meant I could keep your eyes on me for every moment.  To be able to look up and see you would keep me focused for all lifetimes.

You are everywhere, and you always will be.

Insta-girl

I said your eyes were blue, but they’re green.  It’s hard to tell from pictures, but I guess that damn Elton John stuff matters sometimes.  No excuses though.

Your eye lashes looked amazing though, until you laughed and said that was a filter.  A filter?  Fuck.  At least I didn’t compliment the dog ears or the way your eyes sprayed sparkles whenever you blinked.

I wished we could have been one of those couples that saves each other’s picture as the home or lock screen on their phone.  I think it’s sweet.  I would have defended it to every neanderthal-bro that made whipping sounds.  My girl’s my girl and I don’t care what other people think.

The next time you take a selfie don’t use any filters.  I like the way your face looks naturally.  A normal picture with a smile, and those blue or green eyes.