I turned over as the sun eased in through the windows. It didn’t matter. I had been awake for hours. It was the nature of things. Perhaps it was a problem, constantly ripped away from sleep, but I never mustered up the energy to do something about it. If you don’t care to act on it, can it still be an issue? Looking down, through the shadows cast by the whatever tree limping outside, Marley had found a nice crawl space against my crotch to call home. It was warm enough as it is, in that lofted bed, my face two feet from the water-damaged ceiling. I reached up and touched it, reminded of the numerous times you cracked your skull on its rough edges: rolling up to get some water in the middle of the night, half rooted in your subconscious, propping up on elbows to push Marley away from our legs as we struggled to stake our own territory, coming up to exhale, looking at me as you released my cock from your lips. A chuckle always accompanied the dull thud.
There we were, on this flotilla, curled into a cotton canvas of 300-count indigo. A trio huddled in tight corners; we all had the same idea. Stay put.
The night before was less of a blur than I expected. The bartender tended bar, grazing fingers as he passed you a drink with a knowing smile. We all shared a laugh, a harmless imposition that stopped before it even began. You shrugged and mouthed “sorry” in silence, underneath the jukebox trills of the fourteenth top song of the nation. I shrugged and smirked in response. You brushed my hand as we walked back to our group of revelers, sipping Negronis through stirrers. Libations for a balmy evening. I glanced back at bartender there, back to his usual bag of tricks, a banter that disarmed the most cautious of patrons.
You danced, I watched. I considered joining you but something about seeing your shoulders under this cast red light, swaying – was best enjoyed from a distance, a compositional thrill. Molly slumped down next to me, a dull thud on the bench that was suspiciously reminiscent of the pews I squirmed on in a distant moment. What was the fourteenth top song then? I chuckled in my thoughts.
-Yeah, it’s been good. I’m trying not to care cause we’re both headed off to do other things for a bit.
- That doesn’t really matter. If it works out, it works out.
-I don’t function like that.
-I know. That’s why I’m telling you.
-Just let it happen. It it works out, it works out.
-You like him.
-Yeah. Yeah, I do.
- Then get up. Dance.
These hooligans, they started to salsa, rocking their hips, spinning in circles under garish magenta, teeth bared. It was a dogfight, contained, cyclical, each adversary anticipating the one to break the chain. Molly loved to clap, on beat, double time, half time, off beat. It was an action about action, not about sound or purpose, or purposefully defeating the purpose – or it was just clapping, evidence of exhilaration. The dogfight continued as I sat watching, squirming, a little intimidated perhaps. You and your contender accelerated, still locked in battle, dervishes, until magically, in tandem, you both swung into an out of breath heap on a floor glued together by ancient spills. A bellowing cackle ricocheted across the room. Everyone won tonight. You gazed into the lights as you gasped for air. The magenta made them brown, but bright, like polished stone. I took the remaining swig of a neglected, watered down Negroni. The melted ice left a sheet of condensation on my glass and indirectly, my hand. I wiped my left brow and cheek as you rose and sidled up against me.
A sharp intake of breath, roused, you glanced over your shoulder.
Eyes half wide, blurred, then shut, a slight smirk,
-Don’t yell at me.
I chuckled and hit the sheets with a dull thud. They swirled gently back into us.