Indirectly

I am thinking about you, you beside me on the grass, the roughness of it sticking straight into our bare arms.

“It is warm,” I said.

“Yes,” you said.

“The other day while sitting on the grass skyping with Carlotta, my phone overheated. The screen said ‘Cool me off!’”

“Sassy phone.”

“Want to get up now?” I was worried. We wouldn’t get a warning when things were getting dangerous.

I am thinking about you, you on the chair next to the chair I scooted beside it. Your blanket– that thing you carry everywhere, a puzzle to me– wrapped around your shoulders until you extended it to me and it fell to the bend of your elbow. You didn’t pick it up. I wondered if you were cold, and noted the change from last time, when you sat outside in the setting sun beside me and did not offer me your blanket. “Aren’t you going to share that with me?” I’d said.

You unraveled yourself to place some on my thighs. You didn’t speak for several minutes.

“Are you mad that you are sharing your blanket?” I asked.

“No, did I look it?”

I am thinking about you, you sitting so coolly with your mirror glasses on. Your wide-armed tank top and new shorts. How naturally LA you looked.  “Do you like my shorts though?”

I choked on my cigarette smoke.

“You finally inhaled?” you smiled.

“Had I not been inhaling?” I asked.

I am thinking about you in bed. The story you told me, a story of you, a story of us. I asked you to tell me a happy story because I was frightened. “That was good,” I said, when you had finished. “I feel better now. I’m gonna go pee.” I hopped out of bed.

“Tell me a story,” you said, when I returned.

I took a deep breath.

“If you want,” you said. “You don’t have to.”

I took a deep breath.

“Forget it, never mind,” you said. You were not angry, just frightened by the thought of frightening me.

“I’ll tell you a story,” I said, “but I don’t know how it ends.”

I told you a story of me. I told you a story of us. It got to be that I just felt like I was talking in third person, but it was a great escape. I said, “And the thing she was afraid to tell him– the thing she still doesn’t want to tell him–” I hesitated and we went in a loop instead.

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