Some of these are true.
A girl behind glass. She thinks she’s alone.
She fixes her makeup, adjusts a hair fallen out of place. A moment of personal innocence in the red glare of an amsterdam street.
She looks up to catch me watching. Eyes meet. She reddens, not from the red light of her street and profession, but simple blush, caught with the mask askew.
I smile at her, and she returns the favor, and we are two people in a street, not hooker and john.
I feel my heart beat as I walk away. Her face locked forever in my mind.
She tells a story in her thick scottish accent. Something about a dish I think we’d call hash back home. But it doesn’t mattter what she’s saying.
She cooks, waits tables on this small private train. As she tells me her story, she brushes hair from her forehead, wipes sweat from her brow. Her blouse is sleeveless, and her arm pits are lightly fuzzed with soft, soft golden hair.
I remember her voice as she said It’s nice. The glow of her pale scottish skin. The soft, tawny gold of her hair.
I wish I could remember her name.
She wants to make a left turn in front of me, and I slow, beckon her to go. She looks at me, across the impossible gulf, two wind shields and a few yards, and smiles. She smiles not like one driver thanking another, but like sunshine, like an invitation. I wave to her as she turns, and she leans my way, and blows me a kiss.
I watch her honda in my rear-view mirror. I want to make a U-turn, but I do not.
She dances next to me at a concert. We’re at the stage, the music ear-splittingly, blisteringly loud. We’re not together, yet dancing, leaping, cheering, we’re in each other’s space.
She’s smoking, and at one point my windmilling arm meets her lighted smoke.
The pain is nothing – in the drunken, sweat-slick frenzy, I barely feel it. But she sees, and kisses my arm, and shares her beer with me, and we dance the next few songs.
The show ends, and we hug, and we kiss, and then she is gone, her date confused and asking her some question my abused ears cannot hear.
I taste her sweat on my lips as I walk away.
A bar in a gray and average hotel in a gray and average city. She runs the bar, and stocks the most amazing collection of caribbean rums I’ve ever seen.
I order, and she fills my glass, and we talk about rum, and she tells me her dream of a sailboat; she’ll write a book some day. Just the two of us there, no one else.
Her hair is short; she’s tall. My senses tell me she’s a lesbian, but when we talk she looks into my eyes, and my heart and groin say, maybe not, or maybe not tonight.
I drink too much rum, just to be near her, and promise to come back and see her again; but my flight plans are changed.
I hope today she’s on that sailboat, writing that book. And some day, in some sunny port, I’ll run into her and we’ll share her latest discovery, and I’ll ask her if my heart once again told me lies.
Her dress is green. Velvet. She speaks in a soft southern accent; I’m not good enough to know where she’s from.
A bar far beyond my price range, in a city where thinking about a drink costs you twice what actually getting it would cost back home.
I order the most expensive brandy they have. I’ve no idea why. But it seems a night for such things. I sip my drink, and as I watch her bare shoulders and the fit of her dress on her hips, I’d pay twice.
I want to hear her say my name.
We talk about her tattoo design, as she waits for the artist to finish piece. Some strange primitive pattern. It doesn’t make sense to me on paper, but she slips her shirt down off her shoulder to show me where it will go, and I want to taste that shoulder.
Later, when the artist places the design, it makes sense; a shoulder so perfect, a design that fits. It looks like it belongs there, and more than ever as the needle bites into flesh and the droplets of blood ooze through the ink, I want to taste that shoulder.