he and she #1
the temperature was such that it could be called cool or warm depending on the person. the green trees played host to a picnic in the big backyard. it was just the two of them sitting on the comforter that was not a picnic blanket ever before. he always seemed to like her more when she was mad.
“I am not like my mother.” she reached for the pack of camels. she pulled a cigarette halfway out, thought for a moment, and then pushed it back in. the cellophane wrapper and the pack itself was not sure- was it happy to receive the cigarette back, or did the pack feel useless? unwanted? it sat perplexed near the blanket in the grass.
he sat in the restaurant about an hour later, writing. the neat plastic flowers made him laugh as he tried to relate them to his own life- but then he noticed that he did not need to choose this- that he always chose the ugly and slapped a ‘hello my name is’ sticker with ‘ME’ written sloppily across it was a thick black magic marker.
A woman across the way in the restaurant spoke of the olympic basketball games- he looked over at their table, and without reservation and a bit of food in her mouth, the older woman asked, “do you know who won the game?” he realized that she was talking to him. it sparked a short and small conversation about another olympic hopeful who by someone’s evil miracle did not make the tryouts. another table joined in- just for a moment- and then they all went back to their own food and business. the boy loved it when strangers would talk- it made the world seem so much more actively welcoming. he wanted to say it, but he didn’t want to seem freaky. he had been trying to enjoy things instead of comment about them from the outside, even if the comment was genuinely positive.
he watched the cars go by outside on the highway and let one of them drive him home to his backyard to when he was with her.she said, with a cigarette finally in her mouth, that they hated each other when they were together. “we should just figure out which plans or circumstances give us problems, and avoid them.” he was shirtless on the fabric in the sun. she exhaled quickly to speak quickly. “that’s a cop-out.” she sniffled gently amidst her strong words. “you have to make things work in all situations.” he knew it was true. he said so. he stayed motionless on the grass.
he and she #2
“all these prophesies float around me like multicolored keys bouncing in the sky with tied-on strings.” he traced his name on the dusty dashboard of the car. he didn’t want to tell her that she held the opposite end of one of the strings. despite her proposed want for him to have everything, he knew she silently sang ‘be with me.’ it wasn’t always secret. she was pretty, but she was beautiful to him in a different way. she had a boyfriend anyhow, and would also be moving back to school soon. so what could he do but secretly love her back. she gave him everything he wanted in one word. freedom. the car turned into the driveway in the woods and they both got out. she went around back to find her boyfriend on the porch.
he and she #3
she rubbed lotion on her face in the mirror in the bathroom while he wrote in his journal in the connecting bedroom. she was now painting her nails on the bed. when she turned around on her knees to shut the window, he saw how nice her body was for the first time. he sipped his beer and wondered if he would tell his girlfriend if anything happened with anybody. yes, he did owe her that- but he needed to be with somebody. her swinging legs danced with the smoky air to the music coming through the speakers. the spandex shorts confirmed her shape. he took another sip of beer. he was so tired of his morality bashing down his masculine drives both day and night but mostly night. the next morning he would call himself lucky if fate kept her clothes on all night. he leaned back and licked his lips. he hoped she would think his lips were only dry, instead of dry and wanting.
they now sat in a room with other people. she did wait until now to talk about how she wanted a break from her boyfriend. yes, she too had an insignificant other.
“i think you should be able to pick your husband or wife on your deathbed,” another friend chimed. “it would be much easier. you would just look back on your life and go… my wife was: blank.”
he and she #4
the waterfall smashed against the rocks below. the lush green of the quiet palms caught the small drops which restored the sun’s gentle cracks. the roads that circle the site are practically flat with only small pebbles standing to obstruct he and there. from the road, the rush of water can easily be heard- the mud underneath the water hears perfectly the silence of the road. there is a young boy off in the distance his figure at first so faint, and then only faint. he is wearing cut-off blue jeans and has a towel around his neck.
a wind blows through- and a small cloud of dust paints pictures in the sweat on his sides. the boy ambles closer, and then off toward the refreshing shore.
far away in the city, she thought about him as her fingers softly circled his picture. a tear formed slowly and edged over to fall but never did.
he and she #5
the waitress practically dropped the sprite on the table and went back to the other side of the room. the two of them sat at a small round table with pens and paper. she ashed her cigarette and began to write a story. she did not know where to begin. he just wrote whatever. the lounge was filled with careless chatter. people hurried by outside. they had some time before their flight. every so often she would ask him how to spell something. it was charming that she was so knowledgeable but somehow couldn’t spell the word ‘lit.’ they were an interesting couple. once she told him that their relationship was not much more than eating, fucking, and talking about their past lives.
they traveled light. fully equipped with only their notebooks, their anger, their love, and their insight. he looked at his ticket and decided they had plenty more time to write. he took a drag of his cigarette, a sip of his drink, another drag, then went back to his writing.
they really hadn’t planned to go anywhere, but now, here they sat waiting for their plane. she wrote contently, but he felt that his story was simple and finished. he sat back in his chair and imagined the salty peanuts he would have in such a short time. he hoped he would get the window seat, but knew that if she said anything about it, he would let her have it without a fight.
he and she #6
in the flicker of the theater, his hand reached over to her knee and rested momentarily before sliding towards the edge of her mini-skirt. she slapped him with her right hand, and a few slippery kernels of popcorn bounced from the box she held in her left. the scene on the screen dragged on, and a cough shot up from the back of the large rectangular room. she told him ‘just as friends’ when she accepted his date offer with her fingers strangled in the jumbled phone cord. she knew that this would happen, but she thought that maybe- maybe- things would be different this time. as she crossed her legs carefully so as not to kick the seat in front of her, she realized that this would be the last time. he looked at her face- half soft amber and the other a gentle strobe of black and white. he nervously laughed, “i was only kidding.”
he and she #7
the big gate that usually waved them down the road to the beach was chained shut this time. the old links that looped through the yellow gate and around the yellow pole wanted to apologize; it was only doing its job. she shifted into reverse and turned the car around. he said he was tired, but that he wasn’t tired. she said the same thing. they went to the park neatly nestled in a forest and sat on swings. they went slowly back and forth at first, his hands gripping tightly the cool links. she put her fingers through her hair and inhaled deeply in perfect measure as she rose and fell again. he began to sweat as he burst towards the sky. he was so high. she could hear him breathing hard now- it only made her push harder. she let out a squeek of excitement- they let gravity swing them to a stop. they headed off to the merry-go-round, and never spoke about the swings again.
he and she #8
the elevator doors clumsily opened on the 6th floor. she stepped in and said hello to him. the doors shut, and the elevator began to ascend. she asked him to push ’12’ but stopped halfway through when she saw the circle that meant ‘floor 12’ had already been set aglow. they looked at each other and laughed.