by Marie Scampini
I tried to tell you but more important than that, I told our mutual friend, Courtney, politely and then less politely between two and thirty-nine times, this was not a good idea. First of all, you are too young for me. Young in every way. Too undamaged and unguarded. I didn't want to hurt you but that was the only way this could end. You see I only wanted to make Courtney happy. I would do anything for her. I followed her around as her puppy and that's just not me – except with her. I watched her hustle up money from that rich guy in Marina Del Rey for her art project – he solar system mural that somehow was going to be transported from her house on Courtney Street to somewhere no one knew. I wanted to become one of her favorite planets revolving around her.
She kept insisting I go out with you and I finally agreed, so reluctantly and under mostly silent protest, I thought this was some relationship that could be shared with Courtney. No, not a threesome. I could be in love with Courtney through you. That's what it was. I wanted Courtney and I couldn't say it out loud and she sure as hell couldn't say it. But I know chemistry and Courtney and I had it and you and I did not. She and I would just sit quietly in her backyard on her childhood swing set rusted and weary and just swing back and forth. Electricity beaming through us – two lightning bugs waiting for dark to light up the whole world. Unspoken boundaries holding us in place. All we could do was talk about you. You were safe conversation and she simply wore me down. Collective collusion ensued.
So we went out. You picked me up in your white jalopy that looked like a used ice cream truck but was really an old post office mail delivery truck.
Off to a little hut of a restaurant with the hummus and soy burgers I just couldn't finish. How wonderful that you're a vegetarian and I'm working on it. I'm still a pescatarian and a turkeytarian but I want to learn everything about all the foods you eat since you're so healthy and so sweet, I was hoping this could work out somehow.
By the end of the evening, I really liked you and admired all of your sweetness and light – the force that was taking you forward. At my door, I gave you a small kiss, a thank-you kiss, a please-don't-want-to-see-me-again kiss and you returned it with the passion of a first love. I lost my balance and my mind. I should've told you I was addicted to kissing, all day all night and every inch of someone. I guess I simply poured all my passion for Courtney into you so you were kissing Courtney and so was I.
Then the decision. You told me you wanted to give me a massage, that was part of your training. You didn't want to have sex because then where would it be left since you were leaving in two days for the kibbutz in Israel. Who in their right mind or their wrong mind is going to turn down a massage by a real massage therapist-in-training?! Not me. So I invited you in and through my clothes you sat on top of me and massaged my fingers and then my arms and by the time you reached my back, I turned and kissed you beyond belief.
I tore off your clothes and had to have you inside me. I'm selfish that way. You were more hesitant but not for long. Your skin was so hot and sweet I began to believe my lie. We laid there in each other's sweat melting away into a dream. But I never saw you again. The dozens of phone calls only ended when I moved away. Changed my phone number. Courtney's pleas for me to call you went unanswered. I could never see her again either. I lost everything. All I can say is I'm so sorry. Does it help that I'm still destroyed? No, of course not. I am Pluto forever banished from the only galaxy that matters.
Marie Scampini is a published poet and playwright, currently writing 1775Poemsin1775Days, to save her life, every day, on the page, at least. She is also writing a poetry/fiction hybrid she calls “poetion” - a noir crime fiction revenge mystery entitled In the Key of Deadly aka Diamond Handcuffs & a Derringer. Her daily poems and stories can be read on Twitter @zoeandme.