Lazarus Kiss.01

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

kiss

*1 Saturday*

Harris felt her eyes on him as he dabbed at the sauce from the pulled pork sandwich that had dripped onto his Aquaman tee-shirt before it spread to his hoodie. He loved eating on the subway but hated people watching him. He looked in her direction and she glanced away. His feet felt trapped in the new shoes he was breaking in. Trapped and hot.

He washed the sandwich down with the last of his mango peanut buster smoothie as the train pulled into his station. After the two Sapporos and three raw ginger vodka shooters he’d had not too long ago he was a bit unsteady when he got to the doors as they opened up. He tossed the empty cup and napkins into the garabge bin before he walked up the Greendale south exit stairs.

After a bitch of a day at work he wanted to be home with his eyes closed. He fixed his ponytail back in its elastic. So this is what his M.A., with honors, in syntactic analysis of modern linguistics, had done for him, slogging away on a Saturday, engaged in computer graphic tweaking for a sex-toy e.tailer – Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe. Oh, yes, that and proofreading their Christmas catalogue in the heat of August.

“Excuse me, is Saint Anne’s Community Hall around here?” The woman who had been watching him eat stopped him on the street outside the subway exit.

“I think so.”

“This may sound silly but it’s my wedding rehearsal and I don’t even know my way to the hall. My future mother-in-law took care of all the arrangements.”

Harris laughed. “Get me to the wedding on time.”

“Exactly.”

“But I don’t know exactly where it is. I only know it’s around here somewhere. I’ll map-nify it.” He took out his cell and pulled up a map of the neighborhood. “You should have taken the Dewar exit. Two blocks east. Go down Armor a block and you’ll be there.”

“Thanks.” She squeezed his arm. “Thank you.” She held his gaze. “I have time to kill before I have to be there. Maybe you’d like to have a drink with me? It’ll help settle my nerves.”

“No, thanks.” Her eyes that reminded him of Laura. Not a bad memory but he’d stopped trying to replace her long ago. A rush of heart-burn made it hard for him to breathe. He began to walk away.

“Excuse me.” A man brushed between them as he hurried past.

“I’ve known Dave since high school.”  She followed him. “Like ten years now. Some people don’t believe we’ve never ever done it. You know how hard it is to stay a virgin. Yes, I’m a virgin … Can’t you tell? It’s not that I’m afraid of sex or anything or even that I was saving myself, but it just worked out that way.”

“I see.” Harris stopped a few yards from the subway exit and turned to face her. After this outburst of too much information he was afraid she might follow him home. “You don’t want to be late for that rehearsal.”

“Are you married?”

“No. But you are going to be soon.” He was about to say ‘please leave me alone lady,’ when she caught his eye again. A nice round face, pert nose, not too much make-up, skin so pale her long red hair shimmered in the light. Yes, she did look like a virgin. Yes, she did resemble Laura. The pale skin.

“Don’t you find me attractive?”

She was so much type he almost gave in. Her light vanilla perfume was inviting. But his sheets hadn’t been changed in two weeks. He wasn’t looking for a new Laura either. One had been enough.

“It’s not that. It’s …” His heart-burn was spreading. He wanted to get home. Period.

“Please.” She grabbed at his coat sleeve, but he pulled away. “There’s must be a bar nearby.”

“No, I have …”

It was as if she’s recently had a few and was under a sort of spell. He’d seen this glazed look way too many times, like the way a mind can change from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ after a few drinks. It was the drinks talking and not the person. Each time it happened he couldn’t remember how he’d gotten out of it the last time.

“It’s just a drink. I’ll pay.” She pulled a credit card out her purse. “I’m not …”

“No. Not tonight.” He felt a sharp pain across his chest. He shouldn’t have eaten his pulled pork as fast. On top of which his bladder was calling him home.

“Later tonight?” She got out her cell phone. “I can call you after the wedding rehearsal.”

“No.”

“Here’s my cell number. You can call me around ten.” She wrote the number on a piece of paper and pushed it into his hoodie pocket. “Even if we aren’t done I’ll leave. Dave  won’t mind. I’ll tell him I’m not feeling well. That …. his mother is making me sick. He’ll understand.”

“No.” He started to walk away again.

“I’m not like this usually. I want you to know that.”

“Whatever.”

“Then maybe …”

“No. Get going or you’ll be late, won’t you?” Harris didn’t know what else to say.  As much as hewanted to say “Yes” this circumstance was too awkward.

She walked away and he wanted to change his mind. The will power not to call out made him dizzy for a moment. No, wasn’t as undemanding as he had expected.

His heart-burn had dissapated by the time he stepped off the elevator. In his apartment he yanked off his shoes, peeled away his socks then shrugged off his jacket. He felt the paper she had pushed into his pocket and took it out. She’d written her number on a wedding invitation. There was even a map to St. Anne’s printed on the back. He put it into the recycle bin.

He was about to hit Mamma Pazzoni and Son Pizza on speed dial when his cell rang. Had he given the bride-to-be his number? It wouldn’t be the first time he’d given his number to a woman who called and he had no recollection of her.

“Harris?”
“Hi Mom.”

“See you in the morning?”

“Unless I have a sleep over date tonight.”

“Then we’ll see you at the usual time.” she laughed.

“Right.”

Then he called Mamma for his order.

“The usual, Mr. Stevens?” the clerk asked.

“Oh yeah.”

How cool was that, to have your pizza delivery know what you want without having to ask. Sweet.

*2*

Frances was rooting in her bag to make sure she had the map to the hall where her wedding rehearsal was being held. Yes, there it was. Married. She couldn’t wait. Mrs. Frances Pazzoni. Mrs. David Pazzoni. It was the only thing that got her through the cancer treatments. The thought that she’d be well enough to walk down the aisle with David. The dress his mother had helped her pick out was beautiful. She’d be a princess.

She put the invitation back in the her bag. The subway stopped. Three more stops to Greendale. A young man got on and sat opposite her. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. The way he was enjoying his messy sandwich made her want to try it and then wipe up the sauce that dripped through his fingers and onto his tee-shirt. The man had on a colorful tee-shirt and excellent shoes. You could always trust the shoes. He had long brown hair that would probably be curly if he let it out of that pony tail. She liked curly hair. Dave always kept his hair too short. Picked that up in prison. Less hair to be grabbed, he said.

She blushed and looked away when he glanced up at her.

They pulled into Greendale station. He got up a little unsteady and she followed him off the car. Followed him up what she knew was the wrong exit. She had to talk to him but what could she say?

“Excuse me is Saint Anne’s Community Hall around here?”

“I think so.”

Their eyes met and she was captivated by the deep blue of them contrasted with his brown hair. She couldn’t remember if she had ever seen such brown hair before. He needed a shave too. Such a chin.

“This may sound silly,” she said.  “But it’s my wedding rehearsal and I don’t even know my way to the hall. My future mother-in-law took care of all the arrangements.”

“Get me to the wedding on time.” He laughed.

“Exactly.” Right, she was on her way to a wedding rehearsal. How could she have forgotten? It was his eyes. His shoulders.

“But I don’t know exactly where it is I only know it’s around here somewhere. I’ll map-nify it.” He took out his cell and pulled up a map of the neighbor hood. “ You should have taken the Dewar exit. Two blocks east. Go down Armor a block and you’ll be there.”

“Thanks.” She squeezed his arm. “Thank you.” She held his gaze. “I have time to kill before I have to be there. Maybe you’d like to have a drink with me? It’ll help settle my nerves.”

She didn’t have any time to kill before the rehearsal but why not take this chance. Be a little daring. All those months in the hospital hadn’t given her time to be daring. The chemo. Dave hovering over her with his worried sorrowful eyes. Eyes that never had this much life. Life the way this man’s had. Such shoulders, too. She had to have a few more minutes of his time.

“No, thanks.” he began to walk away from her.

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

snow02

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

http://nanowrimo.org/

This work is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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