Lounging across the length of my double bed, feet resting on my newly installed pine bookshelves. I rest the phone between shoulder and ear and examine my nails as I absentmindedly pull the spine of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle out from it’s line with my toe and then push it back in again. We have graduated from written to spoken word; merging these two worlds slowly. I climb the dusty dirt roads of your voice further and further down the line with the hope of reaching you finally, pavement stained and trembling. To reach you, at all.
“Are you still there?”
I close my eyes against the light and focus on your words. You are only the second man to have ever read to me and there is a safety here in the rise and fall of your voice; the pause for breath; the occasional swallow. A moth beats its wings helplessly against the window pane drawn to my cocoon. I am swollen with happiness and want to let it in.
It’s like waking from a dream. I feel uneasy and off-balance all day. How can I feel betrayed when there is nothing to betray? But, there is. He let the world in, I think. Our private little utopia unprepared and exposed to the elements. The discovery of my own soft underbelly. I am vulnerable, after all.
“Miss? Your Latte?”
I take it and walk out into the rain, door jingling behind me. I realize half way home and only after the cup is nearing empty that I hadn’t actually ordered a Latte.
I thought I was tougher than this but you are several layers deep, underneath my skin. I want to avoid you but I can’t ignore the buzzing in my ear. There is a whisper of wings against my neck; a gray shape in the corner of my eye.
“Goddamn moth,” I mutter.
I swat it away but it nimbly dodges my heavy hand. I follow it with my eyes and clap! clap! clap! Miss it again. I feel like hurting something and the moth won’t die so: I log in.