He walked over the familiar old carpet with the stains to the familiar door aged and worn kicking it in the same spot to open it.
He didn’t have to pee, but needed to breathe and think. He knew better. Always had, but like the fly to the spider tempted fate.
Didn’t the worst of poisons intoxicate before you succumbed?
The mirror was dirty sand specked as the cold water ran. Age lines, cavernous and gaping or at least that’s how they loomed under the fluorescent lights.
What the heck was he doing. What was the attraction? Was it the lie? The game? The knowing of where it usually ended? Was it comfortable?
The music changed. 70’s.
He stepped out and she was at the juke box deep in concentration, one finger, with chipped nail polish running over the tracks.
“I love Rod Stewart”
Her blonde hair half covered her face. It was long, unbridled with no secrets hidden in the feathered tresses…
“Don’t say it.”
She turned and smiled.
“No, I wasn’t going to say it…”
She handed him a beer. Cold, hard, wet.
“Is that ok? I thought you’d like this”
He did. His mind might not, but every nerve and inch of his body did. He could kid himself, but when you’re this close to 50 who was he kidding as they approached his building?
“So you like wine better?”
She took her glass and zoomed to the music collection reliving god knows what parental memories she had from her traditional broken family memories…
“Can we listen to this album? I’ve never heard vinyl!”
She had these huge blue eyes. Hungry, searching, broken, defiant…..
The thing that attracted him to these messes was the fact that after living all these years and experiencing so much that it was hard to find new. All the songs were old; the tastes, the stories.
But for her so much was new. It was for all of them. It was all new until it stopped being new and there wasn’t anything left to share.
And then the wall. There were looks; comments made behind his back good and bad, but in the end it came down to those questions between night and day.
It always seemed to come down to two broken people searching for something in the darkness that could never really be found; a bandage that could never stop the wound from bleeding.
The pain might be dulled, but eventually it returned.
He didn’t kiss her that night. He didn’t touch her. She reached for him as he drove her home and he watched her feet splash through the water as the rain poured and the wipers slashed to clear his view.
He his it iPhone and the music flooded his car as he drove away into the night alone. A slight smile and pleasant memory creeping over him just as the sun started to creep into the horizon and somehow; deep down he knew everything was ok.
And that it would always would be until it was over.