Thursday, March 01, 2007

Yonge Line, painfully distracted.

Black male, with neat haircut and close-cropped beard, wearing a long black coat and oval glasses, steadying a leather computer carrying case between his Pumas. His eyes drift from the page every few words.

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (Signet)

Page 160:

He chuckled, when he saw the slow movement of her hand across her eyes and the line of bitterness in the set of her mouth, as if she were trying to wipe out the things against which she had fought such an exhausting, cheerless battle.

He can't stall any longer. His cab is outside and Doug and Randall have bid their guest goodbye. Over their heads he raises a hand to wave to the room once more. A sing song of Ta Tas ring him out the door and onto the porch. Adjusting his scarf, he casts a glance at the front window. He nods to the driver that he's coming, patting his pockets for his gloves. Maybe he forget them inside. Of course, they're in his pockets, he just needs to set the lie in motion so that when he goes back inside, makes his way around the room--Hi, it's me again--it won't seem suspicious. He isn't good on the fly. And, really, it's a waste of money to have the cab idle while he waits. Yes, he thinks, this is good. Feels real. He runs down the step and gives the driver a ten, apologizing, "Something's come up; I have to go back inside," applying an unneccesary urgency to his tone. The driver takes the money and rolls on without comment. See, the man thinks. This is why you need to practice.

He's standing in the street now, looking back at the house. Doug is holding court, mid story. They usually begin with a horny mishap, a dark room, a hole and some poppers, and almost always end with why he is so lucky to have found "this one here." Randall wraps his arms around his Doug's waist, chiming in on cue. "Oh, I think we all know who's the lucky one..."

Is it so wrong, he wonders. Is it so wrong, now that he's alone in the bedroom pretending to rummage through the coats for the gloves he hasn't lost, to wonder if he stays just a few minutes longer that the new stranger, catching his reflection with the man he came with, the one everyone thinks looks like that guy from the show, the one with the smoldering eyes, the cherubic mouth, and that godforsaken hairstyle, might suddenly, catching a trail of his cologne, follow it upstairs? It would be such a help; thank you. I've forgotten your name. Do you like that line of work? My family has a cottage on that lake. Oh, I thought you two came together.

He sits on the edge of the bed counting how long he can keep this up. The stairs outside the room creak. He stands. He sits. He can't be sitting. He stands. He holds an armful of coats to his chest. Would they keep their tongues apart until at least the third kiss? Would the party rage downstairs, the new stranger dragging his finger the length of his zipper? Was this love?

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