This Heat

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It was a warm day, almost November. The heat, a feverish tickle, was a strange sensation this late into Autumn. It waved off into sidewalks and distant landscapes, radiating like semi invisible trekkers. The longer I stared into this calefaction, the more definitive shapes I could make out. Almost like clouds. I could sit, a far distance away, hidden in the nook or cranny of a boxcar and see teachers and students walk through these sultry clouds. I spent a lot of time there, when school was something I made purpose of avoiding. It was a peculiar interlude of time before I went off to work. Before my life was painfully contained by four gray walls, peeling, chipping, and deeply cracked. Before I drank scotch to numb the stench of leather and gas from my skin. Before my desires for purpose were restrained into the four smaller walls of the shoeboxes of which I manufactured. These days, these blissfully mediocre days, are ones of realization and prominence. On this warm day, after observing from select shadowy corners, I make my way back to school. The day trudges on, subjects that I couldn’t care less about. Arithmetic, history, foreign policy. It all sounded like a familiar language I had forgotten how to speak. The day ended with a pop, and I gather my possessions and walk with a slow swagger to the courtyard. I feel his eyes on me, as I walk past. They burn holes into the arch of my back and I turn to face him. He smiles a crooked sort of smile, one that he would never appreciate having. The dimple on his cheek is slightly asymmetric and lopsided in reflection to the rest of his face, but it only makes him more real to me. He is something three dimensional. Tangible. He is coming towards me. 
I turn and saunter away, my heart ramming furiously in my chest. And for a brief moment, that’s all I could hear. The rump-thump-thump that never wavered and continued on, like my foreign affections for him. Still deep in a contemplative silence, I could feel his confusion. His brow furrows. His eyes slightly narrow, questioningly. Where ya goin, Tom? I hear him, distantly. My feet continue to carry me away from him, hopefully in a casual manner that doesn’t reveal what a pansy I really am. I don’t consider the reason of my departure at this time. All I can see is the color of his eyes, the way they always catch me, unawares. They are like no other color I’ve ever seen before, so far blue they are almost navy, speckled with little flecks of light. I don’t understand the stuttering of my heart or the claminess of my hands when he is near me. I don’t understand the wicked thoughts that entertain me, darkly, deviously. I don’t understand the excitement of soft, pearly, flesh that smells often of flowers, or vanilla, or ingenuine fruit. I don’t understand the private mystical-ness in all of its makeup wearing glory. I don’t understand the wetness and the roundness and the whole cookie batch of contradictions that is the female jungleland. I don’t understand why it's supposedly mine to conquer one day. I don’t understand the meaning of a protruded pout and the fluttering of eyelashes and the mind games and the perfume and the goddamn gossip that is so gallantly girl. I don’t understand why I don’t want to be waited on any longer. I don’t understand why I don’t want to be picked up and picked apart, meticulously. I don’t understand my itching to leave this place, this pacifying playland that robs me of any experience that could be inherently mine. I don’t understand the demure voice that is supposed to calm my inner beast. It does nothing but rage, and rage, and rage. I don’t understand the routine to and fro of gentlemen callers playing this game, this god forsaken game, that doesn’t have any rhyme nor reason to it’s groove. I don’t understand the burden that is or is not my sexuality.
But I do understand his voice, almost as deep as mine that drips with honey. I understand his handsomeness, perhaps unconventional and nontraditional, but his distinct handsomeness I can see from afar. He has a certain ragged charm to him. He is neither loud nor soft, but settles somewhere comfortable in between. I understand his hooded eyes, cleft chin, and unruly raven hair with so much ease that it shocks me. I understand his hard planes, not round in the least respect. I understand the ripe apple in his throat, that bops rhythmically like a walking bass line. He travels with a grace that isn’t feminine, and he is coming closer, and closer, and closer.
I now can taste his breath and feel burning electricity ripple and crackle between our close proximity to each other. He smells of stale cigarettes and licorice and something slightly spicy, like cinnamon, or nutmeg. His scent enraptures me and I close my eyes to breathe it in for a moment. It was like a half forgotten dream that I just started to remember, like a certain Christmas, or birthday, or other velvety happy time. It brought me solace, but also excited me in a way that was new and addictive in itself. It was almost nauseating, the power his scent had upon my baser instincts and I wanted to feel this feeling, this red heat, this burning, for as long as I could. It was certainly perplexing and sinful, how I wanted him in amounts that were unquantifiable. I try to understand this too, but I come up quite short. I don’t understand my urge to bite and lick and suck and kiss, and I’m not sure if I want to. I don’t know where the line for indiscreet appreciation stops and adamant admiration begins. I’m confused. There are so many different lines, so many different rump-thump-thumps that I can hear. And he, my ragged knight in secret armor, is all I can see. What a pretty picture.
He says something again, in his voice that drips with honey. Tom, buddy, are you ok? I answer yes, quickly, and try to shake off the dread that is overtaking me. I want to be happy, and for him to see me as suitable. Ha, suitable. Suitable, perhaps as an acquaintance. Suitable in a neighborly sense, or suitable as a platonic companion of the daytime, but nothing more. I fear, and I fear, and I fear. What would be of this fatal attraction? I see it now, an unrequited romance with an ending that was decided long before I identified my affections. This heat I feel, this push and pull, like ocean tide, is star crossed and prewritten by players above. Do I dare to challenge the sets of laws made to thwart my pursuit of happiness? Do I dare to contemplate lasting romance, in a way as bold as this? Do I dare to reach for something unattainable, always in view, but obscured from my attention? I hear his voice again, saying my name this time. Tom. The way he says it is intimidating but curious in nature, making the hairs on my arms stand up on end and sends gooseflesh down the length of them. The way it rolls easily off his tongue satisfies me immensely. The enunciation is sharp but tender, and I find myself growing warm and restless,  craving a drink. I replace my quietness with a change in demeanor that is hopefully less dire. I do suppose I am guilty of keeping quiet for such an extent of time, but I have always been a keen advocate of comfortable silences.
But now, I smile and make small talk in the sake of knowing and learning him. I rail on about something that hopefully comes off as educated and not vulgar as Mother once called it. She courted gentlemen with topics of importance in the world, if I recall correctly. As conversation ebbed and flowed, something seemingly seamless, I made efforts to mention affairs of stimulating content, but nothing entirely too controversial. I want him to agree with me. I want him to admire me. I want him to burn for me in the way I do for him, red, bold, and scorching. I want him to understand too.






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