When he walks out of the room, his bones make sounds. Little cracks and creaks, not like an old person but like someone strapping and young. Sinewy muscles and bones and ligaments adhering together so efficiently that they need to make small adjustments while in motion. These sounds remind me that he is the realest thing I know.
Looking at his hands and arms, I can see the starkness of his existence. He is a picture on a sunny spring day, every detail is rich and visible, somehow more formidable. Every crease and wrinkle of his ever-moving hands is another story he has to tell. How many bodies have those hands touched? How many souls have those arms held? Why is he so sad yet always smiling? His mouth says differently but his eyes tell me the truth. He is tired. Always tired. His eyes are big blue beautiful and despairing. They're glazed over. He's seen too much or not enough or not the right things and never true happiness or love.
Perhaps that is his failing--love. He did not choose to love the right person or didn't know how to love the right person. Practicality and his heart were saying two different things.
Everything he does is puncuated by exclamation points. He pulls out a cigarette and snaps the box shut and slaps it back on the awaiting surface--be it the bar, the coffee table or the bureau. He gets back in bed and shifts around quickly until he's comfortable. If he needs to get up for something--to ash his cigarette, find the remote--he pops up and does the action in one fluid motion. And then he flips right back down and throws his arm wildly behind his head.
And he grins so sheepishly when he's bad. He says something inappropriate but precious and his little smile says everything: "You know I'm bad but you love it don't you?" Of course I do, who wouldn't? And that scares me. He doesn't have a million suitors and it boggles the mind. Am I the only one who loves the way he throws his head back and laughs? Can I possibly be the only one who truly enjoys the way he talks and the way his eyes dance when he's happy and in the throes of telling a story? And when he sings how the words come out of nowhere? They sound rich and full of fire but he is not them. They sound happy and lively but he is not that.
His hands. His hands. His hands. They are. There. Like the sun. Just overpowering and alive. Though his eyes say different, his hands know. His hands are thinking breathing organisms. They know what to do when he doesn't. His one hand only physically reaches a few inches of my leg but in my mind I am huddled up inside his hand. I am stretched across his fingers. My face is pressed up against the inside of his thumb. My arms are wrapped around his pinky. His ring finger is cradling my entire back. The palm of his hand adheres to my legs like glue. I am swallowed up whole by his one hand.
And he doesn't know.
He thinks I am just oblivious. He thinks his hand on my leg rings inconspicuous in my head. If only he knew that I am clutching to his arm as if it's a lonely tree in a field in the middle of a blizzard. All around me the world swirls and I am holding fast to this tree so that I don't get swept up and taken away by a terrible evil calculating gust of wind that is time years and months and weeks days and hours of life that are rushing on plundering on like dinosaurs through mud in their last days.
His arm to me is magnetic. His chest is made of extremely strong adhesives. My skin and his are made of compounds that if left together too long will chemically react and mold together, impossible to seperate.
I crawl out of bed. I think he's sleeping. But I turn around anyway to watch him lie there. His eyes are open. He is watching me walk out of the room. I grin, he doesn't, only looks at me imploringly.
Maybe he does know.