Saturday, June 1, 2013

all this crazy gift of time

the short shorts go straight my head. i wear my itty bitty corduroy cut-offs on the train to hollywood. i press my face against the hot hot glass. sun wet on my thighs. eyes closed. light show on the inside of my lids. on the roof of tamara’s condo, we brush our hair, eat tortilla chips sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, lick each other’s fingers clean. in a stone bowl, we crush basil leaves with gin, blend with over ripe berries. “straws,” tamara says. “we need straws.” she runs downstairs to the kitchen, returns breathless. “no straws.” no matter. we drink our gin slushies, flaming purple moustaches crusted on our lips. “what do you want to do tonight,” tamara asks. “smoke cigarettes.” mitch knocks on the door, a bag of vegetables tucked under his shoulder. his tan, corduroy pants all but slipping off his hips. when he hugs me, his grey t-shirt lifts, revealing his pale, almost silvered skin. “look at you,” he smiles, pointing to my shorts. i twirl. lean in to whisper, “look at you,” tracing the outer ridge of his abs with my finger. we split a cigarette. my first in months. i cough. tamara slaps my back: “you’re losing yr edge.” i wonder why her breath smells like tequila. mitch suggests we play truth or dare jenga. “loser cooks dinner.” i always pick truth. tamara dares. mitch refuses to answer so he can spend twenty minutes massaging the frilly green leaves with olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes. we eat as the sun sets. stars obscured by the brackish glow of a towering lampost. “dominoes?” tamara asks. instead mitch spreads five blankets out on the ground, layers them in a criss-cross pattern, forming a giant starburst. we lay down in the very center. tamara holds his hand, rubbing his palm with her thumb. i twirl her hair in my finger, noticing for the first, a single grey strand amongst her otherwise meticulously manicured blonde locks.