She gives me sweaty palms.
I met her, randomly, at a party
(doesn’t it always happen that way, showing up at a place you don’t intend to be, talking to someone you don’t intend to talk to, weren’t planning on talking to, weren’t aware even existed for you to be found in conversation with, flirting and teasing?) and she caught my eye from the moment she sat down at the bar.
I ignored her. Made small talk with my friend; then we had big talk — one must always buff their own ego — and then we had real talk about the things moving to and fro underneath our skin and in our minds and burrowing around the vessels of our hearts.
She came by, walked by, sashayed really, sat down on a couch perpendicular to mine, but her back was towards me, her attention on that glowing blue screen in her hand, and so…
I ignored her again.
She floated off and more people came by, sat down with us, the chitter-chatter fueled by alcohol and nice weather, by roof top views and wind and desire. I noticed her again, in the crowd, and by this time I had the nerve, the gumption, the lack of regard, to open my mouth and say something–
But now she had company, her arm slipped through that of another’s, and she looked comfortable. Her smile suit her face.
“Too late, too late,” my friend cackled in my ear and I rolled my eyes, waved my hand, and said in response that she was too young anyway so there was no point anyway. Waste of my time, just a passing fancy, my eyes on a pretty slip of a girl, nothing more then a lark.
Time slips in parties like this, slips like triple-filtered vodka down your throat, slips like money through your fingers to slinky, short-skirted waitresses adorned by beautiful, long brown tresses, slips like blood in your veins, slips like a hot knife through frigid butter, slips away, slips by, keeps on moving faster than you can blink.
And then, suddenly, I’m there, standing in front her, back at the bar – she’s in company but she’s alone, attention back on that glowing blue screen, but I can’t stand it, can’t bear to not say a word, and so I do. Say a word, that is. Say more than a few words.
And she gives me that smile. This is nothing but a moment, means nothing, could be nothing, should be nothing.
But it could be everything.
My palms get sweaty. I scrub them dry on my rough jeans. I take her hand in mine.
“I’m E–” she says.
Time slips on by like my voice blending with hers, like our lives beginning to intertwine.