8. 11:50 - 12:33
he seemed to be saying "look, i'm like you. let's be vulnerable together." and i couldn't resist any longer. two tears crept out and i smiled at the patheticness of it. he smiled back.
i climbed in next to him and as i did he told me to roll onto my side. "i want to find constellations on your skin." [mp3]
i lay there as he touched my back. he did it softly. with fingertips and tongue and slow exhales and kisses. he gave me goosebumps and made me feel like i was experiencing something new. later i'd learn that he was patient to a fault but on this morning he was just patient. he took his time and i thrilled each time part of his body touched mine.
i don't recall the walk home but there i was, standing in front of my apartment.
inside, things were in the same state i'd left them. no mystery person had dropped by while i was out and cleaned up my mess.
i was meticulous with my appearance but my place was always messy as all hell.
i checked the answering machine and there was three messages. i was hoping that one of them would be from him. i imagined that he'd changed his mind and went to the payphone and called to apologize and ask for forgiveness.
no such luck. two were from my mother and one was from Sandy. mom wanted me to call her right away and Sandy just wanted to chat and see what was going on. i called her back first.
she answered on the first ring: "hey. i'm bored." i hate call display.
"you're always bored."
"true. but today i'm extra bored. what's new with you?"
"nothing. what do you mean? he's fine."
"if you say so."
i hung up on her and called my mom.
"hey mom, it's me."
"oh, thank god you called me. i have some news. about your Fletcher--you know how we were talking about him the other day?"
"well i ran into someone the other day who has one of those big dogs that hunt wolves... what are they called?"
"no. the other ones."
"no, with longer hair..."
"well apparently it has leukemia and the vet said that it was caused by the environment."
i didn't know what to say. my mother often doesn't make sense but this was a little strange.
"well, not as a direct result of the environment, but you know, over time--"
"what's this got to do with Fletcher?"
"well you said you didn't know what was wrong with him. this woman with the wolf hunting dog--what are they called?!--she lives in the city too. like you. and the environment gave him leukemia."
"Fletcher doesn't have leukemia, mom."
"how do you know? you live in the city."
"it's not leukemia, mom."
"okay, if you say so."
"what else is going on with you? besides the lady with the wolfhound."
"no, it's the other--"
"how's dad?" by dad i meant step-dad.
"same. how's dobbs?"
"we're not a couple anymore."
"what?! what did you do?"
"what makes you think that he dumped me? maybe i got tired of him."
"you cheated on him, didn't you? you cheated on him with Glen and he found out, right?"
i cradled the phone. i immediately regretted it but sometimes she infuriates me. it started to ring right away. i picked it up and placed the receiver on the table. i could hear her chattering in the earpiece. she was frantic but i ignored her.
i grabbed the leash that was hanging on the door. i held it out in front of me and jangled it. Fletcher came bounding down the hall. i clipped hook to leash and headed for the park.