I was standing in the bathroom shaving when I stopped midway, the razor suspended in air, and looked at myself in the mirror. Who and what the hell was I and why did I bother? Because you are what you are my man is all I had for an answer but it was good enough. I dressed without any sense of apprehension or excitement. I expected nothing other than the fact that I would more than likely be moving on soon.
Anna met me smiling at the door. She was nervous and looked great. She was apologizing for the spareness of her furnishings while telling me she was afraid I wouldn't come. I went into low key reassurance mode. She had a cat. I hate cats. The cat wouldn't leave me alone. The cat knew. The little furry fuckers always did. I wanted to twist his head off.
We ate. It was good. It was organic. The wine was not bad. We put a little smoke into the air. It went the way I expected including the rehearsed speech about wanting to thank me for coming to her rescued. She had always thought I was attractive but she didn't want to blow up the money coming in. Actually she didn't say the last part but I heard it. I understood too. If we had ended up here early on I would have expected her to answer the phone for free. Which reminded me -- she was going to need to dump the phone. I thought I would wait awhile before mentioning that tho.
We ended up where I thought we would and where she had planned for us to. About thirty minutes later we were both laying there in silence and she asked what I knew she would "Is it me?"
The last time I had played this differently. Maybe it was the dinner. Maybe it was the weed which was very good. Maybe it was her. Maybe I was getting older. So I told her the truth. "No. it's not you Anna." I stroked her thigh. "It's me." I felt the bed shift and knew she had moved so she could look directly at me. She surprised me then. I was expecting "They have pills for this you know." Or a polite "Well...thanks for dropping by..." Instead I heard "What happened?" That simple statement, delivered quietly was a door opener.
I laughed. I didn't move. I didn't want to make eye contact. Instead I told her the truth "I'm damaged goods. Always have been since I can remember. Sometimes..." Now It was going to get interesting. "Sometimes it will work but I have to hate you. It has been...well, not good for those who were with me when it worked."
There was silence. I rolled over to look at her. She returned my gaze. She was neither fearful, repulsed, or interested. She was just there. I continued "So now I don't have sex. It's easier that way. Instead I channel it into other things." She nodded her head. A minute move barely perceptible in the half light of the candles she had lit. She asked "Why me? Why now?"
I sighed. "I don't know Anna. Because I thought it might work. Because sometimes I hope that it has gone away. Because I like you and think you're beautiful."
I looked away first.
After a bit she said "I understand."
The startling thing was I knew she did. I knew it. It was a hell of a feeling.
We lay there for a bit. I don't know how long. Then she told me "You can stay if you want. I have to see some friends tomorrow and I want you to meet them."
She knew I meant the friends. "Because they want to change the world by burning it down."
"Okay." Then I rolled over and went to sleep.