Sometimes, if you’re lucky, there is a knowing in the not knowing.
Because I don’t know him, not by a long shot.
But the overlap of sentiment is one that’s been beautifully woven.
As if for years. Without my knowing.
The familiar bodies of two strangers meeting.
“Do I know you?” he asks, pulling away. “Really, have we met?”
“We once slept together,” I tell him. “A long time ago.”
“Did we?” he asks, raising an eyebrow. I see in his face that he’s searching for the memory.
But I’m only teasing. And I confess, if only to bring him back to what I want happening now.
Afterwards, I tell him that I need for him an alias, to be able to put him into story-form.
“I was thinking Tanner,” I suggest.
He stares at me.
I’m sitting across from him in my black slip and thigh-high stockings, hugging a pillow to my chest.
“That’s my brother’s name,” he tells me. “Really, have we met?”
His brother is a few years older, perhaps would have been a closer fit for me, considering that this one is four years younger than I am.
But it’s too late.
I’ve fallen for this one already.
Besides, Tanner is married. With three kids.
“The third was an oops baby,” he tells me. “He was just born.”
“You’ve seen him?”
“Oh yeah. Cute little fucker. I love him already.”
This one loves easily, openly.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to remain skeptical of him, which is proving difficult.
Stories from my life roll out of me as if I tell them every day rather than fight to bury them deeper beneath the surface I present.
And for every story I tell, he’s got one that matches in context, in depth, in heartbreak.
As if every game is a tie.
“So, is this happening?” he asks, as I’m leaving.
“What do you mean? Like, are we really here? Is this just a dream?”
But I know that’s not what he means.
And he knows I know.
“Smart ass,” I am called.
I back his body up against a wall, lean into it, kiss his sweet and tickley face.
“This is happening,” I concede.
“We’re doing this?” he double-checks.
“We’re doing this,” I answer. “Saddle up.”
So now I’m really in for it.
Or maybe not.
Maybe this time will be different.
At least for a while.