so some alarm on his phone chimes and he slides out of bed and into the shower. and before i’ve really thought it through, i’m fleeing my own hotel room. because my love for him is a fucking delicious knife in my heart, and it’s killing me and vitalizing me in the way that I very much need to be killed and vitalized.
one day, i want him to let me reach out and touch him, without his touching back.
but for now, he and i have overlapping issues, it seems.
both so charitable and damaged and apathetic, that being in his proximity is like viewing myself through an oddly-flattering lens.
one in which running away is a viable option.
no one will tell you this, but sometimes, it’s actually the right move to make.
especially when self-preservation is at stake.
he’s leaving today and it will be months or maybe years until i see him again, if it all. and as such, sitting my way through a goodbye is simply not tolerable.
whereas hiding in a parking garage as my hands shake and my chest heaves and falls apparently is.
but first, i have to unearth the articles of clothing at my disposable.
which shouldn’t be a trial, but is. because yesterday, right before he convinced me to let him up, i paid the valet a generous sum to help me throw all of my belongings into my various suitcases and take them down to the car.
which, yes, was a really odd thing to do. but sometimes i can be such a strange girl, and it’s simply what happened.
“you’re checking out early?” the valet asked.
“no, no, it’s not that. i just need my things removed, you know, for now.”
he seemed confused, and i allowed for that, because it was easier than to trying to explain to him my need for the photojournalist on a blank canvas.
his smooth skin and perfect form against nothing but a backdrop of white.
his visit was short. or timeless. i’m not sure. but there was never really the question of whether or not it was enough.
because that single moment, when i went down to meet him in the hotel lobby, and saw him sitting there before he saw me? that alone would have been enough.
he has this quality of beauty to me i can’t begin to understand.
i even had the thought, “of all men, why him?”
but for better or worse, this is the pristine position he now holds with me.
of course, that was yesterday.
today is a new day.
one in which i must absolutely make haste to escape the threat of farewell.
i’ve managed to slip on my tights and a camisole by the time the water from his shower shuts off.
and at that point there’s just nothing more for it.
i grab my shawl and boots from the entryway.
and the door clicks shut behind me.
the noise it makes worries me. under no circumstances do i want him catching up with me. so i sprint down the corridor in what few clothes i’m wearing, with the brilliant plan to somehow make an acceptable outfit out of my shawl once i’m safely behind the elevator’s closed doors.
the thing i don’t anticipate is the young black porter being in the elevator when its doors open. but there he is. i can’t decide which of us is more startled.
“lobby, please,” i request as i get in, trying to behave as if my state of undress bears even a remote semblance of civility.
the doors close. he’s on one side of the elevator, in his handsome uniform.
i’m on the other, in tights and an open-backed spaghetti strap camisole.
to say nothing of my hair’s wild disarray.
“i’m making a quick getaway,” i explain to him, as if that makes things in any way better.
he stares at me, openly. i feel the heat rushing into my face. it’s an insanely intimate moment.
“whatever you’re doing, you look beautiful,” he says.
i laugh. he’s not even flirting with me. i’m not sure what he’s doing. it’s all just happening rather fast.
being a gentleman. that’s what it is.
i take a deep breath and tie the shawl around my waist.
then, holding the boots in my hands behind my back, and balancing on one foot at a time, i bend at the knee to kick back into them. all while standing perfectly erect. because if i bend over even at all, my breasts will be on full display, and we’ll be a little worse off than we already are.
“impressive,” he says.
i laugh again.
there’s just time to pull my hair back in a loose knot, and then the elevator doors open.
before i exit, i give the porter a shy and grateful look, and curtsy.
in turn, he bows.
it’s a strange and very human moment, between a dignified young man and a woman i can only assume he believes is a call girl.
meanwhile, the photojournalist is wandering infinitely beautiful around my hotel room in a towel.
each of us carving out an experience uniquely our own.