I was sitting in my living room one overcast afternoon. It looked as if it was about to rain, in fact, pour.
I had a very slow piano piece on the stereo and I was looking at the vase of gladiolas, remembering briefly what it was like to be not alone.
I tipped my head back and watched the last of the faint sunlight slide across the ceiling and out the window.
The approaching rain brought a waft of breeze through the open windows, animating the light curtains, bringing the solace of movement like a dancer's caress against a dried floorboard. A light drizzle followed shortly, sounding delicate on the streets that have been softened by the humid morning. I thought to myself that this was the elegy to the departure of Spring, that soon, that'd be hot days and brutal muscular men parading around in sleeveless undershirts and loud factory-ready sports cars, girls with obnoxious tans wearing flourescent sunglasses and teased hair.
I closed my eyes to enjoy what little was left of the quiet day.
There was a tap on the front door. Who could it be? I walked to the threshold and opened without checking to see who it was.
"Oh, hello. I'm so sorry to disturb you. But my car has seized just a few streets away and my mobile ran out of battery, I was wondering if I could borrow your phone."
He was a slender, clean shaven man about my age- early twenties. The thing that struck me from my afternoon daze was his clothes. He was standing there in one of those smart, hunting-horseriding outfits, red jacket, white blouse, breeches and black boots. His dirty blonde hair was damp and fell just at the tip of his dark eyebrows.
I caught myself just in time to keep from appearing like a deaf-mute and asked him to enter. I pointed up the short staircase which he proceded to ascend. I watched his rear and the elegance in the way they moved with each step taken. I forgot momentarily all the women I had lusted after. I forgot for example Pam, whom I doted on and grew flowers for in the youth of my adoration.
I listened to his lithe voice mingle with the hush of the rain pattering outside. After a moment, he reappeared at the edge of the kitchen arch. "Thanks very much, I will show myself out."
"Did you get help?" I asked.
"It was an answering machine, but eventually help will arrive."
"Is your car safely out of the way?"
"Not really, but, I'll manage."
"Oh come, I won't hear of it! I can do a little pushing myself," I said more or less as a
statement and not an offer.
When we were outside, I opened my umbrella and we walked together along the glistening lawns. I told him that I didn't know there were horse-riding grounds around my parts, but he said he was just passing through.
When we got to his car, he rolled down the driver's window to push and steer, but I refused on grounds that his clothes were too pristine to be spoiled by a trivial problem like that. I told him to get inside while I stood against his door and listened to his description of the car problem. After popping the hood, I felt around, burnt my fingers on the flywheel, jammed my foot on the carburetor, and freed the fuel filter in that order. I stuck my index finger on the float to keep it shut and told him to turn it over. Once we got the car started, he offered to buy me a drink. But instead, I said I'll make some coffee for the two of us in my place.
In my living room, we sat and talked about the types of riding he was into. When asked about my occupation, I said I was a writer, in other words, a professional slacker. We laughed and I watched his damp hair and his thin face almost like a horse warm the arriving evening. I sat across from him as we talked, leaning forward with elbows on kneecaps. Our voices relaxed in a good-natured way. It was nice to share some time together, even with a stranger. He absent-mindedly ran his hand over his thigh as he looked out the window and recounted a story about one of his horses who had to be put to sleep. I listened to the sadness in his voice while slowly being hynotized by the white breeches that looked as if they were painted-on to his perfect thighs. The coffee had made his lips glisten like freshly watered fruit. He was the very picture of allure.
When he came to the bottom of his cup, he got up and thanked me for everything I had done. I saw him to the door, my hands practically unabled to keep from touching his firm, well-dressed body. My arms barely unabled to keep from embracing his thighs and nestling my face in the warm bosom of his immaculate seat. Behind the back of his neck, I opened my lips to force out a desperate plea for him to stay a while longer. He turned around just then, having reached the door. I snapped back, mouth opened, transforming to a half smile with a great deal of effort.
"Thanks again," he held out his hand. I took it and felt the softness of his palm against my greasey callused one: his were hands that had been protected by riding gloves for a lifetime, mine were weathered by class.
We waved as he got into his car. I watched him drive off and stared at the empty road for a few more minutes. The stereo swirled into my attention with this old song called "1963." It was an airy piece of pop that danced just as the rain was doing at that moment. I closed the door and stood against it, eyes close, listening to the first lines of the lyrics.
The beat was infectious, but it was shortly interrupted by an off-beat. It was the someone knocking at the door. I opened it once again.
He was standing there but this time we didn't exchange any words. We just looked at each other before he took three steps forward through the door. He cupped my cheeks in between his hands and put his lips against mine. His tongue felt so smooth and cool in my mouth. I unbuttoned his hunting jacket and slid my hands against his silk white blouse, the warmth of his body charged through fabric and onto my fingertips as I held him tight. My eyes close at this beautiful forbidden union, this sweetness of his mouth, this feeling of togetherness.
I ran my hands through his damp hair, I kissed his eyebrows, I caressed his marble neck which blossomed from his jabot like a treasured stem which had its roots at his heart. His fingers were stroking the back of my body as his chin moved against my neck. I wanted to kiss him some more, and I did, as we lay there on the steps. I could feel the hardness between his legs straining against his breeches, against my thighs. As we kissed, I reached down to undo his breeches before resting my hand on his smooth, shaven crotch. It tightened confidently in my hand, and it tasted as Eve's first apple must surely have.
When night time came around, it thundered and roared with lightning illuminating the entire living room while we lay there on the floor. I kept myself inside him as I embraced his body and our hands held together. We were both very still.
e p i l o g u e
It had been several months since that day. As quickly as he had walked into my life like an angel of hope, he departed without the slightest trace of having been there. The summer came and took him away. At the gas station, jeeps and trucks towing jet skis and boats baked in the sun as suburban boys eager to out-man each other took to blasting rap music by performers who knew as little about violence as they did.
Then a truck towing a horse-trailer pulled in at the far end. I squinted to see more clearly as a pair of boots came out from the passenger door on the opposite side. Just then, the attendent came to collect the money.
"Is there a horse-riding club around here?" I asked without taking my eyes off those boots.
"Nah, not that I know of. Why, do you ride?" He talked in a hoarse voice that was empty of curiosity.
The boots came around the rear of the trailer. It was a heavyset forty-something man weaing a plaid shirt.
"Nah," I smiled to wave the sadness away as I got on my scooter and started it up. "Just passing through."