Where Is My Shirt?
I wake up, spiced. Naked. My skin smells like dark liquor and last night’s cologne.
We’ve turned the lamp over. The light bulb still burns. The room is covered in shadows. We’ve left the bottle on the nightstand.
You lay on your stomach, still asleep, in only one sock. I thought I’d seen you take both of them off. Or maybe I saw you take one off and remove the other with your underwear.
I kick my legs over the side of the bed, as fresh as a head of lettuce. My head never swims or hurts the night after a good thrill.
This isn’t my first rodeo.
We've had fun. But it’s time for me to run now, before the sun comes up.
I don’t bother with modesty when I stand to look for my clothes. You won’t wake up, and you’ve seen the goods even if you do. Man, we did some nasty shit last night. But we were supposed to. Vanilla sex and dark liquor aren't solid buds.
I find my jeans beneath the comforter we’ve kicked on the floor. My shoes, I’ve left by your front door. But I can’t find my shirt.
Where is my shirt?
I look under your bed for my shirt. You keep books there. Large books, small books. Hardcover. Paperback. I can’t make out any of the titles, but I find this strange and charming. I don’t let it slow me down, though.
I look on your dresser for my shirt. There’s a picture that someone's taken of you standing on a mountain side underneath a high sun. You’re in khakis and hiking boots, a large backpack strapped to your back. You look so handsome.
…no, no, no…
I see a spot of red beneath the pillow that your head’s on.
This is going to be tricky.
I ease back into the bed with you, as soft as feathers. I turn towards your sleeping face. Your mouth forms a little “O” as you snore. I start to smile -- I catch myself.
I reach for the bit of shirt sticking out beneath your pillow and I give it a tug. It’s lodged pretty good beneath there. Maybe…if I pull it slowly…
I get an inch of red shirt in my hands. I pull some more. I get another inch. I pull again, a little harder. The pillow moves.
Your eyes open.
You blink at nothing, and then you turn to look at me. You’re barely comprehending. I’m still afraid of what I might see in your eyes. Shame? Regret?
This isn’t my first rodeo.
You smile. You smile, and it’s chocolates and candy canes and apple pie. And in it, with it, I'm chocolates and candy canes and apple pie. You have no clue that I was making a run for it.
You lift your hand and lay it on my cheek. And then you close your eyes. Your mouth drops again into that little “O.” Your hand is warm against my face.
Your skin. I remember the smell.
My shirt is caught beneath your pillow.
I climb in next to you, and lay my head down. I let my eyes close.
It can wait 'til later.
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