We sat on the broken couch in your small dark apartment. The television provided more light than the desk lap that your roommate had moved onto the side table. It’s college, I don’t blame you for having the kind of furniture that is passed by as it sits abandoned in alleys.
After an hour or two, my voice unused, I complained about the soreness that had seeped from the cushions to my lower spine. You grimaced and agreed. “It has terrible back support.” You stood. I looked up at you.
You didn’t hold out your hand, instead you just went weaving around the bikes balanced against the wall in the hall into the small room that was yours.
I sighed, stood, went to the fridge and grabbed my mason jar filled with wine. I unscrewed the lid, standing on the dirty tiled floor, my shoes still on. I took a swig, the dry liquid bursting in my mouth. Spun the lid back into place and made my way after you.
I opened the door to find you had plugged in and placed a heating blanket onto your bed. You now sat on your floor, putting a vinyl onto the platter of the turntable.
Your room was a haven in the house. You kept it clean, but not too clean. Your records and books immaculately kept.
The sweet sounds of The Middle East came on. You knew I loved them, evidence by the multiple times I played them on the car rides. Those car rides. The ones that led to the late night errand runs, then to movies. The dinners at my place. Beers on the roof. The hike up to the look out. I learned your favorite bands, and you learned mine.
I sighed. I sat on the edge of your bed and removed my shoes. You turned, still sitting on the floor, bracing yourself on your palms behind your back, your long limbs stretched out before you.You looked at my feet. I flexed my toes.
Instead of moving to lay on your bed, I lay down on the oriental rug you had placed over the wall to wall shag carpet. A gift from your grandfather, you had told me the first time I had complimented it.
As the song wound down I reached out to you with a slow move of my arm and wrist. You moved to lay down next to me, grabbing two pillows to prop our heads off the ground. Next your hand slowly made contact with my elbow, your fingers traced over to the soft and fragile inner part of my forearm. Then, you laced your fingers through mine. A simple gesture.
I breathed in and felt all the sparks collect between our palms.