The Moment

August 3, 2009

I wear her socks at night. They keep my legs warm up to the knee, these extra-long white tube socks with green rings at the top. When I wear them, I don’t wear pants; just boy-cut underwear and a thin tank top. I want to see how warm I can stay with just the socks.

When I am wearing this outfit, I pretend to be her. I look in my wall mirror, tie my hair back and imagine it blond, very blond, and long, feet longer than mine. What it felt like, that endless hair falling down on his face when she fucked him. Soft, I think. Not the most descriptive word, but likely the most accurate.

I stand on my tip-toes in the socks, slipping a bit on the hardwood floor of my bedroom. It’s slick from being freshly Swiffered by Esmerelda, the Brazilian cleaning lady that comes every Thursday, and I study my legs in the mirror, now the full-length that hangs on my closet door. They look good in her socks; not as good as hers, but good. If only I were a few inches taller. Fleetingly, I wonder if bone-stretching is performed in the U.S.

Stretching out on my perpetually unmade bed, I try to think thoughts that she would think. What to make for breakfast. The quickest way to the Ferry Plaza. How many years since meat was ingested.

Inside my third dresser drawer from the top is a photo album. I stole it from my boyfriend’s bedroom the same day I stole the socks; they were in the same trunk, nestled together in the corner, waiting. I get up, retrieve it. This is my nightly ritual.

The album was a gift from her. My own heart twisted when I read the inscription on the inside cover: “My heart is yours.”

My favorite picture is the fourth on a strip of old-fashioned, black-and-white photo booth shots. The first three are typically silly poses: finger-in-nose, cheeks puffed out, wide-open eyes. But in the last, he is framing her chin with his hands and moving — yes, the motion is evident — forward to kiss her, eyes halfway closed. He was falling in love at that very moment, and the moment was captured forever. The moment was placed into this album, the moment was probably overlooked by them both.

But now the moment that should be silent and far away gloats, and although I think I might want it to leave, I don’t really and it sleeps with me in my bed and I let it, so that I am no longer alone, but surrounded by the reminder that this is the only falling in love that I will ever see him do.

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