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Inside

What I Could Hear

  I met this girl and we started talking. We were at a college party, just a normal one, and her eyes were bloodshot from drinking. She came on to me and I let it happen. We went at it like jackrabbits, then lay there on some strangerís bed in this crappy old party house, just out of the way of the crowd. After drinking so much, you hardly know your ass from your elbow, but I was in a mood to do some talking anyway.
"Want a cigarette?" I said.
Her round face was really peaceful, like she had everything sorted out and was happy with the answers. Itís more than I could say.
"Smoke one for me," she said with her little lips. She had these round, little lips, so I kissed them. And then we went at it like jackrabbits again, and then back to talking. I could hardly tell what was happening, I was so drunk.
"Tell me stuff about yourself," I said. She was beside me and we stared at each other with no restraint. Just sometimes I could love these parties, staring at people with no restraint. I really wanted to hear all about this girl. I donít like talking much, not really, but I do listen. I expected her to start going on about her home or classes or something, but she didnít answer me at all. What I could hear was the music from the party, but it was only some bored old techno beat that faded when I didnít concentrate. I asked her what music she listened to and she said she didnít listen to music at all. Thatís fucked up I told her. I kept bugging her about it, and she said finally that her parents never listened to music, so sheíd never got into it. As if music is something you just get into. About then she asked me to hold her in this tiny voice. I stopped pissing around and just held her for a while.
We were in someoneís room, a guyís room I figured. There were empty bottles lined up on a shelf and clothes all over the floor. My clothes were lost in the pile. I couldnít smell the girl or the dorm room or anything really, but I was sure it smelled there in the daytime. I put my hand on the girlís shoulder and rubbed it, but just softly.
I started to do something weird right then. I moved my hand all over her body, so lightly I was barely touching her. After a while, she started to do the same thing to me. We were purely wasted I guess, after drinking so much. We could feel the other person on our hands perfectly fine, but not their hands on our own bodies. It was so weird. We just kept rubbing each other all over. It was shameless really.
I got bored with this after a while, so I rolled over for a cigarette and lit up again. Her hands kept gliding over my chest and down my legs. It might have perked me up if I wasnít so damn drunk. I started to talk, all a bunch of stories about my friends and people in my dormónormal shit. The more I talked, the more interesting I thought she wasóshe didnít talk, not one single word. Some peopleíll say that, not one single word, but they mean really the person is shy. But this girl wasnít shy, thatís just the thing. She just didnít say anything. But she kept rubbing me like a masseuse, though still I could hardly feel it. I had a thought of my mother all of sudden, from when I was ten years old and I gave her these back rubs because her back got sore from work. She worked in some boring-ass office all day typing and doing god-knows-what. She was always going on about her back pain and I ended up giving her back massages just to shut her up. When I started to think about girls a lot I thought it was kind of weird to be rubbing my momís back, so I stopped. I never got a back rub myself, until this girl. My mom, she still would ask for one every now and then, but I wouldnít do it.
Just then, I stopped talking and me and the girl had a moment where we sort of hung around, not saying anything.
"What do you feel like?" I finally asked her.
"Itís strange to be here," she said, moving her hands slowly, but strong. It was really a body rub now, not just touching.
"Whatís your name?" I asked, but I knew there was this understanding between us. It was OK to ask. It was a comfortable question.
"Itís too sad."
"Your name?"
"No, the question."
I nodded. "What should I talk to you about?" I asked, and again it was OK. She really was something.
"Whatever you want, I guess."
"Youíre very interesting."
"Iím drunk," she said, and turned her body towards the door.
I didnít know what to say, so we lay in silence for a long time. I thought she must have fallen asleep, but when some guy opened the door, she told him quite clearly that the room was taken. She could be a real bitch when she wanted to, I guessed.
"I fucking live here, so get out," the guy said. "I got an early class tomorrow."
We both climbed out of bed real slow and started to search around for our clothes. He was a nice guy, I decided. He wasnít rushing us or anything. He didnít seem to care that me and this girl were both ass-naked poking around his room for clothesóit was that kind of party I guess. I ended up wearing one of the guyís shirts because I couldnít find mine anywhere and I wanted to let the man go to sleep. For a guy that never cleaned his room, he had some really nice clothes laying around. I still wear his shirt sometimes, the one I took with me. Itís this dark blue cotton shirt thatís really heavy. I always wanted to know what made it so goddamn heavy, it doesnít look heavy at all. And I didnít care much that I lost my shirt because my clothes were all crap anyway.
So I went outside with the girl. I thought sheíd say she had to go home and walk off and that would be the end of it. Spring was coming on. I didnít need a jacket and we were too drunk to care, anyway. But she said she was cold, which meant she wanted me to come home with her. It surprised me, really, because I thought she wasnít too happy with me. Like she was sorry we had had sex. I wasnít sorry though. I hadnít really liked the way this girl looked, but she came on to me after all, and she had a good attitude about things. It was sort of strange how someone who wasnít even that attractive or even very interesting, although this girl was interesting, could get you in bed so damn fast. I wanted to hold her hand when we walked back to her room, but it didnít work out. She just wasnít the type to hold hands with. I tried, once, but she slipped off and we kept walking side by side all quiet, even though we were both raving drunk.
We got to her door, but then she wouldnít let me in. I said, "Whatís the big deal?" but I sort of expected it by that point. When she had told me she was cold I guess maybe she really did mean it, or changed her mind about me on the way there. Either way, I was practically sweating from that blue shirt I stole. It really was heavy. The girl stood in her doorway, half behind her door now so in case I decided to charge her or something she could slam it in my face. Weíd just had sex twice and now she was afraid to let me in her room. I didnít understand it. She kept biting at her bottom lip until it got all red and I think it was bleeding. You could tell she did it all the time, too, even when she wasnít drunk.
"Iíd really like to see you again sometime," I said. It was corny, but I was too drunk to care. And I did want to see her again sometime, even if she wasnít all that pretty.
"Youíre just saying that."
"No Iím not saying it," I said. "I want to give you a call."
"Youíre a drunk ass. Go home," she said, and stood on her toes to give me a big soul-kiss. I just stood there and let her kiss me. I never know what to do when a girl kisses me. I just stood there until it was over and then she closed her door. It was really a quiet spring night outside. I could hardly hear a thing on the walk home.


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