They’d not had sex – or at least, she hadn’t – because it was important to wait. On the night she first planned it he’d gone to the store and then another looking to buy condoms and flowers. Sunflowers were her favorite and they were only 17$ too. He got Magnums and Thins so nobody could guess if he was packing or hiding. He told all his friends that it was the big night. He showered and brushed and did his hair well and put on the nicest clothes he had and even sprayed some of that lavender air spray under his pits because he hadn’t got cologne yet. His chest and the area between his legs and pits were leaned down and he looked so good in the mirror. He left late to drop off friends and then went to her house having texted her an hour before that he was excited and she said she’d be there in 45. Well, 45 after that 45 he parked the car as close as he could, a 15 minute walk in parking that would cost 30$ for the night, and walked over. He had the flowers in a hand and his phone in the other and he didn’t worry about wearing all black and scaring people because he was on his way to see his girl. When people first saw him he thought they probably would see the brightness of the flowers before the phone’s light. He got there and climbed the cement till he was at her door and hung up the phone on his best friend after telling him that tonight was the big night. Well, he did a little beat on the door with his knuckles and could swear he heard movement and voices and tensed and then relaxed and readied himself to be charming as he did before he saw people and took himself from the place he rested in alone in his thoughts and waited. He waited some more and then rapped again and then some more and then a final time knocked on the door. So he called her and texted her and called her a few more times and then left a sad voicemail and left the yellow flowers by her door and walked down the cement.
He walked back. At first, he felt fine. He felt pretty and strong and he was a man and he knew it and he knew it so well nothing would affect him so he walked and he walked and felt the midnight air and the mist on his cheeks and the chill ease in on him and he thought about the girl and how it wasn’t the best that she’d forgotten the big night o or the best that she’d given him another day of feeling like something was too wrong with him to fuck him. And he reviewed the texts they’d sent and found a couple he hadn’t seen somehow and one said she was on her period and he walked on away from her towards his car.
When its cold people who’ve felt the cold know, there’s a heat often reserved in you, I say that comes from the summer, that is called up to protect you. The heat itself diminishes and is eventually replaced fully by the cold, and then during the summer is replenished by the sun. In San Diego, it’s only ever about 60, and so that cold and that heat exchange not by the season but by the hour, and often by the feeling one has of being happy or sad. As he walked he came to find he was sad. And as he walked some more the heat came up and smashed his fingers into his palms and made him look up at just the moon and wonder and wonder about the point of love. But he didn’t wonder long because there was little to wonder about and so he looked back at the pavement and walked on and felt tears come and go and felt young, so young. He drove fast to the beach alone at 1 and sat out in the wet and dry part of the sand with his clothes fully on and watched the little birds running confident under the piers red lamp. Enough time later, as he went to leave, his phone started buzzing and he was playing music out of it so when it did the music stopped and he saw it was her calling but he didn’t pick up and it did this 17 times and he hung up every time. Finally, the music came on and stayed on and he went home fast and then the words came in and he said after some “I don’t want to talk tonight, I’m not feeling good, let me sleep on it and talk tomorrow”. And he downed a bottle of wine on his couch with his friends who had fallen asleep hands dipped in their cereal bowls high as hell watching some show about sex and violence.