His First Time

When I am writing, I loathe, detest, and absolutely cannot stand, interruption. The nanosecond I’m done, however, I want someone to hear it. Immediately. Don’t care what or where the person is; he or she has to hear it. If you happen to be in the shower. Be prepared for me to draw back the shower curtain and begin reading. Without looking up of course, except to gauge your reaction to my masterpiece. I only have this fearlessness the second I finish. After I am finished, and it’s been a few moments—hours, days, or weeks, my confidence levels dwindle into crumblets and I’m not sure my topic was any good, or that I correctly portrayed the perspective, or the dialogue—uh-uh-uh, just not right. But that moment I’m done, it’s pivotal. If it’s three a.m. and you’re sound asleep. If I wake you stumbling over my words because it’s so fresh and twinkling with it’s newness, don’t startle. The inner critic in me hasn’t had enough time to rip it down from the wall like “tweenage posters.” I won’t begin to tell you that there’s a person that understands this. But I will tell you, there’s definitely a person whose reaction was worth recording. This is the story of:

I have bedhair. The just woke up or never-went-to-sleep-kind. Groggily jumpy at 6:54 a.m. I parade into the room. The room, I’ve delicately taken over with subtle hues of pinks and pales. The furthest I could get him to go to yellow, was pale. But, the sheets? No one sees the sheets. Pastel, it was. I’d nearly passed out in the library-den because I’m in love with the lighting and the closeness it is to the kitchen. The teapot is large, unlike the pots at my house, the ones that whistle pretty—the comfortable usual. This, this strange foreign pot is never-ending copper and looks like a golden version of something out of Willy Wonka meets the Jetsons. This tea, goes on forever, and is never lukewarm. I don’t want to leave the massage chair because it rocks. How long have I wanted my own rocking chair? Long. How long have I wanted my own rocking chair that will swallow me. Never. But, that’s the point.

I’ve been here three nights. No need for a change of clothes, leave them on the heated patio and they will miraculously appear on the bedside clean and folded like spoiled rotten you oughta be ashamed of yourself. Mom, didn’t teach me how to relax. Dad sure passed on the panic gene, Mom passed on the worry, and I cultivated a culmination of the two against “worry more cause you can’t do shit about it.”But, I’d finished a story. My own little short story. A story that I’ve been told has a possibility of being published later this year. It’s a tough piece and in my excitement of pushing out a draft, I forgot that.

I run to him. An hour prior to this, I’d been offered more tea in the dim light, but I vaguely remember not looking up at all, not even for a thank you. This is what I call the lost stage. Everything is lost on me. It’s likely anyone would say my name several times and I’d fail to recognize it. I jump atop the pillows sloppily. I can see by his face, this is not his idea of fun.

“I’m finished,”

“… (mmHmmMm)…”

He snatches the paper from my almost-ready-to-read-to-him hands.  And pulls me over closer. I’m grabbing at the paper, but while I’m sitting I’m unable to reach—my arms are too short. He clears his throat.

And he reads my first draft to me slowly. By the third paragraph his left hand is shaking. By the second page he has forgotten I’m there and that I can hear his response to what he’s reading by the way he is reading it.

At the end of the draft he is not only speechless, he grabs for me, his eyes are wide.

“I feel like I was there with you.” I nod and lean back, and yawn.

“I don’t know if I want it in the world.” I tell him.

“I don’t think the world should be without it.” He adds.

I fall asleep on the corner of his pillow, I feel him looking at me but I don’t open.

In the morning he is quiet throughout egg whites, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and avocados. It’s a Saturday and my plans don’t involve brown leather briefcases and a cleanly shaven face.

“So, that was nonfiction?” The first words out of his mouth.

I stare at the black cracked design in the grey marble table and look to him with a yea smirk.

It was the first time he read any of my prose.

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