Friday, February 29, 2008

Good Morning

By Peter Lee

The aftermath of the one night stand

In the morning, everything is somehow the same. There is a smoky dull gray cast down from the sky. You wake up, and for a second, forget everything about the world and who you are. For half-moments, you’re kind of reborn all brand new. No fear, no love. Not anything but blank naked.

Then you look around, and remember everything. Your name, how old you are, why you’re waking up in some strange girl’s bed. Suddenly pulled down to Earth, or rather, put back into it, you feel like you’re being taken out of your mother’s womb once again.

You get a good look at the place, which like always, isn’t as intriguing sober and with the lights on. It’s dull and plain and a little messy. Magazines and clothes plotted all over the floor, cigarette ash and butts in beer bottles. Condom wrappers, plates for various white powders. Not unlike anyone’s house anywhere, except you feel like there is something out of place (it’s probably you friend).

Suddenly you realize you should leave. But exactly then, she happens to wake up.

“Good morning” she’ll say.

What’s her name you think. Sarah? Emily? No, Hannah. Hannah the waitress. The girl you met at the cafe yesterday. Hannah with the red hair, and funny laugh. The absent father, and the alcoholic mother. You stop and think, “Is that really her story?” But hey, does it even matter if it isn’t?

“Hi” you’ll say. “Want me to make us some breakfast?”

“No, but lay here with me for a while. It’ll make me really happy.”

She’s still enchanted from the night before. Night is a black magic. You want to tell her there’s no magic in any of this, now or yesterday. Just alcohol and drugs. You think to tell her that you two are only here together now because yesterday you and her were two lonely people wandering about who happened to find one and other. And if you two didn’t meet, the world would remain exactly as it is. Same as yesterday, same as the day before yesterday. A place forever spinning out of control.

“Lets be honest here. If we didn’t meet each other, I’d still be dizzy and tired this morning, tired from sex and hung over, but just not with you. All of this would be exactly the same except that in your place would be a different girl. Maybe taller, or a little prettier, but lonely just like you are.”

But you don’t say anything. They’re just thoughts you have. Recurring daydreams. And besides, you’re a gentleman and it this isn’t a matter of courage or cowardice. It’s intimacy. Sharing yourself with someone else. You don’t even know this girl. You’re no Prince Charming, and this is no fairy tale. What could you possibly say to her? And if you did, would she listen?

Usually next, she’ll say that she wants to stay in bed with you all day to watch TV or talk or whatever. That’s when you should tell her, “Baby, I have to go.”

She’ll ask you (in the sweetest way she can) if you really have to go.

Really, you don’t have anywhere to go, but why stay? You got what you wanted. What else could you possibly get out of her? Anyway, by this time you’re on robot mode, and the robot version of you automatically tells her that you do have to go, that you have school or work, or need to go home to feed the dog.

Of course, add that you’ll call her later. It’s what makes doing this ok and bearable. It’s the honest part in lying.

She’ll frown an okay and say, “Promise?”

Smile back and say, “Of course.”

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