My brother told me this, in physics, when something happens
it just keeps happening. Sometimes you just cannot keep
it from happening. Holding water or sand in your hand. Not tapping
your foot to the beat. It claims us against our will? But this
does not have to be about huge waves of emotions
and then a big hole of regret followed by solitude and silence.
In my Easy Rider youth: one time at a bar, late, with a blonde blue-eyed novia,
her two friends danced across the closing soon room. None of us were ever going
to look better, even at this wicked hour. My guera novia held my hand,
and then one of her amigas started running her hand through my hair,
swaying back and forth and the other leaned into my side like we were roller coastering,
the g-forces taking us hard into the car’s side. Guera’s smile unchecked, her eyes
locked into mine, and maybe I saw at all of the young men I wanted to be,
her hand gripping mine tighter, a snake coiling away any choice, biting her lower lip
letting me know, she’s fine, ready for time to expand or stop. The knowing of the future.
I sat there and kept my boca shut,
because I was too terrified to speak
the wrong phrase and summon the
gods of stupidity. (Veronica once said,
in those Archie comics, “Boys never
do anything right”).
I just listened to them talk about my hair, my eyes, and the Depeche Mode
song filling the space. I knew this. I was not immune to their charms.
And what are the lesser evils to a young middle-class existence?
It all ended up in one bed, eight legs,
four mouths, lace, two pumps, two
loafers, two adidas, two boots, and
three bras, two white, one black.
One of them put lipstick
on my cheeks. The eyeliner did
not make an appearance.
One pair of panties with smiley faces
and two white ones, small.
My jeans and boxers,
near the door, first to party off. Two
miniskirts, one pair of Jordache jeans
(how can you forget that?) Everyone
giggled at some point, the music loud
enough, someone brought glasses of water for
the rest. The dog was not awake.
After, no one said they had to leave.
We traced words on each other’s bodies
with our fingers, guessing which
words were spelled out.
No one guessed well, our concentration,
sexed away. We slept. No one snored. No one
hogged the blankets or put their
clothes back on. The music ended
during our dreams of future lovers.
My wife has never asked about my
romantic resume. Which makes me
believe that I am special and new. I just
appeared on the planet when I first
met her in that Italian restaurant on
a May evening. When we kiss, my lips
realize the journey forward. The trips
that have not been planned, the new
fashion that is not even imagined yet.
After our nights of pleasure I remind her
the warranty is off. You broke me,
you have to keep me.
Christopher Rubio-Goldsmith was born in Merida, Yucatan, grew up in Tucson, Arizona and
taught English at Tucson High School for 27 years. Much of his work explores growing up near
the border, being raised biracial/bilingual and teaching in a large urban school where 70% of the
students are American/Mexican. A Pushcart nominee, his writings will appear in Drunk
Monkeys, Sky Island Journal and have been published in Allium Journal, Book Of Matches and
other places too. His wife, Kelly, sometimes edits his work, and the two cats seem happy.