The leer in your eye, the grin on your face said it was time to pay up. I was penniless and pinched before that mask. I almost laughed.
You proceeded to methodically remove yourself from anything that was yours. You placed your t-shirt on the chair, your chain and something else on the table. Averting any chance of ridicule, you took off your socks before removing yourself from your jeans that you laid over the back of the chair. I took off what I could in one sweep and let it all fall where it may. You had a ritual automated. I had but that moment and didn’t want to miss any of it.
There was a point, I could see the blood flow beneath your skin. You were flushed in patches running down to your waist, radiating heat I imagined I’d generated with my touch. And I wanted, more than anything, to touch your face, your neck, absorb back some of that heat and maybe glow with it in turn. But you were a distant world wrapped in its own atmosphere. Self-contained. And I, but a body momentarily drawn in by your gravitational pull, soon to be repelled and thrust to the outskirts. I wanted to tell you how beautiful you were in that instant. I knew that to talk of ephemeral things would only dispel them that much sooner. Mesmerized, I could only allow myself to steal a glance before wrenching my eyes away to swallow back the mounting realization that nothing would ever extinguish nor bring back this painful delight.
Later, after, you picked up my jeans and laid them over the other chair, tossing the coin that fell out next to me on the bed, and stood my boots, one next to the other. I could have imagined a hint of caring but saw a compulsion to clear of any debris, the pathway to the door.