Stickman Readers' Submissions January 7th, 2011


I sit alone. Anxious. Trying to appear otherwise.

Watching everyone. Waiting for something to happen. I need something to happen.

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I couldn’t take it back there any longer. That awful job and that lonely apartment. Settling, compromising, becoming a responsible adult. I never signed up for any of that. Quit your job, buy a ticket, sell your things. Where am I? What country
am I in? I have been to so many the past few years.

Why do I need to pay for it. I’m a few decades younger than every guy here. What would my mother think if she saw me sitting here? Jetlagged late night street food at sidewalk tables mingling with monks and hookers but not as interested in anyone
in between. It’s cooler in the night time and much more comfortable to roam around in.

Do you remember me? By now I’m sure you’ve found someone else. But he is not me and you know that. Do you remember my arms wrapped around you? Can you feel me? I am far away now. A little older. I remember you. A little less each day. It
didn’t end well. You didn’t want to stay.

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I’m sitting alone. They are looking for customers. Why don’t they speak to me like genuine human beings? I would find that so much more attractive.

Who are you whom I love? What country do you live in? Where will I find you? You will make me alive again. I’ve loved the same woman my whole life but I’ve found her in many bodies. At times I’ve lost her. Months, years even, with
only fleeting glimpses of her. Frantically searching through the eyes of every woman I meet. I never stop searching until I find her again. And every time I hope I can keep her.

She passes. Limbs and color. Blue, turquoise. Exotic and tan. I watch. She is gone.

She might have been a good one. I don’t know if she saw me. Maybe I’m thinking too much. Maybe I look unapproachable. Too lost in my thoughts.

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I stand up. Leave. Retreat to my room. Beat my chest with my fist. Correct my mind. Threaten the tension out of my back and shoulders. Breathe in deeply. Breathe out all the stress and anxiety.

I return. Some talk to me. Not the ones I want. She passes again, closer this time. I think that’s the same girl from before. Our eyes. Once, twice. I feel her. She looks at me with all that in her. But there is still another next to me. I can’t
get her to leave. I don’t even know what she’s talking about. Didn’t I tell her no already. The other stands, waits for me. Leaves.

I am sitting alone again. She approaches. Even closer now. She sits next to me. Waiting for me. I say hello. We talk. She asks if I am nervous, shy. I say yes. She is too, she says. She is young. An orphan like me. A good person. I detect no hidden animosity.
No lurking threats. She talks like a real person. A little awkward. She’s beautiful.

Why do you look at me like that? What do you see in me? What does my presence feel like? Do you understand me? Would it hurt you if I looked at someone else? Or would you just move on to the next man? How much of me do you want to know? Are you really
interested in me? Am I only a customer?

She asks if I would like to have her. She tells me she is good. I ask her if that’s the truth. Yes, look at my eyes, she tells me. I do. You will have a good time.

Her hand, it is with mine. Leading her along the sidewalk, weaving in and out of people, vendors, puddles and side streets, motorbikes and taxis. We walk towards my hotel. She gives her ID. We enter my room. And we are alone now.

She pulls off the turquoise and blue. Now there is only exotic and tan. Limbs and torso. A small body. Marks around her breast. A design. Art. She lays down on my bed on her back. There is only her now. Those eyes. That body.

I kiss. Physical. All of her exists in her limbs. She puts her whole soul into her body. She squirms, writhes beneath me. She touches me, kisses me more. Bare skin thighs pressed against me. The passion of someone more than a stranger. She pulls me towards
her. Not yet. Now. There we are. Closer still. There is no distance left between us. She moves. We are together from different angles. Her body is beautiful. She wants me to have her. I watch her. I am fascinated. Her eyes are closed. I want more
of her. I grip her tighter.

She breaks the spell of she who hurt me. Her limbs heal me. Her body makes me forget.


The "next one" usually makes you forget the last one.

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