Caravaggio’s “The Martyrdom of St. Matthew” (1600)
When I lay in bed after that date, my heart was light and beating like a dog’s foot when he’s dreaming about hunting rabbits. I wanted so badly to lean in and kiss her as she opened her door, lips glistening in the faintest hint of a smile, and then with a final “bye,” she disappeared, leaving me behind, forlorn in the hallway. Seconds later, I was elated as I entered our apartment because I had done it, gone out with the girl I loved,and I knew there was only progression ahead. Or decay, but I didn’t let that thought enter my mind; my only sorrows came from impatience.
I slept soundly and warmly and dreamed of a girl in my class at school, who wasn’t bomb, though she certainly did have some sexual potency. I moved in with her, at random, and was up in Murray Hill for some reason, trying to get back to my apartment, skating of course. In the dream, Murray hill was a real hill, and there were a couple of kids playing skate up ahead. One of them did a front flip, and in awe, I went down a side street to avoid them. When I finally arrived home, I saw her – Kelsey – and she looked at me with her head cocked and said the roommates aren’t home, do you want to do it? And I said yes. So we stripped casually, but she stripped layer after layer. And I asked, I thought you wanted me? And she replied, I do. But all she did was remove another layer of longjohns, or panties, or sheer tights.
Although I woke up slightly confused as to the meaning of the dream, I felt good about last night. My classes dragged like a loose muffler that morning. We were reading Ellison’s Invisible Man in AP English, and we had to write an essay about it, in preparation for the test in a few weeks. Mine was poor. I didn’t worry.
At lunch I talked to Buckley, but not about his sister. The fact was I didn’t really know what to do. It weighed heavy on me, and burned, but sometimes you learn more about how you feel from not talking and keeping it inside you to fester and boil and then eventually secrete out in some kind of concoction, than you do from just letting it flow before it’s finished cooking. So we spoke of the rain, and of class, about college a bit, and the summer. Time is the school in which we learn, someone once said. Boy he wasn’t kidding.
The afternoon was all about me holding my chin in my palm and thinking about her, my next chance with her, seeing her after school maybe, almost not wanting to see her, in order to preserve those memories of her perfection, of the ethereal memory of the night prior without any blemish or additional faux pas caused by my fawning to muck it up. But then the overwhelming passion I felt for her conversation, her smile, and that strong insatiable urge for her body…I passed another resolution. I had to kiss her to progress past the point of insipid flounder.
When dinner came and went, I decided against going to Buckley’s, and instead, he came over to me.
“Yo man, what’s up?” he said, flouncing onto my bed. “Wanna get high?”
“Nah, not reals, I’m just thinking about how high school’s almost over, and like our whole world is about to change,” I lied.
“Yea, it’s pretty heavy stuff man.”
At that time it was like the whole world was impending, and come September it would either collapse into flames or explode into light. It was Wednesday, with that pervasive feeling that we as Americans get when over the hump, when a lilt of ennui begins to settle in for the night as we prepare for the latter half of the week and the eventual days of release.
“Hey man, why don’t you and Dela ever hang out on the weekends?”
“I dunno. I mean she just studies. You know how she doesn’t really like to party.”
you’re so full of it Buck. she used to go out with Aron all the damn time and come back drunk and giggling at two in the morning when you had fallen asleep and I was busy putting toothpaste on your face, to get you to awake with that burning compound on your upper lip, and I would wait listening for your itching and hear sex sounds, the motion, the moans, something so foreign that I didn’t know how to regulate and balance the feelings of disgust and curiosity. “Yea, but she used to go out with Aron, didn’t she?” Just saying that bastard’s name made me cringe and shiver with jealousy at how he, disgusting wretch who just so happened to be graced with some family connection in Northern California, was able to go to an impressive school that I had no shot– and not nearly enough money – of getting into. With that reputation the knave had seized my Dela’s innocence, leaving her alone to her nunnery of books as I’m sure he worked his way through the rounds of college girls he was accustomed to fucking, while she, poor she, waited with dedication for him to return. If only I could convince her of the strength of my love for her, of my desire to be with her and become Buckley’s brother by marriage – then, only then, could I be happy.
“Yea, I guess. Have you ever invited her out with us?”
“Hey man, what’s with you and Dela anyways?” He cocked his head and pulled back, giving me those squinty eyes. “I mean she’s my fuckin sister, man.”
“Buckley! I’m surprised at you! How can you be so defensive when you know that Dela is a sweet, lovely young girl. She’s intelligent, interesting, and fun. And she’s got great tits.”
“You fucker.” He punched me on the arm as I sniggered, but little did he know I meant all of it, and was crude at the last bit only to get his goad.
“Nah, but seriously, I mean I can talk to her about lots of stuff. Like, she’s your sister man, and I mean being related to you, no shit she’s cool.” He ruffled his feathers with modest appreciation. “It would be fun if we could all hang out sometime.”
“Yea, whatever, just remember she still dates Aron.”
“Dude, I know that,” a plan beginning to form in my desperate head, “but you know I like Dela as a friend.” He glared at that remark, not entirely sure what to make of it, but feeling my good will, decided to trust me. I mean, I am his best friend. “Why don’t you invite her to Stacie’s party on Saturday? I mean, she studies all dang day. I’m sure she wants to go out.”
“Why don’t you invite her to Stacie’s? That way you can see that she doesn’t want to come to a high school party.”
“Well maybe I will then.”
So Buckley stuck around a while longer, but realized I wasn’t being much fun, and though I love him I was glad for him to go so that I could be alone with my plan.
Stage 1: Date Dela, obtain her intellectual interest and allow her to feel comfortable enough around me so that she will think of me as a potential suitor. ACHIEVED.
Stage 2: Isolate her with the use of Buckley in a party environment. After imbibing copious amounts of alcohol, (or in her case probably a beer or two) she should feel comfortable enough to kiss me, as a friend. In the case of rejection, I will be able to use as an excuse my propensity for alcoholism genetically encumbered upon myself through my mother’s Irish heritage. Proposed Date of Completion: Imminent.
Stage 3: General feelings of sexual tension and unease when with me, (i.e. the willingness to kiss again will spark a full on make out session, during which I will hopefully be able to remove her shirt and brassiere cunningly with one hand, thereby allowing her beautiful D’s to spill out into the open air and, with nipples erect and areolas with goose bumps, they will feel the wet caresses of my tongue). Proposed date of Completion: 3-4 weeks
Stage 4: At this point, she will consider me a valid rival against her foolish long distance boyfriend, and as a result, will choose me over him. Full on coitus will ensue, and I in a showdown duel with Aron, that shmuck with an idiotic name trying to manipulate convention with only one A, will stab him in the belly, leaving him to groan and scream like Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs, with me standing over him and laughing like a mad scientist, and he begging, pleading at my ankles, grasping at my pant legs to spare him the agony, will be satisfied when I finally take my rapier and plunge it through his heart. And after that… Proposed Date of Completion: Post-Graduation, sometime during the summer.
Stage 5: Marriage, the birth of two children, one male and one female preferably because I know how it helps siblings to have one of each sex, but if anything I would have it so that the sister is older, as in my love’s case, so that she is able to see the perils of boys as a gender from her younger brother’s misdeeds and deviancy during youth, and isn’t tempted to rebel against an older brother’s domineering nature, thus resulting in her succumbing by choice to plans like these.
It was constant burning desire, the beginnings of love, when lust took to the sideline, and just thinking about her made his stomach feel like a snow globe that can be shaken and the snow falls through the water and settles onto the microcosmic town leaving it quiet but prone to haphazard blizzards.